Microsoft has fired the next salvo in its online strategy, and will effectively "buy" eyeballs for its Microsoft Live search engine through a cashback reward scheme.
Chairman Bill Gates launched the company's "Live Search Cashback" service yesterday at a conference for online advertisers.
People who buy products online, using Microsoft Live search, will be eligible for cash refunds on selected (advertisers') products.
These cashback deal include rebates from 2% to 30% on selected products.
"This is giving you a reason why you should use a particular search engine," says Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.
Customers will have to sign up for a free Windows Live cashback account in order to participate in the programme.
Microsoft will partner with more than 700 retailers.
It will offer advertisers a cost-per-acquisition model of payment, meaning that they only pay for ads that lead to purchases, rather than the current pay-per-click model.
The launch comes in the wake of Microsoft's failed bid to buy Yahoo, although a new deal could be on the table.