Perhaps coming off the heels of their failed attempt to purchase Yahoo!, Microsoft has decided to pay users to use their search engine. This payment comes in the forms of rebates when you link-through from their live-search site. Apparently there are hundreds of retailers signed up for this service, including most of the "major" ones.
Not only does this smack of desperation to me, I don't really see how it could work. Sure there may be an initial increase in users using their search, but will that really pay off in the long run? What about once the rebates go away or become insignificant. Not to mention the fact that if some how the idea becomes successful, can't Google just copy it?
I'm going to take full advantage of the generosity of Microsoft since it's available though. I'll continue to use google as my main search engine and just link through to a product on live search (or maybe even paste in the url?) if I plan on buying something to get my rebate.
You need a windows live account to sign up and have to accumulate at least $5 in your account before you can get the cold hard cash. As well due to return scams, you'll have to wait a good 60 days before the transaction is posted to your account.