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Microsoft merges product search, Cashback

The software maker combines its Live Search Cashback promotion with its product search, a move it says will simplify things for consumers.

Microsoft said on Wednesday that it has combined its product search engine with its Live Search Cashback, a product that gives users a rebate on certain purchases made directly after using Live Search.

"The new site unifies Live Search Products (the shopping vertical within Live Search) and Cashback to make it easier for you to research, compare products, and save money," Microsoft said in a blog posting.

The move also reflects the fact that on the back end, Microsoft has shifted the underlying engine for Cashback over from technology from its Jellyfish acquisition and onto the primary Live Search platform. The company launched the Cashback effort nearly a year ago in an effort to try and boost its overall slice of the search market as well as within the lucrative commerce segment.

Microsoft's changes to the product search feature come ahead of a broader revamp of Live Search due later this year. Microsoft is currently testing the new search, code-named Kumo, with its own employees. However, as we noted earlier this week, Microsoft still has work to do to grow its search share, even inside its own walls.

Live Search still badly trails both Google and Yahoo in the search market. For March, Microsoft had 10.3 percent of the U.S. search market, according to Nielsen Online, compared with 64.2 percent for Google and 15.8 percent for Yahoo. Also of note, Microsoft's year-over-year search growth was less than 1 percent compared with 16 percent growth for the market as a whole.