Microsoft will be giving away cash in July and August to users of the newer MSN 6.0 IM software. It seems odd to me that Microsoft would go to these lengths to gain users for a product that generates no revenue, but I'm sure there is a justification that is tied to the value of increased market share, driving traffic to the MSN web site, etc.. The problem with the instant messaging world is that I know people using all of the different platforms (AIM, Yahoo, MSN), so I'm forced to use them all too if I want to communicate. I use Trillian to make my IM usage more convenient, so I probably won't be trying to win any money from MSN.

On another note, I'll bet that a lot of developers and software companies wish that they had the resources to entice users to try their products in this manner. This is one of the (many) benefits of having $40 billion in cash I suppose.