Microsoft to pay users to use Live Search

Written by Tim Smalley

May 22, 2008 | 14:06

Tags: #bribe #bribery #cashback #live #pay #search #to

Companies: #microsoft

In a move that will give Google a few laughs, Microsoft has announced plans to woo web users over to Live Search by paying them to use the service through its Live Search cashback scheme.

Yes, you read that right – Microsoft wants to pay you to use its search engine to purchase products sold through participating retailers listed in Live Search’s results. The Redmond giant says that it will give between two and 25 percent of the purchase price back to Live Search users.

Why?

We want to earn your loyalty and reward it with cashback savings for your everyday online shopping. We are "The Search That Pays You Back"!” says the Live Search cashback FAQ.

The offer is currently limited to US Citizens, but we expect to see this expanded to other markets. Savings garnered through purchases that qualify (look for the cashback logo) are tallied up and you’ll be able to claim back your savings once you’ve got over $5 in your account.

Microsoft says that there are over 700 partners in the scheme, including stores like Barnes & Noble, Circuit City, Home Depot, J&R Electronics, NewEgg, Overstock and TigerDirect.

It’s not all rosy though, as you’ll need to sign up for an account and use Microsoft’s own payment methods in order to “guarantee that your purchase will be reported to us correctly,” said the company. In addition, there are a limited number of retailers on the program which means that the best price may not be at a participating store, essentially negating the point of the whole scheme.

I guess if Microsoft is unable to grow marketshare organically, the next step is to pay to increase share. After all, wasn’t that what the Yahoo! deal was all about? Share your thoughts in the forums.
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