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Microsoft axes Live Search Product Upload

The software maker said the Web tool for retailers, which had been in beta, is redundant with other products.

Microsoft has made the decision to ax Live Search Product Upload, a tool retailers could use to get their products into Microsoft's search database.

"Thank you for your interest in the product upload beta. Regrettably, we are discontinuing this program," Microsoft said in a message posted on the product's Web site. "Merchants located in the United States should consider participating in Live Search Cashback--an advertising program which combines the power of Live Search with a comparison shopping engine to bring consumers some of the best deals on the web."

Microsoft confirmed it is ending the product, which had been in beta testing.

"Results from the beta proved that the service was redundant with our other shopping assets," Microsoft said in a statement. "To improve the performance for merchants, we've combined product search and Cashback and we are decommissioning product upload in favor of the new integrated Cashback shopping experience."

The software maker said that retailers don't have to enroll in the Cashback program to make its product search engine, given that it also crawls the Web. However, it said "we encourage merchants to join Cashback as it enables them to provide a structured feed for their product search listings."

Microsoft announced the move to combine product search and Live Search Cashback last week.