Here’s an interesting twist in the Search Wars (turning everyone attention away from the Browser Wars, I suppose): Microsoft will pay individuals [WSJ/free] to use its search engine, sharing the ad revenues with the casual user, most likely through discounts in software packages. The biggest hole in this plan is easily snuffed out by the writers of the article:
Still, paying consumers to use search engines could create significant headaches. Individuals could start visiting the search site solely for payment, without any real interest in searching or viewing the ads presented alongside search results, defeating the goal of helping advertisers.
We’ll see if Google jumps in with a similar approach.