Find Cool Gifts Galore at the Microsoft Store

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 17, 2009 — With the holiday season under way, time is limited and money is tight. Looking for a cool gift to dazzle that special person on your list? Microsoft has lots of ideas to help you out.

What’s more, you can skip the crowds and lines by shopping online at the Microsoft Store, http://store.microsoft.com/home.aspx, to find the best gift fast. In conjunction with Microsoft’s brick-and-mortar stores, the online store now carries far more than just Microsoft products. You’ll also find an array of software, hardware and accessories from a range of manufacturers, including Xbox games from Activision and Electronic Arts, headphones from Bang & Olufsen and Skullcandy, and a wide selection of computers, laptops, notebooks and netbooks from the likes of Sony, Dell and Acer. See what’s new.

All computers sold at the Microsoft Store are pre-loaded with Microsoft Signature software, so your new system will be ready to go right out of the box. Plus, because most Microsoft software sold in the store can be downloaded directly from the site, there’s no waiting for a shipment to arrive, and no packaging to clog up your local landfill.

Another way to buy online, and find some deals while you’re at it, is through Bing Shopping. More and more people are starting their online shopping process with a search engine. Bing focuses on helping people make decisions, so it makes sense to turn to the site when it’s time for making holiday shopping decisions. The Bing cashback program offers a rebate every time you purchase one of millions of products offered by Microsoft’s partners through Bing. You get back a portion of your purchases — from 5 percent to 35 percent — via PayPal, Amazon payments, check or direct deposit.

Bing recently unveiled improvements to make holiday shopping even easier. For example, customers can now sort search results by user sentiment through the new Opinion Ranking feature, where Bing extracts what customers are saying about products. The new Product xRank feature lists the most popular products by compiling Web searches, product page views and purchases into a ranking formula that lets you easily track what’s hot and what’s not.

From cutting-edge games and accessories to stocking-stuffer hardware and an entertainment-ready laptop, all they’ll want for the holidays is right here in our roundup.