Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Microsoft Businesses The Almighty Buck The Internet Yahoo!

Microsoft To Pay People To Search 203

kolicha writes "After the failed Yahoo bid, Microsoft is going to try a new approach to gain market share on their rivals Google. Sponsored links will be pay per purchase rather than pay per click, and search users will be offered 'cash back' on their purchases."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft To Pay People To Search

Comments Filter:
  • Nope, sorry. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Perseid ( 660451 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @08:54PM (#23499484)
    This will get them some temporary hype. This will get them more activity - but only of people specifically looking for discounts. This isn't going to make them more popular as a search engine. The only way to do that is to make the better search engine.
    • Re:Nope, sorry. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:15PM (#23499642)
      Exactly, Google offers the same service but very few people search through that (of course Google's is without discounts). MS has an ability to beat Google by offering something different, but all MSN/Live has done is make a rather poor clone of Yahoo! Which many people switched to Google because they didn't like Yahoo!. There is little to no incentive to moving your home page away from Yahoo! and to MSN/Live search because it offers nothing more, while Google has an entire different layout (no ads, clean, but can be customized).
      • Re:Nope, sorry. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by clampolo ( 1159617 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:51PM (#23499908)

        all MSN/Live has done is make a rather poor clone of Yahoo

        Just a slight correction to what you are saying. www.msn.com looks like Yahoo! but they also run www.live.com which is meant to mimic the google style. Microsoft marketing is confusing and uses the term "live" for their search engine and for their online endeavors.

        • Microsoft marketing is confusing and uses the term "live" for their search engine and for their online endeavors.
          Then what, praytell, is the MicroSoft Network supposed to be?
          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
            Come on, can't you picture it, a bunch of marketdroids all sitting around a board room table telling each other how good they are, all waffling on about this whole new 'Live' marketing theme, it's alive, if you not using live your the undead, a living search service, it's like really really cool, cooler than google.

            Of course all they were really doing is the the whole bullshit baffles brains thing and convincing management of why they are worth the bloated salaries. Now of course, you have to wonder which

    • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:42PM (#23499852) Journal
      The only way to do that is to make the better search engine.

      That is apparently not among their options. Remember who we're talking about here.

    • Re:Nope, sorry. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @10:20PM (#23500094)
      The only way to do that is to make the better search engine.

      Honestly, I don't think that'd even do it anymore, unless it was somehow ridiculously better.

      Google's been dominant for so long that its cultural inertia value would carry it a long, long way even if someone else came up with a better search tomorrow -- not that I expect Microsoft to do that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        The same could have been said for hotmail, yahoo! mail, and the other free email programs, yet gmail continues to gain market share. It's not dominant, but it's carving an ever-increasing niche.

        There is no such thing as an insurmountable lead, especially on the internet. MSN's offering something compelling with money back for consumers and sales-based cost for advertisers. Advertisers have wanted this for a long time, it eliminates click fraud at the expense of putting the control into the hands of adve
        • Re:Nope, sorry. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kestasjk ( 933987 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @05:23AM (#23502426) Homepage

          The same could have been said for hotmail, yahoo! mail, and the other free email programs, yet gmail continues to gain market share. It's not dominant, but it's carving an ever-increasing niche.
          But gmail really is "ridiculously better" than hotmail. I switched the moment I first got my gmail account; 1GB of mail instead of 2MB, no spam instead of constant spam, a nice interface, threading (hotmail had no threading at the time), tagging, good search, long email retention, a viral invite system which has never been pulled off so successfully before or since, etc, etc.

          It really was worlds away from the competition, and I don't think they would have taken over like they did without a huge edge.
      • Re:Nope, sorry. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by JohnBailey ( 1092697 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @06:49AM (#23502808)

        Google's been dominant for so long that its cultural inertia value would carry it a long, long way even if someone else came up with a better search tomorrow -- not that I expect Microsoft to do that.
        Don't be so sure. The Internet is a very fickle market. Today's hot property is tomorrows old news. It used to be that almost everyone used chat rooms, now not so much. Then social networking sites sprung up, but even they are getting old now. Tomorrow... Who knows. All it takes is for a new engine to offer something with a feature that Google doesn't yet have and if enough buzz is generated, then Google starts looking a bit ill. I use Google quite a bit, but if something better came along, I can guarantee that I would be out of there with no hesitation. It might take more than a better search engine, but nothing is keeping me at Google but my choice to use their easily replaced services. It's just a search engine and a few other web based apps, so someone else can just as easily offer me the same services, and I'll go there instead.
      • I don't think cultural inertia plays such a big part on the internet and in IT in general.
        Altavista, hotmail, infoseek were not saved by it, they died very quickly as soon as better services appeared. And these better services weren't that ridiculously better. While cultural intertia can carry social site far, this is not true for utility sites. Sites which provide tangible or measurable services.

        I won't leave myspace for facebook, cause I have a lot of friends on myspace, but I will be quick to change sea
    • I disagree, not because of the end users, but because of the advertisers. MSN's offering cost-per-sale rather than cost-per-click, something that Google doesn't offer. Get quality advertisers signed up and offering percent discounts on everything they buy, and you'll see people going there in spite of the awful search.
  • by Freshly Exhumed ( 105597 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @08:56PM (#23499502) Homepage
    How can I get Microsoft to give me cash back to not say bad things about them in online forums?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ejecta ( 1167015 )
      I believe you need to send your C.V. to their Public Propa... Relations Department.
      • by x_MeRLiN_x ( 935994 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:31PM (#23499752) Homepage
        Would you care to be specific about what makes Microsoft's marketing more misleading than marketing in general?
        • by ejecta ( 1167015 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:58PM (#23499944)
          Marketing in general has standards, one could make a case that their materials are far more misleading the the industry median.

          An example would be the "Switch" Campaign, which was awhile ago involving a fabricated story presented as fact about a Mac user that switched to a Windows PC, which also included blantant falsehoods about software availability on Macs. (It was even covered here: http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02%2F10%2F14%2F1232229&mode=nested&tid=109 [slashdot.org])

          An more recent example one could use would be the whole Vista Ready/Capable disaster.
          • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @03:08AM (#23501786)

            Marketing in general has standards

            An industry who's sole purpose is to trick people into buying things they don't need or want has standards? You're funny.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by JohnBailey ( 1092697 )

              An industry who's sole purpose is to trick people into buying things they don't need or want has standards? You're funny.

              It's true though. There is even an advertising standards authority here in the UK. An ad can not be deliberately misleading, so saying "Coke is a cure for baldness" is not allowed. Or implying that a computer with wireless capabilities is all you need to get on the net, as PC World found out to their cost, is also not acceptable. It is even possible to complain about a specific ad, and have it removed if it is misleading, offensive etc. And it has been done many times. The advertising industry certainly do

          • Marketing in general has standards

            To quote a senior marketing researcher from the biggest player in the US:

            Is teaching kids to be better naggers ethical? Well I don't know about that, but if we push more product then we've done our job

            • by ejecta ( 1167015 )
              I don't think you can teach a child to be a better nagger, like skin, the ability to nag comes with every child.

              As early as 6 months of age persistant nagging manifests in the physical form, followed shortly thereafter by the verbal form.

              But I get your point - marketers will go to the limit to sell something, thankfully that's why the standards exist. So when they pass the threshold they can be nailed against the wall. Some times it costs them a little, some times it costs them $58 million dollars.*

              *Merck 2
        • "Vista capable"

          that should give you a doctorate thesis's worth material.
        • by pembo13 ( 770295 )
          Few other companies could market such a defective line of products for so long so well. Microsoft has the best marketing team that I am aware of.
        • I'll start.
          • SCO
          • "Vista Capable"
          • Get the Facts.
          • Windows Genuine "Advantage"
          • Fake ROI/TCO models
          • Misleading security stats (multiple)
          • 235 Patents
          • Zune astroturf sites
          • XBox sales figures
          • XBox failure rates
          • OOOXML and ISO corruption
          • Subverting OLPC (multiple lies)
          There's plenty more. Feel free to add some yourselves - this could be fun.
          • by pembo13 ( 770295 )
            is there a wiki page on this?
          • by Macgrrl ( 762836 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @02:17AM (#23501536)
            "Plays For Sure"
  • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @08:56PM (#23499518) Homepage Journal
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FatWallet [wikipedia.org]

    "FatWallet also features a Cash Back rebate shopping section, where users can receive a percentage of purchases back from purchases made through referral links to hundreds of online retailers. Originally known as FatCash, this feature is where FatWallet got its start."

  • Sounds familiar... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JavaBasedOS ( 1217930 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:00PM (#23499548)
    Didn't they try this with the Live Search Club [live.com]?
  • Following a trend (Score:5, Insightful)

    by transporter_ii ( 986545 ) * on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:01PM (#23499550) Homepage
    Sell xboxes at a loss, pay people to search; the next thing you know, they will be paying vendors to put a stripped down version of XP onto mini-notebooks. In Google's case, they could afford to fork over some money to searchers, too. But Linux couldn't compete if it had to pay the vendors. So that's how MS competes with free and/or better stuff, buy them off.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wal9001 ( 1041058 )
      They should just cut to the chase and pay google to redirect some percent of users to MSN search results.
    • by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @10:03PM (#23499986) Homepage

      So that's how MS competes with free

      Yeah, a few years ago this was only a joke.

      "Open Source software doesn't cost anything -- how can you beat that price?"
      "Well, we could pay people to use it."
      "But then how do you make any money?"
      "We make it up in volume!"
    • Re:Following a trend (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @10:14PM (#23500072) Homepage
      I am actually surprised that Linux machines don't cost more than equivalent Windows machines, for two reasons: Windows machines are often subsidized by software that is added on by the OEM. Additionally, I believe that a machine with a working Linux setup is of more value than a working Windows machine.
    • by Skreems ( 598317 )
      For search it's not so surprising. In any space supported entirely by advertising, it's the companies buying placement who are your actual customers. The people using your product and viewing the ads are actually a part of your product. If you can get the economics to work out so you pay them a portion of the product's income for their participation, you can increase your user base and benefit your actual customers, the advertisers.

      I don't really like the implications, but it's an unavoidable fact with so
  • Product Search (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Fritzed ( 634646 )
    Unless they are implementing a very good product search to compete with Google Shopping, I don't see the appeal and I don't think that product searches drive the general search market.

    On top of that, everyone thinks of themselves as "the type of person who doesn't click on ads (well except for that one time)"

    This feature is marketed at a group of people who are going to plan at looking at the ads when searching to find out if they can get a deal. I don't think that group of people really exists.
  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by panaceaa ( 205396 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:04PM (#23499576) Homepage Journal
    Now there's actually an incentive for Live search to return worthless results! 'Cause if they found anything worthwhile, it costs Microsoft money. Genius!
  • by Whuffo ( 1043790 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:07PM (#23499596) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft is still working on a way to take Yahoo! over. Carl Icann is working to replace the Yahoo! board of directors as we speak.

    So, assuming that the story is true - how, exactly, does Microsoft propose to pay people for searching / purchasing. Is this "pay" going to come in the mail as a check, or is it going to be a discount on purchases - or is it going to be a promise to pay you somehow sometime in the future?

    I'm tempted to say something about "trust" and "Microsoft" here, but am wary of the Microsoft lovers out there just waiting to down-mod this post.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dripdry ( 1062282 )
      "Microsoft" and "trust"? I thought it was "Microsoft" and "anti-trust".
      • So if the former ever occurs, does the entire mass of microsoft matter in the world convert to perfectly proportional energy?

        nobel prize here i come.
        • You'd have to somehow bring trust and anti-trust together at the same time. Microsoft's been trying to do this for the past 10 years. Believe me when I say, they've been trying really hard. You have a ways to go to catch up to their research.
  • by bobdotorg ( 598873 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:13PM (#23499632)
    ... buying Yahoo stock?

    A linux distribution / service contract?

    A copy of OSX on a shiny new MacBookAir?

    A throwproof chair?

  • by randmcnatt ( 1236446 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:26PM (#23499722)
    Maybe iwon.com and search.msn.com can battle it out for 2,174th place [alexa.com].
  • by BlueStile ( 1257910 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:29PM (#23499744)
    Out of all the searches that occur, a small handful are the true moneymakers. When you search Google for "British prime ministers" the resulting ads are not very profitable to them. In fact, some searches are so unprofitable and clearly just information seeking, that Google will not even display ads at all.

    The important searches are things like "Best Digital Camera," "Kelly Blue Book BMW 325i," "The Da Vinci Code," and so on. These are searches that are very likely to result in a sale.

    What MSFT is doing doesn't seem that innovative because it's so obvious - but no one is doing it.

    Think of club promotors on sidewalks in NYC or Vegas or whatever. Typical entry is let's say cover of $10. But if you take a stupid little card from someone advertising the club, maybe that gets you free entry. Why? No reason, you aren't special, just you happened to pick up the advertisement. The club is paying the promotor to offer you a discount, so that you eventually buy the real product (drinks at the club, or whatnot).

    So if the marginal profit on a $400 digital camera is about (total guess) $150 bucks, and MSFT only demands the advertiser pay a cost per action, then that's $150 dollars of value that can be shared by a) Sony/Canon/whoever, b) Microsoft, and c) the USER!

    The point here is that it doesn't even matter if Google offers better search now! Going forward, I'll probably product search/research on Google, but go over to Microsoft to make the all-important final decision (because it's plainly the rational decision - my product WILL be cheaper)!

    If people pay attention, instead of throwing it out the window, this could be a gamechanger - it isn't the same as BigWallet, which essentially just shared the already offered referral deals with you (half a percent of the sale, usually). This could be a significant deal for everyone involved. Cost per action payment is the key.

    • poster is right - if i can buy something buy something $5 cheap by doing the search on MSN, i'm going to. google's search results aren't that great anymore anyway. everything is spammed to all hell with blogs and ranking sites.
      • 5 bucks over 100 bucks is not going to make me take any hassles of doing a msn search for example. i readily donate that amount to open source projects from time to time for example, even though im not making big bucks yet.
        • $5 return on a few seconds is extremely high, and it is foolish to avoid it (use live search btw). I don't often make purchases on the net where I'm likely to get a discount like that, though, so it's a moot point.

          Google is not an Open Source project. You should save the $5 and then donate to one additional Open Source project.
    • by aleph42 ( 1082389 ) * on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @10:07PM (#23500020)

      So if the marginal profit on a $400 digital camera is about (total guess) $150 bucks, and MSFT only demands the advertiser pay a cost per action, then that's $150 dollars of value that can be shared by a) Sony/Canon/whoever, b) Microsoft, and c) the USER!

      The point here is that it doesn't even matter if Google offers better search now! Going forward, I'll probably product search/research on Google, but go over to Microsoft to make the all-important final decision (because it's plainly the rational decision - my product WILL be cheaper)!

      This probably won't work; the camera would have to be advertised on micorsoft's search for this; and if it is, it will probably be more expensive than from the shop you found from google's search, which already refunds money from google, in the sense that the company didn't pay for that link. Google is effectively refunding 100% of it's margin on that link, since it is not advertisment!

      You are confusing search results and advertisments near the search results; microsoft is saying it will offer better advertisments; but no one chooses where to shop, or what newspaper to read, for the advertisments! In that case you would just head to a discount hunting website.

      No, you choose your search engine based on the better results, and then, you don't mind that the website profit from the 1% of attention you have to spare to look at an ad. Ads make money when you don't mind to shop without really comparing anything.

      it isn't the same as BigWallet, which essentially just shared the already offered referral deals with you (half a percent of the sale, usually).
      Who said that this rebate to microsoft's users will be more than half a percent? Did the guys who got paid to surf the internet with extra ads make a lot of money?
    • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @01:19AM (#23501232) Journal
      Not a bad idea, until you see how it works.

      You're not getting a discount. You're getting a rebate. So you're still paying the full price, it's just that you'll get some money back at some point in the future--60 days [wired.com], to be precise.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:33PM (#23499768) Journal
    The marketingdroids will call this the ... wait

    MicroSoft PayYou! Search Service?
    • You forgot to add "Community Technology Preview" to that name, since MS obviously cannot put "beta" in their product names.
  • by MLease ( 652529 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:37PM (#23499800)
    How do they expect me to buy into this, when I've yet to get paid for all those emails I forwarded for Microsoft's testing!

  • Man..... (Score:5, Funny)

    by IHC Navistar ( 967161 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:40PM (#23499820)
    Desperation is a stinky cologne.
  • by acvh ( 120205 ) <geekNO@SPAMmscigars.com> on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @09:44PM (#23499858) Homepage
    seriously. Microsoft is a software company. What is the reason for their obsession with the search and advertising market? Last time I looked they are making money. Is it just because they want to take revenue away from Google?

    I know, corporations exist to make money. But they don't have to go so far from their core competency (spare us the snarky comments) to do it. My heating oil provider doesn't have an internet search engine. My insurance company isn't creating web 2.0 video applications. Stick with what you're good at.
    • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @10:07PM (#23500016)
      Stick with what you're good at.

      There's not much money in chair-throwing these days.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Stick with what you're good at.
    • by Raenex ( 947668 )
      Ask Google the same question. They started out saying they were just going to do search. Now it's all about empire building -- wanting to host all the information themselves (hey great, they want all my email, search data, and now health information too), hiring like mad top talent without any particular direction in mind, buying companies at crazy prices left and right. Competing against companies like eBay/PayPal. The list goes on and on. Google is the new Microsoft.
      • Google's mission is "search" in a way, but not the way you're thinking of. They want to be a lot broader than just web search. They want any piece of information that you could ever need about anything instantly accessible to you at any given time, whether that be a web page, your stored payment information, business documents, etc.

        Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

        http://www.google.com/corporate/ [google.com]

        • by Raenex ( 947668 )
          They just expanded what they meant by search. They didn't start out with the idea that they would host all the information. They crossed the line when they turned private email into something to be mined for profit. I don't see what being a competitor to eBay/PayPal has to do with search. Spending over a billion dollars on YouTube is not core to search.

          Of course, if Google became the Internet itself, it would be easier for them to "organize the world's information", and that's where their argument ultim
          • Videos are information. Details about who is selling what items at what prices is information. Your payment details and history are information. Maps are information. Your appointments are information. Your photos are information. Your social network is information. Everything is information, and Google thinks that having all of it always available ("in the cloud" is the popular term nowadays, right?) and easily accessible is important. I, for one, agree wholeheartedly.

            I can't find specific information abou
            • by Raenex ( 947668 )

              Everything is information
              Yes, just proving the point I already made. It's an empty excuse to expand into everything, as opposed to just searching the Internet. I used them since the early days, and they clearly stated they would stay focused on search, not trying to become a provider for everything on the Internet.

              I, for one, do not welcome my new Google overlord.
    • by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Thursday May 22, 2008 @12:23AM (#23500960)
      ... you can afford to do two, nay, three things at once!

      Seriously though -- Microsoft is close to saturation of their two big moneymakers, Windows and Office, throughout the Western world. They can continue milking them for years via the upgrade cycle and expanding the share elsewhere, and they will, but just doing that doesn't put up the big numbers. So they're going to constantly try going after new markets and, eventually they think, they're going to succeed big in one. Like, "What do you mean Apple Computers makes MP3 players?! They're a computer company!" big.

      And then they're going to take that success and do exactly what Apple did with the iPod -- tie it straight back into The Empire, and make megabucks. iTunes is already just a marketing expense to sell iPods and iPods are eventually going to be just a PR campaign to sell Macs which happens to generate a few dollars on the side.

      And if this idea, or the XBox, or MSN, or the Zune, or that new touch screen table, or a thousand ideas fail -- so what? They've got $30 billion in the bank, patience, and a certain bit of maniacal efficiency in their favor. Sooner or later, they'll find their iPod.
    • by Vegard ( 11855 )
      There is a simple answer: The days that you can live on selling OSes and Office suites and finance the rest of your business through that *will* end. Sooner or later. Microsoft understands that, of course, so they're getting desperate to generate significant income through other markets than retail software.

      They have never been good at it, though, the only game they are good at, is milking their monopoly.

      But what happens when the monopoly eventually disappears?

      We've seen a lot of strange moves from Microsof
    • by mangu ( 126918 )

      Microsoft is a software company ... Stick with what you're good at

      Yes, I think you are right. That's why they are trying to switch to some other business.
  • ...If I remember correctly, didn't Amazon do something where if you searched enough times per week on a partner search engine, you'd get a certain percent off anything you bought on Amazon?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Petrushka ( 815171 )
      Yes, but it wasn't a partner search engine. They were using their online store to leverage their own search engine, a9.com.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by maxume ( 22995 )
      Only ~$90 billion in market cap to go. Of course, Microsoft has just over 3x Google's $18 billion in revenue, so buying Microsoft would destroy the current price multiple on shares of Google.
    • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @10:30PM (#23500148)
      It might be a bad deal for Google though... MS is like the Titanic, big, and seemingly strong, however while the band is still playing it is sinking. MS has lost most if not all respect in the "real" IT world (AKA those of us who are not coding in Visual Basic) for a company that can innovate or produce stable products. Google on the other hand is going steadily up, and spending too much money to buy MS is just a bad idea, they might make some quick cash out of it, but other then that MS is a sinking ship.
  • by whereiswaldo ( 459052 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @10:12PM (#23500054) Journal
    I wonder, how long till someone writes a Firefox plugin that alters Google search results to make clicks appear as if they are from Microsoft's search - that way users can use the better search engine and still cash in.
  • Jellyfish (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @10:13PM (#23500058)
    Microsoft bought Jellyfish, and this is exactly the sort of thing Jellyfish does - but I can't see how this will help Microsoft's search efforts at all. I have a Jellyfish account; but the only time I go there is when I'm looking for the best deal on something I'd already decided to buy. If I want to search for something, I use the engine that gives me the best results - and that's Google. I'm not going to switch search engines just because MS (or anyone for that matter) says "hey, use our search - and if you click on one of the ads that comes up, and buy something, we'll give you a small amount of money!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I was actually thinking that this is exactly the reason MS bought Jellyfish in the first place. Once the sale was final, things started to change at JF, and not for the better. For example, everyone with a JF account who wants to even look at their past cash back history or buy anything to receive cash back has to sign up for a Live account.

      So, yes, that's exactly what this is - MS buying a company, using their process to their own ends, then never mentioning that the Live "cashback" will most likely be p
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The answer is staring you in the eyes: MS or even Google doesn't necessarily care how much searches you do on their site - what they make money on is the clicks on their ads. If you only search on Google but then make the purchase on Microsoft (simplifying the language here), advertisers won't pay Google but Microsoft. Microsoft wins.
  • Objective (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mqduck ( 232646 ) <mqduck&mqduck,net> on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @11:39PM (#23500658)
    Back in the last related story, lots of people were asking what kind of capital (in not so many words) Microsoft would gain by purchasing Yahoo or a part of it. This story should remind those people of the answer to their question.

    Microsoft is not thinking about income in any sort of immediate sense. Microsoft, from the very beginning, has made sure to have a central presence in whatever the center of PC technology is at any given time. This is a continuation of what Microsoft has done/been since it's origin, not a case of looking for immediate revenue.
    • by mgblst ( 80109 )
      Which is a sensible thing for big IT companies to do, you saw this with IBM. IBM has since gotten out of a lot of industries, to focus on a few. But Microsoft has a huge amount of cash, and it needs to spend it. One way to do this is to hand out dividends, another is to buy into other Market areas.

      There is nothing wrong with doing this, except when Microsoft leverages their monopoly in certain IT areas to help them in other areas, which is what they do, and what they will always do. They don't offer much, u
  • Living outside USA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NewsWatcher ( 450241 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @11:55PM (#23500780)
    It says in the article this cash back will only be for people in the USA. It is a shame.
    If I (in New Zealand) wanted to buy say, an iPod, I could be convinced to click on a Microsoft-affiliated retailer if I thought I would get a decent discount, considering they cost roughly the same everywhere.
    But how would Microsoft know I am living overseas, if I just use a Paypal account? Can anyone think of how I could circumvent this ban?
    • Its just another cashback site, but linked to a search engine. Ergo, it will not pay out until the retailer notifies them of the sale and pays the cash. And the retailer will only pay if they ship to a US address.

      Also note that MS has a lot less incentive to pay out than all the other cashback sites, because cashback is not their core product and reputation will matter much less too.
  • Actually, pay per purchase would go a long way to solving the problem with click monkeys. Google should look into it.
  • That one thing is loyalty, ok brand loyalty I guess. However for myself I use it because it's a no nonsense approach from Google, and you can trust Google to give you the results you should get. Would you trust MS to give it you straight if they could make a dollar off you?

    Also the biggest thing is I am loyal to Google because of the good they have done for OSS, being a (fairly) good net citizen, and trying on the whole to do the right thing.

    That to me is worth way more than a few $ off a book, that in real
  • This sounds a bit desperate. Like a kid paying
    to get a date for the prom.
  • One of the first internet portals called I'won [iwon.com] has been paying customers to surf over ten years. They have periodic lotteries for prizes. You increase you chances by looking at more parts of the site as often as possible.

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.