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MSN offers prizes to searchers

Microsoft is offering prizes to people who use its MSN search engine, according to a promotional Web site it calls MSN Search and Win. "Simply search with MSN, click the Search and Win link in the results, and you could instantly win one of many fabulous prizes," the site says.

The list of possible prizes includes a one-year Netflix subscription; magazine subscriptions; gift certificates at Starbucks, Blockbuster and Barnes and Noble, among others; a Panasonic plasma high-definition TV; a Canon digital camera; a home office makeover; hotel stays; and a cash award to the charity of choice.

MSN isn't the only search engine looking at ways--other than providing good search results--to increase its traffic in the face of the Google juggernaut. Yahoo also is to get Web surfers to use its search engine.