Microsoft To Show Search Engine Users The Money

I was having a telephone chat with the founder of AGLOCO last night and he pointed me to a story in InfowWorld about Microsoft’s plan to share search engine revenue with their users.

Gates said that search engines like Google Inc. get their revenues from advertising because people use these search engines. “Google’s business model is not based on free software,” Gates said. “Their business model is based on advertisements from which they make a lot of money.”

But they don’t share these advertising revenues with the end users who help them get the revenue, Gates said. “Google keeps all of the money with itself,” he added.

(Through its AdSense program, Google does share advertising revenue with Web site publishers who carry ads that Google sells to advertisers.)

In its bid to share revenues with users, Microsoft may give free software or even cash to users, said Gates, who did not discuss further details.

That is definitely interesting news and will be a huge departure from how search is done today. Agloco’s founder, Akshay Mavani, says this is the future of the internet. Companies are discovering just how valuable their user bases are, and offering them free services, like search or video sharing, is no longer enough. Users are starting to see that it was they who built YouTude and when it was sold for $1.65 billion, the users got nothing while the management team got rich.

Microsoft’s move to share search engine revenue with users may have come about because they realize the value of the user base, or maybe it’s just a move to get Google search engine users to switch over. MS has billions sitting in the bank so they can certainly afford to do this.

The question I have for you; would you switch to MS search if Microsoft shared its search revenue with you?