Search with Bing. Earn points. Get more OneDrive storage.
That's Microsoft's recipe for boosting Bing usage. To help commemorate the launch of OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), "for a limited time Bing and OneDrive are offering 100GB of OneDrive storage to all new and existing members of Bing Rewards for just 100 credits," Alex Danskin, senior marketing manager of Bing Rewards, wrote in a blog post.
"Giving our members the ability to increase their storage by 100GB for a year, which has a $50 value, allows us to provide another perk for our most consistent and loyal Bing users," Danskin wrote. Microsoft launched OneDrive Feb. 19 to replace its SkyDrive cloud storage service, which was found to infringe on the trademarks of the British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB). Like SkyDrive, OneDrive is available on a variety of platforms, including iOS and Android.
Those new to Bing Rewards get a head start in earning free OneDrive capacity. "New members receive 20 bonus credits just by signing up, getting you well on your way to earning enough credits for this new OneDrive offer in your first week," Danskin wrote.
Bing Rewards is Microsoft's search loyalty program. Users (13 and older) can earn credits by simply searching with Bing, provided that they are logged in with their Microsoft accounts. Additional credits can be earned by trying out new features and making Bing one's homepage on a browser. A credit counter keeps a running tab on how many credits users have stockpiled.
Credits can be redeemed for gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks and several other brands, or for online services like Hulu and Skype. Alternately, users can opt to donate their credits to select charities and local schools.
According to the latest U.S. search engine rankings from Comscore, a Web analytics firm, Google sites led the market with 67.6 percent of searches last month. Microsoft sites came in a distant second with 18.3 percent, followed by Yahoo, Ask.com and AOL.
The figures look a bit better for Bing in Comscore's "Powered By" reporting. "In January, 69 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google (up 0.4 percentage points), while 27 percent of searches were powered by Bing," revealed the firm in a statement.
Microsoft has been working to narrow that gap. The company inked a deal last year with its arch-rival Apple to replace Siri's default search engine with Bing for iOS 7. Google formerly served as Siri's default search provider.
In September, the company revamped Bing with new features, including Page Zero, which provides quick access to key search tasks (Images, News, Flight Search, etc.) as users type in their queries. The company is also reportedly tapping Bing for its forthcoming Cortana mobile digital assistant technology.