Microsoft forges ahead with its anti-Google Scroogle campaign

Reports that the software giant's persistent assault on Google is winding down aren't correct. "Scroogled will go on as long as Google keeps Scroogling people," Microsoft says.

Microsoft's Scroogle Web site. Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET

Microsoft has confirmed that by no means is it winding down its anti-Google Scroogle campaign. In fact, the company was so pleased with the last two chapters of its crusade that it's gearing up for a third chapter.

"Scroogled will go on as long as Google keeps Scroogling people," a Microsoft spokesperson told CNET.

Microsoft began its Scroogle campaign with the goal of urging users to dump Gmail for its own Outlook.com over privacy concerns. Dubbed "Don't get Scroogled by Gmail," Microsoft addresses the issue that Google scans users' e-mails to determine relevant advertisements to place alongside the messages.

The second phase of its campaign began in late November when Microsoft launched Scroogled.com and took aim at Google Shopping search results, which are paid for by companies. So far, the crux of Scroogle has been negative advertising aimed at revealing Google's alleged lack of privacy concerns.

Other news outlets have reported this week that Microsoft is ending its TV advertising campaign, which the Microsoft spokesperson told CNET is true. However, other aspects of the campaign will continue, such as the Scroogle Web site and online petition. It's not clear what form the next phase of the campaign will take, but Microsoft has confirmed there will be another chapter.

"We know Google doesn't like it when the facts come out," the Microsoft spokesperson told CNET. "Chapter two of the consumer education campaign has shown people care about their privacy. More than 3.5 million people visited Scroogled.com, and nearly 115,000 people signed a petition asking Google to stop going through their Gmail. Stay tuned for the next chapter."

While Microsoft also shows ads with its Outlook service, the tech giant asserts it automatically scans the contents of users' e-mails only to prevent spam, malware, and other unwanted activity.

Google has long maintained that its automated scanning technology does not invade users' privacy.

"Advertising keeps Google and many of the websites and services Google offers free of charge," Google said in a statement last month. "We work hard to make sure that ads are safe, unobtrusive and relevant. No humans read your email or Google account information in order to show you advertisements or related information."

When contacted by CNET, Google declined to comment on the fact that Microsoft is continuing its Scroogle campaign.

 

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