I love the range of Microsoft’s campaigns to get people to use Internet Explorer 8. They spread from offering to feed the homeless if you download it, to offering you the chance at $10,000 dollars. It’s quite impressive, really.
I think we all know my feelings about Microsoft using charity in a misleading way to drive IE8 downloads, but this latest promotion is just kind of pathetic. Microsoft has a campaign in Australia to give away $10,000 that it has buried “somewhere on the Internet.” But the catch is that in order to find this money, you need to be using IE8. Apparently, if you stumble upon the site where Microsoft placed it using that browser, you’ll get some sort of notification and the money is yours.
Sadly, I don’t have IE8, so instead I get this rather rude message on the page: “But you’ll never find it using that browser. So get rid of it, or get lost.” That’s a nice FU to Mac users who don’t even have the option to use IE. Not that it should be surprising.
What else is interesting about this campaign is that it’s also directly tied to Twitter. Microsoft is suggesting that users who wish to play this IE8 treasure hunt also follow @tengrand_IE8 on Twitter to get daily clues.
Finally, at the bottom of the page it reads, “Tell your friends. It’s not as stupid as it sounds.” At least they acknowledge that it sounds stupid.
Actually though, it’s not that stupid, it’s just kind of desperate. If Microsoft really wants to get people to use IE8 it should rely less on tacky gimmicks and more on making a great product. If you do that, the users will follow — and you won’t even have to pay them.