Since 2010, Microsoft has been running the Bing Rewards program: Just do your searches with Microsoft's Bing search engine, and you can earn points towards Starbucks and Amazon gift cards, Hulu subscriptions, and other such prizes.
Now, Microsoft is rebranding the program to Microsoft Rewards, and instead of just Bing, Microsoft wants to reward you for using Microsoft Edge - the web browser that comes Windows 10, and the successor to Internet Explorer.
Earn some extra cash using Edge
So long as you're actively using Microsoft Edge - characterized as having the Edge window open and actually using it to browse the web, not simply having it open in the background - you'll accumulate points that can be redeemed for prizes, up to 30 hours' worth a month.
While Windows 10 is on more than 350 million active devices, the Edge browser hasn't quite made the success that Microsoft had hoped for. Current numbers place Edge usage at a just over 4.2% of the overall browser market. So now, Microsoft wants to give users a little incentive every time they use Edge.
There's one major proviso here, too. Despite the rebranding, you need to use Microsoft Bing as your default search engine in order to reap Microsoft Rewards points. If you change your default to Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine, your points won't accumulate. If you want points, you require Bing.
Don't worry about your privacy
Finally, Microsoft says that they're only tracking your activities when Edge is open, and not what websites you're visiting or any information you're entering. Microsoft Rewards will also ask before it begins tracking Edge usage, so it won't activate without your authorization. Your privacy matters more to them than anything else, it seems.
It's all up to you!
If that's still too much for you, especially in light of past Windows 10 privacy scandals, well, you can carry on browsing the way you've been browsing. But Microsoft's aspiration to make Edge into a noteworthy market force could make it a lot easier for you to fill your pockets. Besides, Microsoft Edge may just be the best way to watch Netflix on a laptop.