Deal-of-day websites are the new social networks. In the past year over 200 websites have popped up offering consumers localized shopping deals at stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and any other place people would like a discount. The most popular of them all, Groupon, is reportedly on track to make $1 billion in sales faster than any other company in history. Suffice to say, it's a ripe market. And that's why Microsoft wants in.

The Redmond, WA.-based company announced yesterday that it's launching a deals service in the U.S. through its Bing search engine. According to the company, the service will provide "more than 200,000 unique offers in over 14,000 cities and towns across the U.S." Instead of starting from scratch, Bing Deals comes as a result of Microsoft's partnership with The Dealmap, a site that culls deals from a number of different sites like Groupon and Living Social.

It's a good time to be a consumer.

[Reuters]