Microsoft Offers Up $10K to Use IE8

Microsoft is apparently trying a new approach to increase its Internet Explorer 8 user base: Offering up $10,000. The money is the prize in a contest that's hosted on Microsoft's Australia Web site where clues leading to the booty are doled out -- but only if you are using IE8.

The contest Web page tells visitors that aren't using IE8 they are out of luck, and even goes so far as to mention their browser by name in its heckling. Safari and OmniWeb, for example, are "boring."

The contest is open only in Australia, although Web surfers can check out the Web site from other parts of the world.

While the idea of offering prizes to entice people to use a product isn't new, Microsoft's contest feels more like a scramble to bump up IE8's adoption. The Redmond-based company has made a point of highlighting the browser's standards compliance, yet seems to toss that notion aside by relying on features that are available only through Internet Explorer 8.