A Bing Browser-Buying Bid BustsA Bing Browser-Buying Bid Busts
Microsoft has started to <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=225402023">wind down</a> its Bing Cashback program. Introduced in May 2008, Cashback was one of Microsoft's ploys to buy search share for Bing so that it could compete with Google. All cashback offers are done at the end of July, and users have a year after that to claim their money.
June 9, 2010
Microsoft has started to wind down its Bing Cashback program. Introduced in May 2008, Cashback was one of Microsoft's ploys to buy search share for Bing so that it could compete with Google. All cashback offers are done at the end of July, and users have a year after that to claim their money.Although Cashback may have gotten some traffic for Bing, it must not have been worth the effort. Some industry insiders posited that Microsoft wasn't making money from it at all, they were simply hoping that Bing would eke out some search traffic from the program.
When Bing debuted, I had some serious concerns about the shady pricing that some merchants seemed to be using. Instead of encouraging low prices, Cashback seemed to be encouraging higher prices with large cashback payouts. The only time I could see that making sense would be when someone else was paying. Since there was no paper trail for the Cashback rebate, employees could purchase products at higher prices and pocket the rebate money with their employers being none the wiser. Well nevermind, Bing is on to bigger and better things now. Bing became the controversially sticky default search engine for Verizon's BlackBerry, for example. This week, Apple announced that Bing will be an alternative to Google and Yahoo on the iPhone as well; I wonder what Microsoft had to pay for that. There were rumors earlier this year that Apple would be convinced by a juicy deal to make Bing the default search engine, but there must be some things that even Steve Jobs won't do for money.
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