Under the deal, the companies will jointly develop the best integration of Microsoft's Live Search for Facebook. The service is expected to launch by year's end.
As part of its $240 million investment in Facebook last year, Microsoft earned the right to sell the site's U.S. and global display inventory. Having failed to reach a deal on search with Yahoo, Microsoft is even more focused on expanding its reach in that area. Microsoft has less than a 10% share of the search market dominated by Google.
"This deal allows Microsoft to extend its search presence outside of its own proprietary search results page ... a smarter play than bribing them through its cashback program to patronize Live.com, wrote Shar VanBoskirk, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, in a post Thursday on the firm's blog for interactive marketing professionals.
In May, Microsoft said it would offer cash rebates to consumers who buy products while searching on Live.com.--Mark Walsh