Hitwise reports that Microsoft's cash payments are working. The software giant has at least held its ground against Google since launching rebates to shoppers who find and buy something through its product search engine.
ARS Technica notes that Microsoft's success may go beyond its Cashback program. Other data show Microsoft's Live Search gaining worldwide against Yahoo, if not Google. That would suggest it's benefiting from more than just kickbacks:
In recent months, Microsoft has been working particularly hard at tweaking, improving, and adding features to Live Search, so it is quite possible that this increase is simply due to Live Search improving and getting increased news coverage, resulting in more users giving the service a shot.