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Microsoft calls Google 'Scroogle'

In an outburst of Christmas spirit, Redmond creates a shopping Web site that paints Google -- and its search results -- in a very unfestive light.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's hard not to associate Christmas with Bing.

However, Bing would like you to associate Christmas with Scrooge. The Scrooge that is Google.

The Bing I refer to is not the deceased Crosby with whom Christmas is synonymous, but Microsoft's fine and slightly underused search engine.

The Bingers would like you to know that Google is, in fact, Scroogle. How so? Well, according to Microsoft, "all of their shopping results are now paid ads."

At least, that's what the Bingers bong on a new site called Scroogled.com.

The site declares: "Google Shopping is nothing more than a list of targeted ads that unsuspecting customers assume are search results."

A little video (embedded here) explains that the meaning Google attaches to the word "relevance" is "how much they're getting paid."

By contrast, Bing offers you "an honest search."

Bing, you see, isn't into money or fame. It simple wants your trust. It wants to be the good guy. On the Bing blog today, Redmond takes a point-blank shot, comparing its rival's shopping site to "Ebenezer Scrooge met Google Shopping."

This left me to ponder. I am sure that when Microsoft's advisers came up with the name "Scroogle" there were hoots of laughter and fists pumped toward the lampshades.

There is the analogy to being "screwed" and the nod to Dickens' creation, all bundled in one tiny package.

Now I just thought I'd mention this -- for whatever it might be worth -- but didn't Scrooge turn out to be a good guy?