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HOWTO get Microsoft to subsidize that netbook purchase you’ve been putting off


Things I learned today:

  • Microsoft is encouraging people to use Live Search by running a generous rebate program. At times (such as this morning when I bought an MSI Wind), the rebate can reach 30% or higher.
  • eBay sellers techtreasure and multiwavevideo are also known as, a reputable seller of computers, such as the MSI Wind I bought from them this morning.

To be clear: yes, Microsoft is paying you to search. Here’s how it worked for me this morning:

  1. I started my search at and searched for “cheap” along with some product name; I tried a few variations such as “cheap wii” and “cheap laptop” and both worked. (Nick pointed out in the comments that you should sign into Live before you search; I’d forgotten that I was signed into Live when I started. Thanks, Nick!)
  2. Looked for the link titled “Buy A Cheap Laptop. You may get XX% off with PayPal if eligible.” (This morning, it was 30%. As I type this, it’s 20%)
  3. Searched for the MSI Wind (Buy it Now items only), and purchased it using Paypal.
  4. Made sure that at every step of the way, I saw the icon for “Microsoft cashback” at the top of the screen.

eBay has a page with terms and conditions, and Microsoft has a FAQ about the program. See a list of other stores that participate in this cashback program.

So, how did I make out? I paid $479 for the laptop, and qualified for $144 cash back. On top of that, there’s a $50 manufacturer’s rebate on the MSI Wind, so all told, $285. Get while the getting’s good, and let us know how you fared! eeePC 1000H for $330 shipped with and ebay *EDITED again* 20% off at eBay through MSFT cashback program

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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