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Microsoft To Pay People To Search

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the have-some-of-our-extra-money dept.

Microsoft 203

kolicha writes "After the failed Yahoo bid, Microsoft is going to try a new approach to gain market share on their rivals Google. Sponsored links will be pay per purchase rather than pay per click, and search users will be offered 'cash back' on their purchases."

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DO IT! DO IT! Do It 'til You're SATISFIED... (0, Redundant)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499436)

Sounds more like "thrash-back" instead of "cash-back". I hope Yahoo!'s board and investors breathe a collective sigh of relief that they have a new magic bullet to fend of Murdoch and msoft. What bullet? Offer the shoppers the same "benefit" that ms is seemingly thrashing about with. It's is analogous to the paper rebates in many respects.

Ha! So, now, once again, msoft is showing it is POOR at innovating. Yet ANOTHER reason Yahoo! needs to vigorously resist this attempted shotgun rape, umm, wedding. And, resistance can be in the form of further open-sourcing or threatening more open-sourcing to keep msoft and it's wealthy minion mouth-pieces at bay.

Now, Yahoo! and Google can globally offer what mshaft is seemingly wanting to offer only to US residents or CONUS-based purchases. Maybe it is the case that msoft IS globally offering "thrash-backs" in each country, but that might not be tenable considering how relatively low prices *might* be in non-CONUS consumer markets. But, Yahoo! and Google together, and with Baidu, and, say, CyWorld, and the analogs in Japan, Taiwan, etc, can do a REAL SLAM-DUNK whammo on msoft.

GO YAHOO!, GOOGLE, BAIDU, YAHOO! JAPAN, CYWORLD, et al. DO IT. DO IT!

And, dance, thresh, thrash, and jig at msoft's expense to the tune of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2yCgO1vRT8 [youtube.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_It_('Til_You're_Satisfied) [wikipedia.org]

COOKIE WARNING FOR SITE BELOW:
http://www.lyricstime.com/cookie.php [lyricstime.com]

But, I laughed reading the following:

"much better."

"Microsoft is like a bad restaurant - no matter what the incentive, you don't want to eat there. Their product isn't working and their share of the market proves that." "

Maybe msoft should consider a saying one of my friends (Chinese and Vietnamese) said about Chinese restaurants: "The dirtier the bathroom, the better the food." But, then, is there an anallog in msoft's case? They've pretty much beaten black and blue their customers, partners and suppliers. What's next, turning them into food chips? Will we hear, "MICROSOFT IS PEEEEE-POHL"? (ala "Soylent Green")

Re:DO IT! DO IT! Do It 'til You're SATISFIED... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23499488)

Wow...calm down dude, it's going to be OK...Did someone touch you while wearing a Bill Gates mask when you were a child???

Re:DO IT! DO IT! Do It 'til You're SATISFIED... (4, Funny)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499500)

Yes. Steve Ballmer. He also throw a chair at me.

Re:DO IT! DO IT! Do It 'til You're SATISFIED... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23500052)

C'mon guys...
This is HOAX! Don't you remember
http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/microsoft-aol.asp

Re:DO IT! DO IT! Do It 'til You're SATISFIED... (5, Funny)

junner518 (1235322) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500168)

don't worry, there are people throwing stuff at ballmer too... he got egged [youtube.com]

Re:DO IT! DO IT! Do It 'til You're SATISFIED... (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500582)

It's terrible, but I laughed so hard at that video.

Re:DO IT! DO IT! Do It 'til You're SATISFIED... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23499490)

This has got to be one of the most bizarre anti-Microsoft rants I've ever seen on Slashdot, beating out even that "consult/trust in yOUR creators" guy. Grats.

Re:DO IT! DO IT! Do It 'til You're SATISFIED... (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499812)

Be honest... are you stoned right now?

what's redundant about parent post ? (0, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499968)

the idiot who used wasted his/her mod points on fanboi-modding down parent post, please take time to explain us, the /., why the hell did you waste your mod points to slight any opinion ?

jerk ?

Are you new here? (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500112)

Keep lurking, 'GrassHopper', all will become clear in time.

"the idiot who used wasted his/her mod points on fanboi-modding down parent post,..."
By your UID, I would expect that you already know the answer to your question, but that the answer is still bothering you.

Search inside yourself for the answer, there, you will find all of the questions you want answers for...*head a splodes* WTF?!?!? Uhmm...never mind!

'And in a hundred years from now, who will care?' also comes to mind...just thinking...

Re:Are you new here? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500144)

what i think is, that guy put his thoughts as they felt it. in contrast to many people who exactly feel that way, but put that into words in neatly and rationally compiled paragraphs.

It didn't work for Discover card (1)

target562 (623649) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499464)

... say no more.

Nope, sorry. (4, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499484)

This will get them some temporary hype. This will get them more activity - but only of people specifically looking for discounts. This isn't going to make them more popular as a search engine. The only way to do that is to make the better search engine.

Re:Nope, sorry. (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499642)

Exactly, Google offers the same service but very few people search through that (of course Google's is without discounts). MS has an ability to beat Google by offering something different, but all MSN/Live has done is make a rather poor clone of Yahoo! Which many people switched to Google because they didn't like Yahoo!. There is little to no incentive to moving your home page away from Yahoo! and to MSN/Live search because it offers nothing more, while Google has an entire different layout (no ads, clean, but can be customized).

Re:Nope, sorry. (4, Insightful)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499908)

all MSN/Live has done is make a rather poor clone of Yahoo

Just a slight correction to what you are saying. www.msn.com looks like Yahoo! but they also run www.live.com which is meant to mimic the google style. Microsoft marketing is confusing and uses the term "live" for their search engine and for their online endeavors.

Re:Nope, sorry. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23501034)

Microsoft marketing is confusing and uses the term "live" for their search engine and for their online endeavors.
Then what, praytell, is the MicroSoft Network supposed to be?

Re:Nope, sorry. (5, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499852)

The only way to do that is to make the better search engine.

That is apparently not among their options. Remember who we're talking about here.

-jcr

Re:Nope, sorry. (0, Offtopic)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499938)

Wow. Who gave both the Microsoft fanbois mod points?

What's Slashdot coming to anyway? Can't rag on Apple, can't rag on Microsoft. It seems that Xenu and Jack Thompson are the only safe whipping boys. Damn young'uns. Mess up everything.

Re:Nope, sorry. (3, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500094)

The only way to do that is to make the better search engine.

Honestly, I don't think that'd even do it anymore, unless it was somehow ridiculously better.

Google's been dominant for so long that its cultural inertia value would carry it a long, long way even if someone else came up with a better search tomorrow -- not that I expect Microsoft to do that.

Re:Nope, sorry. (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23501178)

I disagree, not because of the end users, but because of the advertisers. MSN's offering cost-per-sale rather than cost-per-click, something that Google doesn't offer. Get quality advertisers signed up and offering percent discounts on everything they buy, and you'll see people going there in spite of the awful search.

I want to be paid for posting this (5, Funny)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499502)

How can I get Microsoft to give me cash back to not say bad things about them in online forums?

Re:I want to be paid for posting this (3, Funny)

ejecta (1167015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499564)

I believe you need to send your C.V. to their Public Propa... Relations Department.

Re:I want to be paid for posting this (5, Interesting)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499752)

Would you care to be specific about what makes Microsoft's marketing more misleading than marketing in general?

Re:I want to be paid for posting this (4, Informative)

ejecta (1167015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499944)

Marketing in general has standards, one could make a case that their materials are far more misleading the the industry median.

An example would be the "Switch" Campaign, which was awhile ago involving a fabricated story presented as fact about a Mac user that switched to a Windows PC, which also included blantant falsehoods about software availability on Macs. (It was even covered here: http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02%2F10%2F14%2F1232229&mode=nested&tid=109 [slashdot.org] )

An more recent example one could use would be the whole Vista Ready/Capable disaster.

Heres your answer : (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499994)

"Vista capable"

that should give you a doctorate thesis's worth material.

Re:I want to be paid for posting this (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500032)

Few other companies could market such a defective line of products for so long so well. Microsoft has the best marketing team that I am aware of.

Re:I want to be paid for posting this (5, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500178)

I'll start.
  • SCO
  • "Vista Capable"
  • Get the Facts.
  • Windows Genuine "Advantage"
  • Fake ROI/TCO models
  • Misleading security stats (multiple)
  • 235 Patents
  • Zune astroturf sites
  • XBox sales figures
  • XBox failure rates
  • OOOXML and ISO corruption
  • Subverting OLPC (multiple lies)
There's plenty more. Feel free to add some yourselves - this could be fun.

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23499504)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
Microsoft to pay people to look at goatse [goatse.ch]

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500382)

OH GOD THE ASCII, IT'S BURNING MY EYES!!!!!!!!!1111111111

Actually, come to think of it, it's not. In fact, it's not even particularly offensive, outside of being so mindless and cliched.

Congratulations on not even grossing anybody out with your shitty ascii art. Now go drink bleach.

Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23499510)

So how long until some makes a website for giving you deals via Microsoft's "cash back"?

Soooo--- they are copying Fat Wallet? (5, Informative)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499518)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FatWallet [wikipedia.org]

"FatWallet also features a Cash Back rebate shopping section, where users can receive a percentage of purchases back from purchases made through referral links to hundreds of online retailers. Originally known as FatCash, this feature is where FatWallet got its start."

Re:Soooo--- they are copying Fat Wallet? (0)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499592)

So, how will msoft book the cash? Say, "BOOK 'EM, DANNO!"?, Will we call someone there "Wo Fat?" Hmmm, maybe msoft can call the program "soft-fat"...

At any rate, Yahoo! et al can bring up Fat-Wallet & wave it around and maybe drive down msoft's stock... Payback can be a byatch... Someone is probably ducking from another chair for saying in the board room "If you think it's butter, but it's NOT..."....

Re:Soooo--- they are copying Fat Wallet? (5, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499766)

Rather, Microsoft is finally bringing Jellyfish.com [wikipedia.org] under the Windows Live branding, after having purchased them last fall.

Re:Soooo--- they are copying Fat Wallet? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23499916)

No they are copying Jellyfish [jellyfish.com] , a relatively recent Microsoft acqusition, which copied FatWallet. "Jellyfish cashback" is being phased out in favor of "Microsoft Live Search cashback"

Rbate was launched on the same day (1)

Mandrel (765308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500388)

I just launched Rbate [rbate.com] , which also arranges cashback payments, but the product maker can also survey the purchaser and find out and reward the organizations that provided the purchaser with helpful advice.

Product makers can also survey those who bought a competing product, allowing them to find out why they lost those sales. The survey taker also gets paid for these answers.

In addition, consumers are given a search engine [rbate.com] dedicated to purchasing help.

The aim is that money that product makers now spend on advertising instead funds better information for consumers, and better feedback from purchasers to makers.

Sounds familiar... (3, Interesting)

JavaBasedOS (1217930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499548)

Didn't they try this with the Live Search Club [live.com] ?

Following a trend (5, Insightful)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499550)

Sell xboxes at a loss, pay people to search; the next thing you know, they will be paying vendors to put a stripped down version of XP onto mini-notebooks. In Google's case, they could afford to fork over some money to searchers, too. But Linux couldn't compete if it had to pay the vendors. So that's how MS competes with free and/or better stuff, buy them off.

Re:Following a trend (3, Insightful)

wal9001 (1041058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499672)

They should just cut to the chase and pay google to redirect some percent of users to MSN search results.

Re:Following a trend (5, Funny)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499986)

So that's how MS competes with free


Yeah, a few years ago this was only a joke.

"Open Source software doesn't cost anything -- how can you beat that price?"
"Well, we could pay people to use it."
"But then how do you make any money?"
"We make it up in volume!"

Re:Following a trend (4, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500072)

I am actually surprised that Linux machines don't cost more than equivalent Windows machines, for two reasons: Windows machines are often subsidized by software that is added on by the OEM. Additionally, I believe that a machine with a working Linux setup is of more value than a working Windows machine.

Re:Following a trend (1)

BlueStile (1257910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23501048)

This really isn't fair - selling consoles at a loss is a solid and tested business practice for decades. And they aren't paying people to search, their advertisers are.

Product Search (2, Insightful)

Fritzed (634646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499566)

Unless they are implementing a very good product search to compete with Google Shopping, I don't see the appeal and I don't think that product searches drive the general search market.

On top of that, everyone thinks of themselves as "the type of person who doesn't click on ads (well except for that one time)"

This feature is marketed at a group of people who are going to plan at looking at the ads when searching to find out if they can get a deal. I don't think that group of people really exists.

Great (5, Funny)

panaceaa (205396) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499576)

Now there's actually an incentive for Live search to return worthless results! 'Cause if they found anything worthwhile, it costs Microsoft money. Genius!

Things are different than this (4, Interesting)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499596)

Microsoft is still working on a way to take Yahoo! over. Carl Icann is working to replace the Yahoo! board of directors as we speak.

So, assuming that the story is true - how, exactly, does Microsoft propose to pay people for searching / purchasing. Is this "pay" going to come in the mail as a check, or is it going to be a discount on purchases - or is it going to be a promise to pay you somehow sometime in the future?

I'm tempted to say something about "trust" and "Microsoft" here, but am wary of the Microsoft lovers out there just waiting to down-mod this post.

Re:Things are different than this (3, Funny)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499636)

"Microsoft" and "trust"? I thought it was "Microsoft" and "anti-trust".

Re:Things are different than this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23499652)

microsoft lovers? this is like the right wing media myth that reeks around here...

but what can we expect from slashdot? unless you're wearing a t-shirt that says 'micro$oft is teh gay!!!1111!!oneone' with a tux tattoo and taken a vowel of poverty as an it professional you get labeled as a shill and a fucktard. fuck that. it's the most fucked up form of zealotry that i've ever seen.

Re:Things are different than this (4, Funny)

Eco-Mono (978899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499720)

Which vowel of poverty? There are two (three if you count the 'y'.)

Re:Things are different than this (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499788)

but what can we expect from slashdot? unless you're wearing a t-shirt that says 'micro$oft is teh gay!!!1111!!oneone' with a tux tattoo and taken a vowel of poverty as an it professional you get labeled as a shill and a fucktard. fuck that. it's the most fucked up form of zealotry that i've ever seen.
Which vowel of poverty? There are two (three if you count the 'y'.)

Of course it's the "Y!" Google and Microsoft both have more money than God.

please cut the crap (-1, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500010)

there has been 2 instances of ms fanboi modding of posts up to the point you have posted yours. are you posting without reading the goddamn threads ?

Re:Things are different than this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23500508)

I make six figures writing open-source software for Linux while all the worthless Windows developers (like you), fight over the 50k jobs.

It pays to be a zealot!

Re:Things are different than this (1)

sir fer (1232128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500824)

but what can we expect from slashdot? unless you're wearing a t-shirt that says 'micro$oft is teh gay!!!1111!!oneone' with a tux tattoo and taken a vowel of poverty as an it professional you get labeled as a shill and a fucktard. fuck that. it's the most fucked up form of zealotry that i've ever seen.
well it was until you submitted this post....pot...kettle...black?

Re:Things are different than this (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499714)

Hmmmm. Seems i confused Murdoch with Carl Icann... but, apparently...

Re:Things are different than this (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499978)

RTFA. Your question about hoe Microsoft is paying people is answered there. (Hint: one method is via a company eBay bought a few years ago.)

How much MSFT cash will I get for... (3, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499632)

... buying Yahoo stock?

A linux distribution / service contract?

A copy of OSX on a shiny new MacBookAir?

A throwproof chair?

It's worked so well in the past (5, Funny)

randmcnatt (1236446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499722)

Maybe iwon.com and search.msn.com can battle it out for 2,174th place [alexa.com] .

MOD PARENT UP (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499796)

iwon.com [iwon.com] was the first thing that crossed my mind when I read this.

Most of you aren't really getting the point. (5, Insightful)

BlueStile (1257910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499744)

Out of all the searches that occur, a small handful are the true moneymakers. When you search Google for "British prime ministers" the resulting ads are not very profitable to them. In fact, some searches are so unprofitable and clearly just information seeking, that Google will not even display ads at all.

The important searches are things like "Best Digital Camera," "Kelly Blue Book BMW 325i," "The Da Vinci Code," and so on. These are searches that are very likely to result in a sale.

What MSFT is doing doesn't seem that innovative because it's so obvious - but no one is doing it.

Think of club promotors on sidewalks in NYC or Vegas or whatever. Typical entry is let's say cover of $10. But if you take a stupid little card from someone advertising the club, maybe that gets you free entry. Why? No reason, you aren't special, just you happened to pick up the advertisement. The club is paying the promotor to offer you a discount, so that you eventually buy the real product (drinks at the club, or whatnot).

So if the marginal profit on a $400 digital camera is about (total guess) $150 bucks, and MSFT only demands the advertiser pay a cost per action, then that's $150 dollars of value that can be shared by a) Sony/Canon/whoever, b) Microsoft, and c) the USER!

The point here is that it doesn't even matter if Google offers better search now! Going forward, I'll probably product search/research on Google, but go over to Microsoft to make the all-important final decision (because it's plainly the rational decision - my product WILL be cheaper)!

If people pay attention, instead of throwing it out the window, this could be a gamechanger - it isn't the same as BigWallet, which essentially just shared the already offered referral deals with you (half a percent of the sale, usually). This could be a significant deal for everyone involved. Cost per action payment is the key.

Re:Most of you aren't really getting the point. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499886)

poster is right - if i can buy something buy something $5 cheap by doing the search on MSN, i'm going to. google's search results aren't that great anymore anyway. everything is spammed to all hell with blogs and ranking sites.

no poster isnt right (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500038)

5 bucks over 100 bucks is not going to make me take any hassles of doing a msn search for example. i readily donate that amount to open source projects from time to time for example, even though im not making big bucks yet.

Re:Most of you aren't really getting the point. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23499966)

You are so naive that it isn't even funny. This sort of thing have been tried, and the crux of the issue are:

1) How can ms control that there really was a sale or not ?

=> by only using a few trusted merchants

2) How can ms control that those merchant have low price and won't just jack the price up to keep their margin the same ?

=> they can't because they cannot get every seller participate in that system due to 1)

So, you'll end up with overpriced stuff on msn search, with little choice (because you will only have big merchant). Merchant will even prefer leads coming from google, as it will give them bigger margins...

Re:Most of you aren't really getting the point. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500026)

not too bright are you. MS doesn't have to offer discounts on EVERYTHING, just run promo's where the merchant gets to advertise that item for free if they offer a discount. it's common for shops to offer loss making items to get people in the door, this just extends that model onto the internet.

Re:Most of you aren't really getting the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23501008)

I may no be too bright, but you are totally disconnected from reality. First, what you propose is not the MS plan as described in the article. Second, with a loss making strategy, you get repaid on others purchases done by the customer, so, it doesn't scale very well (ie: you can't make loss on all your items), in particulary on the net where competition is one click away.

All this seems very '99 all over again. I may not be "too bright" as you say, but I've been through that already.

Google print money because merchants competes on adwords auctions (hence google get a continuously growing share of their profits). This works because google have no competition on the user side. MS want to break that by reducing google market share. Generally, they price lower than their competition to kill them, but in google case it doesnt work:
* MS could ask merchant to pay less than google (or nothing), but the user base of MS search is so small that they would still have to buy adwords.
* Unfortunately for MS, google is free for its users, so they have trouble cutting this too.

They are now moving to the obvious (paying to get users), but I doubt it'll do any good. It will cost them money, they will get all the cheap users and shady merchant trying to make a buck on them, but it won't touch google user base, as long as google stay free, easy and relevant.

Re:Most of you aren't really getting the point. (4, Insightful)

aleph42 (1082389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500020)

So if the marginal profit on a $400 digital camera is about (total guess) $150 bucks, and MSFT only demands the advertiser pay a cost per action, then that's $150 dollars of value that can be shared by a) Sony/Canon/whoever, b) Microsoft, and c) the USER!


The point here is that it doesn't even matter if Google offers better search now! Going forward, I'll probably product search/research on Google, but go over to Microsoft to make the all-important final decision (because it's plainly the rational decision - my product WILL be cheaper)!

This probably won't work; the camera would have to be advertised on micorsoft's search for this; and if it is, it will probably be more expensive than from the shop you found from google's search, which already refunds money from google, in the sense that the company didn't pay for that link. Google is effectively refunding 100% of it's margin on that link, since it is not advertisment!

You are confusing search results and advertisments near the search results; microsoft is saying it will offer better advertisments; but no one chooses where to shop, or what newspaper to read, for the advertisments! In that case you would just head to a discount hunting website.

No, you choose your search engine based on the better results, and then, you don't mind that the website profit from the 1% of attention you have to spare to look at an ad. Ads make money when you don't mind to shop without really comparing anything.

it isn't the same as BigWallet, which essentially just shared the already offered referral deals with you (half a percent of the sale, usually).
Who said that this rebate to microsoft's users will be more than half a percent? Did the guys who got paid to surf the internet with extra ads make a lot of money?

Re:Most of you aren't really getting the point. (1)

BlueStile (1257910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23501084)

The prices will not be higher. Examples are these online food ordering websites so popular in colleges, like campusfood.com - the price for using the website is zero, but the restaurants still pay campusfood for the service of directing business - at no cost to users.

In other words, if I call and buy my Lo Mein for 5 bucks, China Cafe gets all 5 in revenues. But if I place the same order via campusfood.com they probably have to pay a few percent to campusfood, and they only get maybe 4.90 in revenue, which is still a large profit to them, because the original margins are well wide enough.

Same thing will happen here.

Re:Most of you aren't really getting the point. (1)

FewClues (724340) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500900)

Out of all the searches that occur, a small handful are the true moneymakers. When you search Google for "British prime ministers" the resulting ads are not very profitable to them. In fact, some searches are so unprofitable and clearly just information seeking, that Google will not even display ads at all.

The important searches are things like "Best Digital Camera," "Kelly Blue Book BMW 325i," "The Da Vinci Code," and so on. These are searches that are very likely to result in a sale.

What MSFT is doing doesn't seem that innovative because it's so obvious - but no one is doing it.

Think of club promotors on sidewalks in NYC or Vegas or whatever. Typical entry is let's say cover of $10. But if you take a stupid little card from someone advertising the club, maybe that gets you free entry. Why? No reason, you aren't special, just you happened to pick up the advertisement. The club is paying the promotor to offer you a discount, so that you eventually buy the real product (drinks at the club, or whatnot).

So if the marginal profit on a $400 digital camera is about (total guess) $150 bucks, and MSFT only demands the advertiser pay a cost per action, then that's $150 dollars of value that can be shared by a) Sony/Canon/whoever, b) Microsoft, and c) the USER!

The point here is that it doesn't even matter if Google offers better search now! Going forward, I'll probably product search/research on Google, but go over to Microsoft to make the all-important final decision (because it's plainly the rational decision - my product WILL be cheaper)!

If people pay attention, instead of throwing it out the window, this could be a gamechanger - it isn't the same as BigWallet, which essentially just shared the already offered referral deals with you (half a percent of the sale, usually). This could be a significant deal for everyone involved. Cost per action payment is the key.

I has to be a nasty job working for Microsoft and responding to all of this stuff on blogs. My first thought was.. yeah they'll give me a discount on a stripped down model of Vista as payment. Its still Microsoft and you still have to count your fingers after a handshake with them.

Let me take a stab at this.... (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499768)

The marketingdroids will call this the ... wait

MicroSoft PayYou! Search Service?

You can't trust this.... (4, Funny)

MLease (652529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499800)

How do they expect me to buy into this, when I've yet to get paid for all those emails I forwarded for Microsoft's testing!

-Mike

Man..... (4, Funny)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499820)

Desperation is a stinky cologne.

why not make a good product and sell it? (4, Insightful)

acvh (120205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499858)

seriously. Microsoft is a software company. What is the reason for their obsession with the search and advertising market? Last time I looked they are making money. Is it just because they want to take revenue away from Google?

I know, corporations exist to make money. But they don't have to go so far from their core competency (spare us the snarky comments) to do it. My heating oil provider doesn't have an internet search engine. My insurance company isn't creating web 2.0 video applications. Stick with what you're good at.

Re:why not make a good product and sell it? (5, Funny)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500016)

Stick with what you're good at.

There's not much money in chair-throwing these days.

Re:why not make a good product and sell it? (1)

sir fer (1232128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23501140)

and boggy, bloated cruftware is teh suxorz, even if it is what you're best at

Re:why not make a good product and sell it? (3, Funny)

Tangamandapiano (1087091) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500104)

Stick with what you're good at.
What?

reason is simple - ages old filthy play (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500120)

(im not a fanboi of anything. neither i am socialist. - im at times conservative even - )

microsoft is in bed with the big buck corps. those big buck corps, who are also generally business partners of microsoft, do not like what companies like google, yahoo and the others are representing - the new, more liberal trends that give more freedom to both customers and entrepreneurs. they dont like what they cant control.

everything was ship shape in the world up until internet revolution. there hasnt been any means for many 'small' people to hit it big, make big bucks and become a problem because they havent passed through the hallways of power (starts from your local chamber of commerce) to be approved and made a part of the existing machine. people started just setting up some websites with some bright ideas and voila - instant insane $$$. so fast that the machine havent found the time to assimilate those upstarts before the upstarts had made big buck to the level that they were impossible to assimilate.

google is one example. it was a nuisance at the start, then it became so effective and far reaching that establishment got really annoyed with it. what to do ? enter microsoft.

a company, irrationally, totally absurdly, defying all teachings of economics and business management, jumps into an area that it is weak, unestablished, and stubbornly tries to make progress in that area AT THE EXPENSE OF ITS CORE business. which is, software, windows.

how can this happen ? are gates, balmer, and others total idiots ?

hell no. if they were, there wouldnt be a microsoft in the first place. so what is the reason ?

they have been TOLD to do it, pressurized to doing it by the establishment that they have been members of, long before. you know, old boys alliance. you grease my back i grease yours. i cut a deal for you you cut a deal for me. i donate to your pretty little charity you do something for me and so on. even fanbois here cant deny that microsoft is much entangled with the old style, monolithic, dinosaur big buck corporations.

so they are told to fight google. because the establishment hasnt been able to contain it. because google basically controls efficient access to information. and google has been non compliant with the usual workings of the machine too, for example the censorship, control of information etc is way below the level establishment would like to have, on any google service. they are, therefore a detriment to the control.

whoooopssssss. in comes the 'bright boyz of the old boyz club' - microsoft. they start fighting google. they neglect their core product, software, and even their other well performing products (even hardware, peripherals), but stubbornly fight in a field that has become SO identified with the name of their competitor that, it looks surreal. people say 'google' it, not 'search' it. even 60 year old people say that. they know google. 'microsoft has a search engine ? how about that ?'

so is the state of things. bad for microsoft shareholders, bad for microsoft, for they are being a mere tool at the hands of the establishment, bad for internet community, who is basically 'the people', 'us, all, everyone', because old establishment is still refusing to die and give way to the new, and hacking back at us again and again, this time using some company of the new tech age.

how will this work out ? microsoft will lose. because it is evident that some party is backing google. its definitely not the big buck corps, for there is none affiliated with google, not any celebrity names with huge wealth, but some very strong financial source. reason ? hell, if they didnt have such a good backing, they would have been eliminated, 'handled' in some way LOOOOONG ago. the financial power of the establishment is big. just check the top 100 financial entity list, you will find many companies, ahead of many countries there. but it didnt happen. my bet is, some financial source in europe is supporting them, and deterring any hostile financial moves against them.

good for us.

Re:why not make a good product and sell it? (1)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500672)

It's not that they are trying to get the advertising money. It's that they don't like the directions google is moving in. Google Docs is a threat to both their Office revenues and their OS revenues (if an app is web based you don't need to use one operating system over another.)

Re:why not make a good product and sell it? (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500904)

Ask Google the same question. They started out saying they were just going to do search. Now it's all about empire building -- wanting to host all the information themselves (hey great, they want all my email, search data, and now health information too), hiring like mad top talent without any particular direction in mind, buying companies at crazy prices left and right. Competing against companies like eBay/PayPal. The list goes on and on. Google is the new Microsoft.

When you have $30 billion in the bank (3, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500960)

... you can afford to do two, nay, three things at once!

Seriously though -- Microsoft is close to saturation of their two big moneymakers, Windows and Office, throughout the Western world. They can continue milking them for years via the upgrade cycle and expanding the share elsewhere, and they will, but just doing that doesn't put up the big numbers. So they're going to constantly try going after new markets and, eventually they think, they're going to succeed big in one. Like, "What do you mean Apple Computers makes MP3 players?! They're a computer company!" big.

And then they're going to take that success and do exactly what Apple did with the iPod -- tie it straight back into The Empire, and make megabucks. iTunes is already just a marketing expense to sell iPods and iPods are eventually going to be just a PR campaign to sell Macs which happens to generate a few dollars on the side.

And if this idea, or the XBox, or MSN, or the Zune, or that new touch screen table, or a thousand ideas fail -- so what? They've got $30 billion in the bank, patience, and a certain bit of maniacal efficiency in their favor. Sooner or later, they'll find their iPod.

I'm reminded of something Amazon did... (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499866)

...If I remember correctly, didn't Amazon do something where if you searched enough times per week on a partner search engine, you'd get a certain percent off anything you bought on Amazon?

Re:I'm reminded of something Amazon did... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23499874)

Yes, if you used Alexa or something, you got a half-pi discount.

Re:I'm reminded of something Amazon did... (3, Funny)

zienth (890583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500126)

Yes, if you used Alexa or something, you got a half-pi discount.
You got a 1.5707963267949... discount?

Re:I'm reminded of something Amazon did... (2, Informative)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500060)

Yes, but it wasn't a partner search engine. They were using their online store to leverage their own search engine, a9.com.

microsoft's real solution to its search blues: (1, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499892)

allow google to buy THEM

Re:microsoft's real solution to its search blues: (3, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500034)

Only ~$90 billion in market cap to go. Of course, Microsoft has just over 3x Google's $18 billion in revenue, so buying Microsoft would destroy the current price multiple on shares of Google.

Re:microsoft's real solution to its search blues: (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500148)

It might be a bad deal for Google though... MS is like the Titanic, big, and seemingly strong, however while the band is still playing it is sinking. MS has lost most if not all respect in the "real" IT world (AKA those of us who are not coding in Visual Basic) for a company that can innovate or produce stable products. Google on the other hand is going steadily up, and spending too much money to buy MS is just a bad idea, they might make some quick cash out of it, but other then that MS is a sinking ship.

PLEASE READ! IT WAS ON 60 MINUTES!!! (0, Offtopic)

Norwell Bob (982405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23499896)

Anybody still getting that hoax email that claims that MS will pay you for every person you forward it to, and everybody they forward it to, etc etc? Funny, first time I got that hoax was at least 10 years ago, probably longer. I still get it from time to time. Now in light of this new development, I'm thinking maybe I should have forwarded it after all...

unprecedented evile never sleeps (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23500022)

fuddles is just a bit player in the debacles we're looking at. see you on the other side of it? let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', which is causing from annoying to disastrous outcomes, as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Firefox plugin on the way... (5, Funny)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500054)

I wonder, how long till someone writes a Firefox plugin that alters Google search results to make clicks appear as if they are from Microsoft's search - that way users can use the better search engine and still cash in.

Re:Firefox plugin on the way... (1)

FewClues (724340) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500946)

You've established your price - but no matter - I wouldn't care to have some vendor believe I was coming from Microsoft - it might tempt him to cheat.

Jellyfish (4, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500058)

Microsoft bought Jellyfish, and this is exactly the sort of thing Jellyfish does - but I can't see how this will help Microsoft's search efforts at all. I have a Jellyfish account; but the only time I go there is when I'm looking for the best deal on something I'd already decided to buy. If I want to search for something, I use the engine that gives me the best results - and that's Google. I'm not going to switch search engines just because MS (or anyone for that matter) says "hey, use our search - and if you click on one of the ads that comes up, and buy something, we'll give you a small amount of money!"

Re:Jellyfish (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23500200)

I was actually thinking that this is exactly the reason MS bought Jellyfish in the first place. Once the sale was final, things started to change at JF, and not for the better. For example, everyone with a JF account who wants to even look at their past cash back history or buy anything to receive cash back has to sign up for a Live account.

So, yes, that's exactly what this is - MS buying a company, using their process to their own ends, then never mentioning that the Live "cashback" will most likely be possible because of the JF acquisition.

Sigh.

A hard sell (1)

Papabravo (1278230) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500102)

I think persuading me to use an inferior search tool with results that reflect a hidden agenda would be a hard sell. Still there may be noobs out there that are still clueless enough to use them. If they have a positive experience, they will /. the search terms and bring Mr. Softie's servers to their knees. Of course we all know that those servers will not stop there, but continue to a fiully supine position.

But... (1)

felipekk (1007591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500138)

But, does it work with Google Checkout?

Damn (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23500414)

"It will only be open to people living in the US."

This means that I can't hire someone in the Soviet Union to _actually_ do the work for me, making purchases for which I'd fleece M$ for the cashback, only to return the goods a few days later at the original price.

Damn, damn, damn

Objective (3, Insightful)

mqduck (232646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500658)

Back in the last related story, lots of people were asking what kind of capital (in not so many words) Microsoft would gain by purchasing Yahoo or a part of it. This story should remind those people of the answer to their question.

Microsoft is not thinking about income in any sort of immediate sense. Microsoft, from the very beginning, has made sure to have a central presence in whatever the center of PC technology is at any given time. This is a continuation of what Microsoft has done/been since it's origin, not a case of looking for immediate revenue.

desperation is never pretty (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500668)

really, this has to be one of the more pathetic attempts to get internet attention, ever

Living outside USA (2, Interesting)

NewsWatcher (450241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500780)

It says in the article this cash back will only be for people in the USA. It is a shame.
If I (in New Zealand) wanted to buy say, an iPod, I could be convinced to click on a Microsoft-affiliated retailer if I thought I would get a decent discount, considering they cost roughly the same everywhere.
But how would Microsoft know I am living overseas, if I just use a Paypal account? Can anyone think of how I could circumvent this ban?

Click monkeys (1)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500784)

Actually, pay per purchase would go a long way to solving the problem with click monkeys. Google should look into it.

or pay me to save your company (0)

ramul (1103299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23500878)

why is MS so stupid? its blindingly obvious that the reason people use google is because its not a convoluted piece of crap (eg. every other search engine). Its a clean interface with developmental emphasis on the search algorithm. JUST COPY GOOGLE and make an MS version. or better yet, apply the same principle to...an operating system.

Don't Count On Getting Paid Soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23500914)

I'm still waiting for Bill Gates to send me $1000 for helping Microsoft with that email testing they did a while back.

Google Checkout anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23501106)

I thought that the big fuss about Google Checkout was precisely to eventually allow pay-per-purchase (hidden somewhere in the Q&A here, where Schmidt is asked "why not just paypal?": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8bPOcPRLnU). How is Microsoft doing this and how is it different? BTW, I already get some cashback for that too...

Google Checkout anyone? (1)

Iluvatar (89773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23501114)

I thought that the big fuss about Google Checkout was precisely to eventually allow pay-per-purchase (hidden somewhere in the Q&A here [youtube.com] , where Schmidt is asked "why not just paypal?"). How is Microsoft doing this and how is it different? BTW, I already get some cashback from Google Checkout too...
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