Come Get Your Microsoft Kick, er, Cashbacks

Shared ad profits are unlikely to be lucrative enough to attract many shoppers.

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Microsoft said today it will pay cash from its ad revenue to shoppers who find and buy something through its product search engine. But other schemes to pay users from search ad revenue have hardly gone mainstream.

There just isn't enough money involved to be compelling, especially with the hassle of having to register and whatnot. Think coupons, says Henry Blodget in his blog: "Folks who clip coupons in the real world will be very excited about Live Search Cash Back and will likely use it religiously. But there's a reason coupons haven't taken over the world."