Did you know that you can earn redeemable points for using Microsoft products?
It started way back in 2010 with their Bing Rewards Program where users earn Microsoft "credits" by using Bing as their search engine. These credits could then be exchanged for various perks and rewards.
Now, they announced that they are expanding the program and rebranding it as Microsoft Rewards.
Aside from Bing searches, the revamped rewards program will also start awarding "points" to Windows 10's Microsoft Edge browser usage and by shopping at Windows and Microsoft stores.
As with Bing Rewards, this is obviously a way to promote and grow their products and grab market share from competing services.
How will Microsoft Rewards work?
To start earning Microsoft Rewards, if you haven't created one yet, you will first need an active Microsoft account. (Click here to sign up.)
To earn points with Windows 10's Edge browser, you will have to actively use it for browsing the web. Active browsing, according to the Microsoft Rewards page, is when "the Microsoft Edge browser is in view on your desktop and the icon is highlighted on the taskbar."
And that's not all. You will have to be "actively engaging with the browser (mouse movements, clicks, touch gestures, keyboard presses, or presentation mode - like watching a full-screen video)" to earn points.
Additionally, Bing must be set as the default search engine on Microsoft Edge.
So sorry, you can't just have an open Edge session on your Window's 10 to reap rewards. You will have to like the browser and Microsoft's search engine enough to use them, too.
Microsoft says users will earn points for each hour spent on the Edge browser, with up to 30 hours a month.
For Windows and Microsoft store shoppers, they'll earn at least one point for each dollar spent for up to $20,000 worth of purchases per calendar year.
Old Bing Rewards participants need not worry. Microsoft says all Bing Rewards memberships will automatically convert to Microsoft Rewards accounts.
Bing credits will also be converted to points, with one credit equaling 10 points. Additionally, with Microsoft Rewards, searching with Bing on the Edge browser will give you faster point accumulation.
Microsoft is also revamping their Tier system. Instead of having Gold, Silver, and Member tiers, Microsoft Rewards will only have Level 1 and Level 2 tiers. Level 2 member perks include up to 10 percent savings on Microsoft brands and exclusive offers.
What will Microsoft points get you?
It varies but Microsoft points can be redeemed for perks such as Microsoft Store discounts, free Microsoft services, Skype credits, and gift cards from establishments like Amazon and Starbucks.
Not bad for helping Microsoft a little bit with their products, right?
For more details about this big rewards program from Microsoft, check out their official announcement page.