Microsoft to show search engine users the money

Gates says company may give free software or even cash to users

Microsoft Corp. will share a part of its advertising revenues from its search engine with users, the company's chairman Bill Gates said in a panel discussion on an Indian television channel.

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.

The panel discussion was televised in two parts by New Delhi Television Ltd. on Wednesday and Thursday.

Gates is on a four-day visit to India. During this visit, apart from focusing on his charities, Gates is also meeting with business leaders, government officials at the federal and state levels and developers. On Wednesday, Gates announced that Microsoft of Redmond, Washington, is investing US$1.7 billion in India towards the company's research and development operations and its other programs in the country.