Gmail fingered: gloves off as Microsoft has rival in its sights

News James Stirling Feb 8, 2013
Business boxing gloves
Business boxing gloves

Software giant steps up anti-Google rhetoric with new privacy campaign

Microsoft has launched a new ad campaign, asking users of Google’s cloud email service, Gmail, if they have been ‘scroogled’.

The computing giant spearheaded the campaign in December with a Christmas advert highlighting Google’s practice of prioritising paid-for results over general ones.

Microsoft is now ramping up its anti-Google rhetoric with a new set of videos, which claim the search giant scans the content of Gmail users' emails to generate targeted ads.

The company has also started a petition against Gmail via its Scroogled.com website, calling on Google to stop using information gleaned from private emails in this way.

This is not the first time Gmail has come under fire from Microsoft: the company criticised the same practice back in 2011 and slammed Google Apps last year.

But for round three, the organisation has taken the opportunity to push its newly-rebranded cloud email service Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail) as an alternative.

“Outlook.com believes your privacy is not for sale,” said Stefan Weitz, senior director of online services at Microsoft.

“We believe people should have choice and control over their private email messages, whether they are sharing banking information or pictures of their family or discussing their medical history,” he added.

Microsoft has also launched a Facebook page to support the Scroogled campaign, but the reaction to it has been overwhelmingly negative, with many commenters calling the ads “childish”.

Tags: