Bribery, while useful, isn't always an effective means of obtaining a large user base, Microsoft has discovered. Microsoft announced today that it will retire the Bing cashback program because not enough people stuck around after taking advantage of it.
The program did work in some respects, helping Microsoft establish relationships with a lot of different businesses. A post on the Bing Search Blog even stated, "[W]e had over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns . . ."
Yusuf Mehdi, Senior Vice President of the Online Audience Business Group at Microsoft, admitted, though, "But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for."
So the last day individuals will be able to earn cashback by shopping with Bing will be July 30th (at 9:00 PM PST, to be exact). Then users will have one year to claim their cashback sums before the whole program is terminated.
Bargain hunters can't be expected to take this news well. Still, Microsoft fans have reason to be pleased since Mehdi said the company will start to channel its energy (and money) into different and more effective approaches to attracting and retaining users.