Microsoft Rewards is a nice way to earn some money to pay your monthly app subscription. Doesn’t matter if it’s a gift or an emergency purchase in the middle of a long summer, getting a new personal computer is, for the masses is a pretty big deal. If your new personal computer runs on Windows 10; you will have to create a Microsoft account during the initial startup. This is essential if you want to access cloud services like OneDrive.
Creating a Microsoft account grants you access to what’s called the Microsoft Rewards program, it promises sweepstakes for prizes, discounts for items in the Microsoft Store, along with other personal benefits. No money is required to be spent with the Microsoft Rewards program, there is still a significant cost regarding your data and personal privacy.
What exactly is the Microsoft Rewards program? Is it worth the cost of letting Microsoft track your activity?
From Microsoft’s perspective, the program is a data collection system. The data being collected concerns the Microsoft customers, particularly the customers who are consumers also. The program tracks what the customers are searching on Bing, the websites they visit, how often, as well as what time of day are they online, etc.
Note – the data that Microsoft collects is aggregated, Microsoft isn’t interested in you as an individual: What it wants is a model of general consumer behavior. Microsoft uses this collected data to enhance their browser, Bing’s performance, promotions, it is also used to strategize on future features as well as products.
From a customer, Microsoft Rewards is a website with various, family-safe activities, surveys, as well as games they can “play” and earn points.
The Earned points can be used to enter sweepstakes for prizes, to secure discounts on mentioned products. OR. You can make donations to various charitable organizations.
Are Microsoft Rewards worth it?
If you leave your smartphone GPS on all the time, answer questionnaires that require personal data at a snap, and install third-party toolbars on a whim, then Microsoft Rewards is just another data collector.
However, if personal privacy, or more likely the non-availability of privacy, gives you sleepless nights, Microsoft Rewards should be avoided. The purpose is to gather aggregate data and use it to advance Microsoft’s marketing strategy as well as its overall profitability.
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