Musings about Bing rewards program

The other day I saw a Google ad that said the following.

“Get 400 Free Xbox Points
Get 400 Free Xbox Points. Join Bing Rewards!
www.Bing.com/Rewards”

I was intrigued as I’d like to get some Microsoft points so I can buy some arcade games on my Xbox 360. The only issue I have with this ad is it sounds like you can get 400 Microsoft points just for joining the Bing rewards program. To get the 400 Microsoft points you need to have 400 search rewards points. Apparently from what I’ve read when they first launched the program you could redeem 100 search rewards points for 100 Microsoft points. I guess Microsoft realized this was to low of a number because they give you 250 search rewards points just for signing up for the program.

If you do the daily search items first they will also count towards the total number of searches that will earn you points as well. At the moment I’m writing this they seem to have two daily searches worth 3 points each & until January 29th 2011 you can earn one point per search up to a max of 10. So the current maximum you can earn a day is 16 points, which would take you 25 days at that rate to earn 400 search rewards points. But if you want to earn the first 400 search rewards points you can get that done in 10 days with your bonus 250 search rewards points that you start with.

One more thing before I rant about the installation process of the Bing bar. According to the Bing Rewards Preview Frequently Asked Questions “The Bing Rewards Preview ends on September 30, 2011. Credits accumulated expire December 31, 2011.”. So you have a limit amount of time to earn the points. Also remember that the Microsoft points rewarded from this method are only good for a limited time after you receive them from the program, so spend them shortly after you get them.

Now on to some of the issues I have with this program. First it installs three add-ons Mozilla Firefox Which if you are running the current version of Firefox they will be disabled right after they are installed, I haven’t tested with older versions as I refuse to run old versions of Firefox. They disabled the items because Microsoft said in Bing Bar support for Mozilla Firefox to disable them to prevent a security issue. While I applaud Mozilla for disabling them I’m irritated at Microsoft for installing software that they know will be disabled on install. When I last read the article it said “Article ID: 2430460 – Last Review: October 5, 2010 – Revision: 3.0”, meaning that they have known about this issue for several months at the point when I installed the Bing bar on my computer, & yet they insisted on installing the software they knew would be disabled.

You can see a complete list of what add-ons the current version of Firefox will disable on install at Add-ons Blocklist | Mozilla. At the time I wrote this post the first three in the list are the add-ons that the Bing bar installs. They are Bing Bar for Firefox, Default Manager v2.2, & Search Helper Extension.

I will admit I haven’t found a way yet to remove it from just Firefox. I have done some basic searches, but I have found nothing yet that will remove it only from Firefox. I have found ways to remove it from Firefox & Internet Explorer at Removing the Search Helper Extension and Bing Bar though.

Also during the install of the Bing bar it insisted that I close both Firefox as well as Internet Explorer. I closed Firefox on my own so that I would be sure to not lose the tabs that I had opened. It did reopen Internet Explorer after it finished & I was given my bonus 250 search rewards points.

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