Microsoft, through the renamed Microsoft Rewards program, will be paying Windows 10 users to access the internet through the Edge browser.
Edge, which is packaged alongside Windows 10, is said to be faster, more energy efficient and overall better than Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers. However, almost 75 percent of Windows 10 users are not using Edge.
To increase the number of users browsing the internet through Edge, Microsoft will be paying users through Microsoft Rewards, which is a rebranded version of Bing Rewards.
Through Bing Rewards, users were given points for using Bing as their search engine. With Microsoft Rewards, which is currently only available in the United States, will also be giving points for using Edge in addition to Bing, as well as for purchasing items on the Microsoft store.
Users will then be able to trade in the points that they accumulate for credits or vouchers to vendors such as Amazon, Skype, Starbucks, and the advertisement-free version of Outlook.com.
Microsoft will actively monitor if users are using the Edge browser for as many as 30 hours per month, with each hour of usage leading to points for the user. The program will track signs such as mouse movements to make sure that users are not cheating, but it was not stated how many points each hour of usage will collect.
In addition, users who would like to participate in the Microsoft Rewards program are required to set Bing as their default search engine.
Will Microsoft be able to increase the number of users utilizing Edge through the Microsoft Rewards program? That remains to be seen, especially with the program requiring users to be tracked for their usage.
Recent studies show that the Edge browser is the best one in terms of preserving battery life on Windows 10 devices, beating rivals such as Firefox and Chrome. Three tests were conducted on a Microsoft Surface Book, and it was found that its battery was depleted the fastest while using Chrome.
With the Anniversary Update that was rolled out earlier this month, the Edge browser also started automatically pausing Flash content on web pages, which is a feature that can also be found on Chrome and Apple’s Safari.
The feature affects content that are not central to websites, including animations and advertisements, until the user decides to click on them. By automatically pausing Flash content, the power consumption of Edge is reduced and its performance is improved, without causing damage to the important content on the accessed web page.