According to,

Microsoft has introduced a service which offers ad-funded cash rebates to customers who search for and buy products.

The Live Search cashback portfolio includes more than 10 million product offers from more than 700 merchants.

Early adopters of the service include eBay, Barnes & Noble,, Sears and

The cost-per-action (CPA) model is one of the best advertising models around, in which advertisers pay each time a click results in a sale. Combine this with a cash rebate plan for consumers and you have a win-win revenue model.

For those that were born to hate Microsoft, that giant from the software world, sure they will find something wrong with this or any move from Microsoft, simply because comes from Bill Gates. I disagree with these folks, many of which are eager to justify in their minds “the other Microsoft”; that is, the one of the search world: Google.

I remember when GoTo (later Overture) put a dollar value to searches. Many SEOs and average users sworn not to use a search engine that allows competitors and advertisers buy their way to the top. Look around now. Google jumped in front of the parade “a la Microsoft” and few lawsuits later we are where we are.

History repeats itself. Who will jump in front of the parade now?