Our friend over at ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley, has pointed out that Microsoft is officially giving up on Bing Cashback. Bing Cashback was an incentive for customers to shop through Microsoft's Bing search engine, as opposed to other sites. When things were purchased through the special program, customers would get money back. This worked similarly to a mail in rebate. Microsoft used this model to get companies to advertise their products with them, as well as attract new customers to Bing.
On the Bing Community Blog, this is what Microsoft had to say:
"Why are we doing this? When we originally began to offer the cashback feature, it was designed to help advertisers reach you with compelling offers, and to provide a new type of shopping experience that would change user behavior and attract a bunch of new users to Bing.
In lots of ways, this was a great feature – we had over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns, and we were taking some of the advertising revenue and giving it back to customers. But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for."
The Cashback program will continue through July 30th at 9 pm EST. After that, customers will have a year to redeem any credits they have accrued. Microsoft remains committed to the Bing search engine, expressing their aim to make it better suited to understand user's needs. Shopping will continue being a central attraction on their site, allowing users to find the products they want with ease.