Desperate Microsoft to pay people to use its search service

“It’s come to this. In an effort to gain more market share, Microsoft plans to start paying people now to use its search service,” Wendy Tanaka reports for Forbes.

“The software giant is said to be launching a service called LiveSearch cashback, which will give consumers money back when they buy certain products found on the live.com search site,” Tanaka reports.

“The move appears to be a desperate attempt by Microsoft to grow search and ultimately boost its search advertising revenues,” Tanaka reports.

“After spending a fruitless three months attempting to woo Yahoo!, Microsoft is trying to find ways to rev up its online advertising business, which trails behind Yahoo! and even further behind industry leader Google, which also has the No. 1 search engine with more than 60% market share,” Tanaka reports.

Tanaka reports, “Coming up with mobile and in-game advertising strategies is another big focus in Redmond. Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, said the number of cell phones that can receive rich media ads is going to triple in the next couple of years. ‘We think mobile is a tremendous opportunity going forward,’ Bach said.”

Tanaka reports, “”Bach said Microsoft is experimenting with integrating ads and games, so users don’t view them as nuisances.”

More in the full article here.

J. Nicholas Hoover reports for InformationWeek, “This isn’t the first time Microsoft has rewarded people using its search engine. Last year, Microsoft rewarded users for playing search games with a site called Live Search Club. That initiative provided a temporary boost in Microsoft’s search market share, but was later found to have been gamed by hackers looking to increase their awards.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Scott” for the heads up.]

Can’t compete? Bribe. It’s like second nature to Microsoft.

48 Comments

  1. << Microsoft is experimenting with integrating ads and games, so users don’t view them as nuisances.” >>

    What about using Vista. That’s nuisance redefined.

    As far as the cashback on purchased made from vendors found using liveSearch- From a business perspective- might not be a such a bad idea. Of course, there’s gotta be more to it then this. Do you have to search using internet explorer, do you have to be running the search query from a vista machine. Do u have to be a Zune owner. Are u disqualified if u ever walking inside an Apple store. Details to follow.

  2. “…Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, said the number of cell phones that can receive rich media ads is going to triple in the next couple of years. ‘We think mobile is a tremendous opportunity going forward,’ Bach said.””
    Right – Apple’s iPhones will quadruple!*
    – Doga Doga
    * or more!

  3. Ok, this is a very misleading title. You are not “paid to search” per say, you are paid cash back to buy things, like any number of sites are doing (for example fatwallet, and even upromise). Now, this LIVE cashback program is actually an off-shoot of a site that M$ bought last year called Jellyfish.com, of which I am an active participant username ajdowntown).

    Look, I love bashing M$ as much as the next guy, but there is some serious misleading going on in this article.

  4. Sorry, Google & Yahoo. There’s a new sheriff in town. The internet now belongs to Microsoft and I, along with my 97.5% market share friends are grateful.

    Just when I thought the Microsoft experience couldn’t get any better the geniuses in Redmond come up with this. You mean I get paid to use magnificent Microsoft technology? Sign me up!

    Your potential. Our passion.™

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