It’s been no secret that Microsoft has been sitting on a pile of money. It’s also been no secret that they are continuing to lag behind Google in the search engine wars. So what happens when a company with deep pockets wants to win really badly? It spends money. For quite some time now Bing has gone on a spending spree to get its name out there. From radio ads to reward systems, they’ve been spending a ton to get more market share and the latest incarnation of Bing rewards  is no different.
Updated to reflect new year’s promotions.
The rewards are OK – 100 Microsoft Points for Xbox 360 for 125 credits, $2.50 Amazon.com gift card for 275 credits, $5 Amazon.com gift card for 525 credits, and a few other ones that are about that same level (100 credits it worth almost a dollar’s worth of rewards). The rewards catalog is a little ho-hum at the moment (lots of contests) but considering it’s hardly any work whatsoever, who wouldn’t want $5 at Amazon?
By far the easiest way to earn points is to refer your friends. You get 125 points per referral, which is probably worth around a dollar. The second easiest way is to visit their Discover page  and just click on the different point offers (most of which are 1 point) to pick up a few points. Finally, when you search using Bing you get 1 point for every two searches for up to 10 points a day. You can cheat by using this auto-searcher  to search for you after you’ve logged in. You get up to 10 points by searching until March 31st (it was extended after last year).
We’ll see if this program expands because at the moment it’s a little pedestrian.