Microsoft Will Donate to Charity If You’ll Just Download IE

| Product News

Microsoft announced Friday charity drive that will donate US$1.15 to charity for every download of Internet Explorer 8, the latest version of the company's Web browser, though that does include a cap of $1 million. The company is making the offer through a dedicated Web site at browseforthebetter.com.

The charity campaign has been organized around Feeding America, which used to be called America's Second Harvest, a group working to provide food-relief to some 25 million low-income people in the U.S. Microsoft's ad verbiage says it will donate 8 meals per download, with the fine print stipulating that it's basically $1.15 per download.

IE 8 will be bundled with Windows 7 in most of the world, though not in Europe, where antitrust action forced Big Redmond to de-couple its browser from the OS. Though IE in all its forms has long been embedded in Windows, the world's #1 operating system in terms of usage, IE has seen steady erosion of its market share from 90% several years ago to about 65% today as it faced competition from the Mozilla family and Firefox, as well as Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, and smaller companies like Opera and The Omni Group's OmniWeb.

Internet Explorer 8 is available for Windows XP and Vista only, and it will be included in Windows 7 when that OS is released October 22nd, 2009.

Comments

Dean Lewis

My friend downloaded IE8 last week. It exploded his computer. He immediately switched to Safari 4 Beta and is a happy camper. Yes, Apple’s BETA software kicks Microsoft’s released versions… Go figure.

coaten

So why not just give ‘em the $1m and be done with it. This whole “we’ll be generous if you use our product” isn’t philanthropy, it’s leverage.

I find it distasteful, whoever’s doing it.

ry

Sounds like someone lost an obscure lawsuit…

rpaege

I’ll try IE8 if MS pays me to.

marcsten

Oh Dear. What’s next? ‘Use our browser or we will kill this dog?’

xmattingly

Hahaha…. completely tasteless. “We’re only charitable to good causes for people if you’re charitable to bad causes with your computer.” :D

geoduck

pathetic

Lee Dronick

Oh Dear. What?s next? ?Use our browser or we will kill this dog??

That would be another idea they took from someone else.

James Huffman

My friend downloaded IE8 last week. It exploded his computer. He immediately switched to Safari 4 Beta and is a happy camper. Yes, Apple?s BETA software kicks Microsoft?s released versions? Go figure.

LOL a Microsoft BETA is also known as a final release.

Reaper

I think the funniest thing is that Safari 4 was downloaded 11 million times in 3 days, yet Microsoft needs to give away $1 million to get 869,565 downloads ($1,000,000 / $1.15 = 869,565 ). ROFL!

Bryan Chaffin

I imagine the reality is that MS had hit the cap many times over before the company even launched this campaign.

Personaly, I think it would have been really awesome of Big Redmond to really put its money where its mouth is and donate, say, $.10 for every download over, say, a week, or even a month…without a cap.

Giving away a million dollars in a way that’s fairly transparent to even mainstream tech reporters will not get the kind of publicity that giving away tens of millions of dollars might. It would truly raise awareness of IE 8 and give Microsoft some much needed Good Guy Buzz?, and would generate more press than that same money could directly buy.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Fanboy cynicism + liberal cynicism = comedy gold! It also equals marketing gold. Let me point out the obvious. The $1 million dollars that Microsoft is giving Feeding America is approximately $1 million dollars more than any of you are giving Feeding America.

And now the not so obvious… If Apple did the same with Safari, you guys would be unintentionally inseminating your MacBook Pros.

And now the math… Reaper, you might want to check out May browser share stats by version. You’d find that IE 8.0 was within a point of the sum total of all version of Safari. They don’t need to do this promotion. It raises awareness about the browser and Feeding America and gets Feeding America $1 million. Most people call that a win-win.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

P.S. I’m not even a fan of IE8. It’s lack of support for HTML5 goodies means I will continue to be double busy with what should be easy web development tasks for another two years. I’m still suffering from having to support IE6 because educational users are stuck on stupid, er IE6, (mostly to support expensive legacy apps) at rates much higher than the general public’s 16%.

Lee Dronick

The $1 million dollars that Microsoft is giving Feeding America is approximately $1 million dollars more than any of you are giving Feeding America.

I am not a zillionaire, but perhaps percentagewise I am giving more to charity than MicroSoft.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Fair enough Harry if that makes you feel good. However, charity does not thrive on percentage of people’s income. Charity thrives on dollars. Microsoft is giving Feeding America $1 million. Snark at that all you want, but it’s still roughly $1 million more than any of you are giving Feeding America.

Oh, and marketing people who come up with these kinds of arrangements… They count on snarky criticism from corners such as this. When your opponents (or competition) is questioning your motives as you give $1 million to a charity rather than pony up cash of their own, you look like a saint to regular folks. Like I said above, “marketing gold”.

cb50dc

I do my donations elsewhere, thank you.

Lee Dronick

Charity thrives on dollars. Microsoft is giving Feeding America $1 million. Snark at that all you want, but it?s still roughly $1 million more than any of you are giving Feeding America.

Right Bosco, charity thrives on dollars. 200,000,000 people give $10 and MicroSoft gives $1,000,000 and writes it off on taxes.

/snark

xmattingly

Fanboy cynicism + liberal cynicism = comedy gold! It also equals marketing gold. Let me point out the obvious. The $1 million dollars that Microsoft is giving Feeding America is approximately $1 million dollars more than any of you are giving Feeding America.

This gets my vote as the most asinine comment of the day.

New flash: M$ will not donate one red cent without willing participants for their marketing ploy. I would love to buy into your misguided guilt trip about not ponying up my own money for charity Bosco, but unfortunately I don’t have crapperware to push on people in exchange for doing a good deed.

In my opinion: in light of Microsoft’s billions in cash reserves, the paltry million they’re offering with the IE 8 requirement does more harm to their image than good. Why not just donate to the charity with no strings attached??

geoduck

Compare Microsoft’s Download our stuff and we’ll give a tiny bit to charity with this promotion from Target
http://feedingamerica.org/partners/corporate-promotions/target.aspx
Yes Target’s name is all over it but they don’t demand anything in return. They’ve been doing this sort of thing for years. Quietly donating to Feeding America (back when it was Second Harvest) and lots of other charities. Even when some religious group protested their support of women’s health organizations Target stood their ground because it was the right thing to do.

Target is a good corporate citizen. MS is a wannabe poser.

And yes I’ve donated to the food banks. For a number of years we ran a holiday food drive that went to Second Harvest. So Bosco, what have you done?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The bot censored my reply. geoduck, I never asked what you donated or did. I don’t question your charity. It’s none of my business. Nor is what I donate or do any of yours.

My parents raised me to be thankful for whatever anyone gives. When a company gives $1 million, even if you must question their motives internally, it’s just classy to be thankful for the contribution. If you must publicly question their motives, you need to be ready to match the contribution. If people heed xmattingly’s plea to not participate in this “marketing ploy”, guess who loses? Hungry families who are the recipients of Feeding America’s good deeds. I guess they’re just collateral damage in the jihad against Microsoft.

Stay classy Mac fanatics!

xmattingly

I don?t question your charity. It?s none of my business. Nor is what I donate or do any of yours.

Yet you did equate a reasonable charitable contribution to participating in M$’ agenda for what you already described as an inferior product. If you’re not interested in anyone’s charity or revealing your own, that’s perfectly fine. Your judgmental attitude towards everyone in this thread makes you a hypocrite, though.

My parents raised me to be thankful for whatever anyone gives. When a company gives $1 million, even if you must question their motives internally, it?s just classy to be thankful for the contribution.

Yes, let’s all get down on our hands and knees and be thankful for any amount of change that a mega-corporation like M$ might throw at needy folks, regardless of how totally self-serving the “donation” may be.

If people heed xmattingly?s plea to not participate in this ?marketing ploy?, guess who loses? Hungry families who are the recipients of Feeding America?s good deeds.

Bear in mind that you’re trumpeting the virtues of M$’ “donation”, which they have explicitly declared to be no more of a contribution than the willingness of consumers to use their software. If I want to donate to a charity, I can do that quite well without dancing to the tune of some corporate agenda.

Stay classy Mac fanatics!

Being critical of Microsoft’s agenda has nothing to do with Apple fanaticism - in fact, there has been little to no discussion of Apple in this thread. Seeing as how you keep throwing that cliche around here, I think your agenda is every bit as transparent as M$’. Good luck with that.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

FYI, xmattingly, here in the real world, charities like Feed America embrace cause marketing and corporate partnerships, even with what you call self-serving mega corporations. You are apparently in a small minority (9% - 23% depending on how you ask the question) who aren’t enthusiastic about cause marketing.

I think it is just rich that you’d rather people go hungry than anyone support this. In your honor, I donloaded IE8 for four computers and two VMs today from the site. You truly inspire me to help out!

xmattingly

FYI, xmattingly, here in the real world, charities like Feed America embrace cause marketing and corporate partnerships, even with what you call self-serving mega corporations. You are apparently in a small minority (9% - 23% depending on how you ask the question) who aren?t enthusiastic about cause marketing.

First of all, anyone with half a brain knows that statistics can be spun to mean just about anything (which you yourself alluded to). None which you have cited mention a word about those of us who are skeptical of corporate tie-ins and actually look for the best way to offer maximum value to a charity. As I have mentioned before: in light of M$’ billions in cash reserves, the greater value of the donation is for M$’ customer retention than it is for Feed America.

I’m only enthusiastic about good cause marketing: the kind that does not come attached to a transparent agenda. I’ve worked for two separate companies that have donated labor and materials with zero publicity or other trade-off coming to them. I’ve also donated cash and several hundred dollars of my own computer equipment to charitable causes I believe in… but of course you’re not interested in that, or revealing anything sincere or worthwhile that you have done for a good cause.

The difference between you, and Geoduck & I is that we have walked the walk, and we have both contributed without donations that favor a corporation over a cause. BUT… you’re not interested in that, right?

If you sincerely believe in the cause, why not do something more productive with your time, like just ask people to donate without the Microsoft agenda attachment?

I think it is just rich that you?d rather people go hungry than anyone support this. In your honor, I donloaded IE8 for four computers and two VMs today from the site. You truly inspire me to help out!

You haven’t been inspired to do anything more than continue trolling against the “Mac fanatics”. Your post follows mine by exactly 15 minutes… and within that time, you would have us believe that you just so happened to have four computers handy and had enough time to download the software, and come back here and try to rub it in my face. Believe it or not, some of us are investigative enough to see through the bull.

Again, I have to ask: aside from running your mouth off and telling us “Mac fanatics” what a bunch of bad citizens we are for not supporting M$, what have you done for a good cause?

geoduck

The last temptation is the greatest treason:
To do the right deed for the wrong reason.
- T.S. Eliot,

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Sherlock xmattingly uses his keen deductive skills to call into question my account of downloading IE8. I never said I did it in the 15 minutes between posts. I did it this morning, inspired by the losers here who feel a need to call Microsoft out for an act of generosity. But after xmattingly’s display of sheer fanboy brilliance, I decided it was in his honor! That’s like $7! I could have easily just done it with software update.

xmattingly

I never said I did it in the 15 minutes between posts. I did it this morning, inspired by the losers here who feel a need to call Microsoft out for an act of generosity.

Oh, so everyone who disagrees with you here is a loser now? Nice. Since you’re resorting to the typical troll-isms, it’s apparent that whatever weak case you’re trying to make has run its course.

Had you honestly downloaded those copies this morning as you claim, you would been blathering about it to everyone here long before your 4:57 pm post: I certainly left you with something to respond to in the wee hours. No one is fooled; neither should you expect any of us “losers” to care.

Geoduck, I don’t think you could have possibly summed up Bosco’s fallacy more brilliantly. Great quote.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Hey xmattingly, you’ll thank me for downloading an extra two times this evening when you’re out of work and hungry. So I forgive you for questioning people’s charity and butchering the whole concept of deduction. Peace.

MaxW

I miss the old funny Bosco. The new one’s not nearly as endearing. Quite the opposite, actually.

xmattingly

Yep. This one is extremely judgmental and self righteous.

marcsten

For comparison purposes, just to prove I am not a hater, one need look no further than founder Bill Gates. Regardless of what you think of MS, Bill and his wife’s foundation give many millions of dollars to many worthy causes here and elsewhere. And he doesn’t get much press for it either. Meanwhile, MS wants positive press in exchange for a measly million. Yes, I am sure charities do embrace these sorts of projects; after all a million here a million there, and that starts to add up! But compared to their founder, MS is really not deserving of much positive publicity for this stunt.

Nookster

I guess it was too much to hope that raising awareness for Feeding America wouldn’t be railroaded too much by the venom. Silly me.

geoduck

On the contrary Feeding America is a great organization. My objection comes from people acting like MS is doing something when they are in fact doing NOTHING WHATSOEVER and using this faux program to deceive people into thinking they are contributing WHEN THEY ARE NOT.

Ask yourself this; Why is it $1.15 per download? Because some bean counter calculated that $1mil MS was already planning on donating divided by the downloads already done worked out to this figure. As Brian mentioned MS exceeded $1mil worth of downloads even before the press release was issued.

If MS had just said “We are donating $1 million dollars to Feed America as part of our ‘IE 8 Makes the World Great’ Program” I would have been among the first to say what a good thing it was. What they have done is to take a donation that they either already had planned or possibly already have made, and then used it to try to trick people into downloading IE8. That is deceitful.

And what is the damage? If people think they are donating to charity by downloading IE8, they are less likely to donate in person. In the long run this may very well harm Feed America by costing them more than a million dollars as people think they have donated something when they have actually done nothing. My objection is not with Feed America or even with corporations that try to use donations and good works to improve their image. I object to a program that is deceitful at its core and will very likely harm the charity is claims to be helping.

MS could have done much better at no additional cost to themselves.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

OK, someone clued me in this week. It’s an Obama thing to criticize charitable giving and question donors motives. Microsoft probably just wants to avoid paying taxes. Now I understand.

Nookster

The coverage this promotion has garnered, will raise awareness, and will hopefully lead to increased donations after MS’s million dollars has been given.

However, my original point was that it’s a shame that this thread has been hijacked by hostile agendas.

xmattingly

It?s an Obama thing to criticize charitable giving and question donors motives. Microsoft probably just wants to avoid paying taxes. Now I understand.

You never understood. If it were an Obama thing, Microsoft would be throwing trillions of dollars in deficit spending at programs that are not guaranteed to work. They’re only “donating” a mil.

The coverage this promotion has garnered, will raise awareness, and will hopefully lead to increased donations after MS?s million dollars has been given.

If you read the fine print, you’d already know that M$ relieves themselves of any extra obligation once they get their download numbers. And you can bank on that becoming some PR fluff in a future press release as well.

Two questions come to mind:

1. I wonder what M$ would be willing to donate to charity, in lieu of all their customers who actually had to downgrade one of their products (particularly from Vista to XP), and

2. Has this campaign inspired you to donate your own cash, rather than click a download button and call it a day - as Bosco seems satisfied with?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I love how xmattingly is suddenly a charity marketing expert. Is there nothing she can’t do?

xmattingly

I love how xmattingly is suddenly a charity marketing expert. Is there nothing she can?t do?

Putting more effort into a donation than clicking on a “download” button doesn’t require expertise; it requires a conscience.

Nookster

If you read the fine print, you?d already know that M$ relieves themselves of any extra obligation once they get their download numbers. And you can bank on that becoming some PR fluff in a future press release as well.

I read the page, which only took a moment, then went to Feeding America via the link at the end of the fine print. I didn’t dwell on any of the details, that said I didn’t see any big print attempting to suggest otherwise. I generally assume that when a promotion ends, it ends, so this put’s me neither up nor down.

1. I wonder what M$ would be willing to donate to charity, in lieu of all their customers who actually had to downgrade one of their products (particularly from Vista to XP), and

I don’t know if you want me to add to this, but I haven’t downgraded anything and have no opinion on this.

2. Has this campaign inspired you to donate your own cash, rather than click a download button and call it a day - as Bosco seems satisfied with?

Yes. It was quick and easy to do - the donate link is the first one on the left at the top of the site, if you have a credit card it’s a two minute job, ironically quicker than Boot-Camping into Windows to download and install the browser. But personally, I don’t judge anyone who does one, the other, or neither, it’s none of my business.

Not being from the US, I’m generally not aware of campaigns from over the water - most of my efforts go into local or locally recognised international causes - The OH recently scaled Ben Nevis for a dog rescue charity, My mum, since retirement, helps in our local Oxfam shop, and I lend a hand testing the electrical goods (and try to make sure that they don’t get sold for peanuts). However, this time I noticed, and feel no negative emotions about that.

Nookster

Sorry, messed up my quotes, one of my replies is hiding in the second quote, wouldn’t mind an edit button right about now, lol.

cb50dc

If this story reported JCPenney or Chick-Fil-A or Advanced Auto Parts offering a comparable purchase/charitable donation, would anyone here have felt concerned?

MS certainly isn’t the first to do this.

geoduck

If this story reported JCPenney or Chick-Fil-A or Advanced Auto Parts offering a comparable purchase/charitable donation, would anyone here have felt concerned?

If JCPenney, or heck even Apple did something this underhanded I would be just as outraged at the duplicity.
OTOH If MS had done this properly, e.g. .10 for every download in June etc, or even a $1 mil donation in the name of IE8 I would have been right there praising them for a good deed.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

And how is what Microsoft did “underhanded”? This is textbook cause marketing. The giver asks giver’s patrons to take some action to support the cause, and the giver gives based on the action taken. It’s effective because it gets people involved in small actions for the cause. Additionally, there is donation spillover because some of the actors will donate cash directly that they wouldn’t have otherwise donated had the campaign not been in effect.

The only way you could legitimately claim this particular campaign was “underhanded” is if Microsoft partook in it without the consent and collaboration of Feeding America. Is that what you are insinuating? Perhaps you’ve never seen the inside of one of these cause marketing campaigns, but the organizations that do them effectively are quite protective of their brands. Even smaller organizations that don’t raise money terribly effectively are protective of their brands. Their brands raise the money and the money is what’s needed to conduct the charitable activity.

I guess geoduck, if you want to take issue with how cause marketing works, fine. That just makes you oblivious to its effectiveness in fundraising, but if you have a PBS bake sale view of the world, whatever. But taking issue with this instance of it is plain ignorance and borderline petty mean-spiritedness.

Seriously, why not just admit that as big of a [censored] as Uncle Bosco has been here, he did make you think about the underlying politics of this and has a point. Microsoft will raise $1 million for Feeding America. It’s all good. End of story.

xmattingly

You know Bosco, PBS never had a bake sale. In that respect you are as much of an expert on cause marketing as you are capable of putting your money where your mouth is. And it’s going to take a lot of money, because it’s a big damn hole to fill. Much more than a million dollars worth of IE 8 downloads can do, in my guesstimation.

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