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Attention Shopoholics: Microsoft's Live Search Pays Users To Shop Online

Microsoft has been trying to cut itself a larger piece of the search engine pie for quite some time. Third place is not where the company wants to be and with efforts to buy out the competitor in second place (that’s Yahoo! for those of you who missed the last 6 months or so) leaving the company with a pocket full of change to spread around, we figured the company had a few cash inspired initiatives up it’s sleeve. What we didn’t expect, was Microsoft to start offering users cash for using Live Search.

The company announced yesterday that it will offer ad-funded cash rebates to customers who find and purchase a product through Microsoft’s new program, Microsoft Live Search cashback.

Bill Gates announced the offer with partners from eBay, Barnes & Noble.com, Overstock.com, Sears, Zappos.com, and WPP at Microsoft’s annual advertising customer event, Advance 08. Over a quarter of the country’s top retailers have climbed aboard the SS Microsoft to offer cashback on 10 million products from more than 700 sellers.

So how does it all work? Users search for cashback deals at Live Search cashback. Results will list the cashback savings you’ll receive off the store prices, and the final bottom-line price, which includes tax and shipping costs. Users select the result they want and they’ll be redirected to the seller’s store, with every purchase they make during that visit coming with a monetary rebate. Once your cashback account balance hits $5 dollars, you can claim your money.

The service might be appealing for users but retailers are sure to find the added incentive to buy Microsoft is bestowing on customers an appealing prospect when it comes to advertising, which means more business for Microsoft.

Let us know in the comments section below if and when you use this service and how you get on.