Feeds

Microsoft ups search engine bribe

Extends exercise in futility

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

As part of its ongoing effort to shrink the Google gap with shameless bribery, Microsoft is now offering 25 per cent off eBay purchases made by way of its Live Search engine.

Previously, Redmond's eBay cashback offer was around 10 per cent.

"Christmas presents to be purchased? Budget a bit tight? Microsoft Live Search has a solution for all the parents out there being harassed for big ticket items by our kids. Why not save up to 25% right now?" asks Live Search group product manager Kok Waii Wong from the official Live Search blog.

The bribe applies only to eBay "Buy-It-Now" offers, purchased via eBay's very own PayPal payment system. Your rebate can't top $200. And you must be in the US .

You'll notice that Microsoft has stopped short of the 35 per cent cashback offers it floated early in the program. It would appear that such offers have allowed clever eBayers to sell $630 for $714:

eBay Live Search game

Paying cash for cash

In May, in a desperate bid to boost traffic, Microsoft began bribing people to use its third rate search engine. If you use Live Search ads to find and buy certain items, Microsoft will return a portion of the purchase price.

The payments come straight from Microsoft's product-selling advertisers, including eBay. So, if a partner like eBay posts an advertisement, the ad fee provides a cashback refund.

Microsoft has yet to respond to new inquiries about the eBay cash-for-cash scams. But a 25 per cent return reduces the profits available from such digital trickery.

The question is how long Microsoft is willing to continue bribing search engine users - whether they're scamming the system or not. It appears that bribes aren't working as well as Microsoft hoped. From June to July, according to comScore, Microsoft's search market share actually went south. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.