Microsoft promises free terrible coffee every month you use Edge
World's most unpopular browser, now with opt-in SuperStalking
Microsoft is so keen to attract users to its Edge browser that it will pay people to use it.
Folks in the US can earn credits that can be spent in the Microsoft online store on things like three months of advertisement-free Outlook and Amazon cards.
Microsoft won't let you just run Edge and cash in: it will monitor user's mouse and keyboard movements for "active use" of the browser. If you're busy enough, Redmond will hand over credits, soon to be renamed points under a program detailed here*.
It will take about 1,000 Bing searches and about 19 days to earn US$5 you can put towards terrible Starbucks coffee, based on Bing desktop and mobile searches.
Developers thinking of gaming the system with various search scripts could be foiled by Microsoft's daily earnings restrictions which limit users to scoring 25 credits a day across 50 searches, 20 of which must be made on mobile.
Microsoft will offer additional credits to keen users who click things like training videos, MSN videos on how to make s'mores, and other Redmondian promotional content.
The effort to attract punters involves the renaming of Bing Rewards to Microsoft Rewards, and expanding it to cover Edge.
Under the change users who sign up before the pending switch from Bing Rewards to Microsoft Rewards will be promoted to level two, a title that can only be maintained by searching enough every day to earn that Starbucks coffee.
Level two users get access to "exclusive offers" and get 10 per cent off certain Microsoft offerings.
Google's Chrome is the uncontested champion of the web browsing war, with some 51.04 per cent of the market, according to NetMarketShare. The analyst site places Microsoft's Internet Explorer in second with 21.76 per cent, Safari with 11.12, Firefox with six percent and Edge lagging at 3.91 per cent.
'Other' web browsers account for 6.18 per cent of the total. ®
* We're using a Wayback Machine link to get around geo-blocks that make this page hard to access outside the United States.