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Microsoft's Scroogled campaign  (Source: CNN)
The campaign tells email users that Google scans all sent and received emails for advertisement keywords

Microsoft is taking a serious jab at Google's Gmail service in a new campaign called "Don't Get Scroogled by Gmail."

Microsoft's "Scroogled" campaign is an effort to draw new customers to its own email service, Outlook -- and plans to do so by informing Internet users nationwide of Gmail's practices.

Microsoft is telling the nation that Google scans each email that is sent and received through the Gmail service for keywords that can help it target users with more accurate advertisements. Microsoft even commissioned a study, conducted by GfK Roper, where 70 percent of users were unaware of Google's email scanning and 88 percent disapproved of it once they knew.

“Emails are personal — and people feel that reading through their emails to sell ads is out of bounds,” said Stefan Weitz, senior director of Online Services at Microsoft. “We honor the privacy of our Outlook.com users, and we are concerned that Google violates that privacy every time an Outlook.com user exchanges messages with someone on Gmail. This campaign is as much about protecting Outlook.com users from Gmail as it is about making sure Gmail users know what Google’s doing.”

Microsoft will spread the news and its new word "Scroogled" all over TV, Internet and print advertisements. It even launched a petition to stop going through user emails for the sake of ad sales, where it has received nearly 600 signatures of the required 25,000 at the time this article was written.

Microsoft was even nice enough to offer a few examples of Google's practices.

"For example, if you write a friend to let her know you are separating from your husband, Google sells ads against this information to divorce lawyers, who post ads alongside it," said Microsoft. "Or if you ask a friend for vacation suggestions, Google uses this information to target you with ads from travel agencies or airlines that want your business."

There has been some tension between the two tech companies, as Microsoft cried "antitrust" over a YouTube snub last month. More specifically, the Redmond, Wash. tech giant was upset that Windows Phone still could not get a full YouTube app while the competition (Android and iOS) were able. It added that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was not doing enough to force Google to conform to antitrust laws (Google got out of a two-year FTC investigation with only a slap on the wrist). 

Also, Google had filed a patent claim with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against Microsoft that would stop the Windows giant from applying video compression technology to the Xbox video game console. While it dropped this patent claim against Microsoft last month, others are still pending. 

You can check out Scroogled here.

Source: Microsoft



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RE: Advertising facts is not smearing...
By GotThumbs on 2/7/2013 1:39:11 PM , Rating: 2
Let's be fair here. Google is not the only company that does this. Facebook is one of the largest collections of marketing pools and its users don't pay one cent to use it. They make their money from marketing. Providing marketing opportunities to is users, is how these companies make money. Personally, I have not given goggle one cent for using their email service.

Your an ignorant twit if you really think you should get these services for free. Now if Google and FB allowed the option to pay a monthly fee to opt out of any/all marketing, then you have your option.

Revenues are what allow a company to pay its employees and buy the hardware to support its service. Revenues are why investors choose to invest in successful companies. Nothing is free people so stop lying to yourselves if you have a problem with companies using you a as a revenue resource. You can stop using their service any time you choose.


RE: Advertising facts is not smearing...
By nikon133 on 2/7/2013 3:33:34 PM , Rating: 2
These companies, yes. But MS is in a bit different business, which is exactly my point.

Microsoft has openly accused Google of scanning emails and using content to target adds. If Microsoft is doing the same, what are the chances Google will not respond and accuse MS for scanning emails - AND hypocrisy?

I'm not aware it happened yet.


RE: Advertising facts is not smearing...
By nafhan on 2/7/2013 4:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
According to this:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/outlook...

MS explicitly states that they do targeted ads in Hotmail (but not their newly rolled out Outlook.com). I would say that's enough to call MS's ad hypocritical. They're essentially saying "Google is bad because they scan your email for keywords! We plan to stop doing that..."

Also, they're scanning your email. They're just not serving you ads based on that scanning. Doing any kind of keyword search in a reasonable amount of time means that an index has been built up by scanning your email.


RE: Advertising facts is not smearing...
By nikon133 on 2/7/2013 6:48:07 PM , Rating: 1
OK.

But upgrade from Hotmail to Outlook is free and really simple, so there is no reason not to upgrade.

Besides, MS is comparing Gmail to Outlook.com in their little assault. Is it completely honest - maybe not, but technically it is correct.

Look, I'm not saying MS is being led by holly forces of heaven, while Google is fronted by Satan himself. Both companies are over there to make money, simple as that. But nature of their core business is why I trust MS more... until proven differently.


By nafhan on 2/7/2013 11:11:02 PM , Rating: 2
The point is that MS is singling out Google for a practice MS is actively doing now, and has been doing for years.

Opt out is good! No argument there.


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