Microsoft Bing cashback: 'splendid commercial bribery'

Microsoft Bing's "decision engine" might aspire to higher things than a simple search, but if you buy a product using its search engine -- such as a digital camera or a running shoe -- the company says you'll get some of that money back.CNET Technically Incorrect blogger Chris Matyszczyk calls it a move that's "splendidly commercial bribery.

Microsoft Bing's "decision engine" might aspire to higher things than a simple search, but if you buy a product using its search engine -- such as a digital camera or a running shoe -- the company says you'll get some of that money back.

CNET Technically Incorrect blogger Chris Matyszczyk calls it a move that's "splendidly commercial bribery."

I'd call it taking Google's monetization strategy, fusing it with that of a rewards credit card, and upping the marketing budget by about four times.

Here's the ad:

In a down economy, it's a smart decision (no pun intended) to offer customer rewards for purchases. Since consumer loyalty programs have been proven to be wildly successful, it's expected that Microsoft would start looking to make its users more loyal to Bing -- and less to the Great Google in the sky.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley says "decision engine" was always a euphemism for "shopping engine."

Seems to me that integration like this is just one step of many.