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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: Most people don't know
By majorpain on 2/7/2013 2:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
So MS didn't use MSN or windows live messenger to spy on users and give them those gorgeous adds at the bottom of the contact list? Weird, everytime i visit some kind of ecommerce i get a similar product on the add.
Everybody hates corruption, everybody knows who does it and just can't do or wont do anything about it.
Really don't care if google is using information or not, as i don't care that MS is doing it also. But coming to public with this kind of campaign, is very poor, as is your comment.
I used hotmail.com for more than 14 years, but outlook.com is the worst thing MS did in the last years, and like someone said here, i get inbox spam and phishing everyday, something i really get in spam box with gmail. So, sorry, but i feel safer with gmail, and keep my eyes from bleeding with spam and phishing. outlook.com will be a no go for me, sorry.
P.S.- Information is there, but everyone seems to work hard to hide the things they think it should be underground, MS does it too. No argue there.


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