Anyone want some cash back?

May 22, 2008

dollars.jpgTake that Google!

Microsoft, in a bid to win share of the search market from Google and Yahoo, now plans to offer a new “cashback” service that provides a rebate when users buy something they found searching with Windows Live.

Chairman Bill Gates’ announcement of the rebate plan is the latest loud and clear sign of how much importance Microsoft is placing on advertising. (It apparently has been in talks with a company named, ummm, Yahoo, about just this).

“This is giving you a reason why you should use a particular search engine,” Gates said at the company’s Advance 08 advertising conference.

At first glance, it seems like a sound strategy, particularly given the timing of the initiative. Consumers could soon be facing $4/gallon gasoline prices, food costs have jumped and the overall economy still looks glum. If ever there was a time when people wanted coupons or rebates, this would seem to be it.

This alone isn’t going to close the gap with Google in the search department, but for a company that is facing a long road in catching up to the market leader, it just may be a step in the right direction.

Keep an eye on:

  • David Cook won the coveted title of “American Idol,” dealing an unexpected but decisive defeat to a silken-voiced teenager on Fox’s blockbuster TV show (Reuters)
  • Advertising on mobile phones has enormous potential to become a significant platform for marketers, but any breakthrough is years away and major operators must work together to succeed, executives said at the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit (Reuters)
  • With movies getting more costly to make and market, Hollywood is increasingly using release dates that have worked in the past to launch movies with the same genre, star or filmmaker (LA Times)

(Photo: Reuters)

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Another desperate move by Microsoft to “try” and compete with Google instead of focusing on what they do best. And can we say

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive