Microsoft Offering Free Stuff to Windows 7 Users Who Switch to IE9

free stuffEverybody loves free stuff. That’s not an opinion. It’s a fact, a fact that Microsoft obviously knows about because Windows 7 users who download the newest version of Internet Explorer, IE9, and then “pin” any of seven different websites to their taskbars will receive offers that range from a free month of Hulu Plus to a $5-off Fandango movie ticket.

Yeah, that’s right, free stuff worth getting from Microsoft! Now, some of these offers are available immediately while some will become available later this month and during December. Users of Windows 7 that are running other browsers, like Google’s Chrome browser or Mozilla’s Firefox browser, will see the following message if they visit the promotional site (found here): “Where’s the love? … Upgrade to Internet Explorer to pin these sites and get the free stuff.”

Pinning, which was introduced in IE9, allows users to add shortcuts to websites on the Windows 7 task bar, offering the same type of easy access you have to locally-stored programs. Users operating under Mac OS X who visit the promotional site will see a different message saying, “Oh Nooooooo… You’re using Mac OS which doesn’t support Internet Explorer 9 and Site Pinning.”

Users of Windows XP, which is still the most widely-used version of Microsoft’s operating systems, are unable to upgrade to Internet Explorer 9. The company has defended that ban, even as shares for the browser have continued to fall, calling the decade-old operating system the “lowest common denominator” and “not worthy of future browser development.”

Microsoft has aggressively been pushing Internet Explorer 9 as the “best browser for Windows 7” and has regularly talked up IE9’s gains in usage share, despite the fact that other versions of the browser are losing ground to Chrome and Safari, Apple’s take on a web browser.

According to Net Applications, a web metrics company, Internet Explorer 9 accounted for 22.5% of the total number of browsers running worldwide on Windows 7 during October. This is an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the previous months, with only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 scoring a higher share.

Last month Internet Explorer as a whole lost the largest amount of usage share in three years, falling to 52.6%. This puts Microsoft’s browser in real danger of slipping under the 50% mark as early as January of 2012. Nevertheless, you can still download IE9, pin those websites to your task bar and get some free stuff, I know I will.

Source: Computer World – Microsoft: Switch to IE9, get free stuff

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