Let us know if you have heard this one before. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) seems to have a little bit of a problem with Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and the way it handles its free e-mail service called Gmail. Microsoft is advocating for users of the service, reaching out to try to educate users about what Google does with the millions of emails that are sent out – and how Google makes money with the information they gather.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is pushing for privacy as part of promoting its Outlook e-mail service, by putting forth the knowledge that Gmail by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is normally scanned for information that becomes targeted advertising. Microsoft is launching this campaign a second ime, called “Don’t Get Scroogled by Gmail” in an attempt to draw some users to switch their -mail address to Outlook, which Microsoft says does not scan messages for advertising purposes.
Late Wednesday, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) revealed some results of a consumer study that suggests that “scanning” that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) does with its e-mail service is not widely known, and is not looked at favorably when it is known. The research revealed that 70 percent of respondents did not know that major free e-mail services scanned their e-mail messages for advertising purposes, but of those who were thus informed, 88 percent did not approve of it. Microsoft brought out a preview of Outlook.com last summer and has been transitioning it to replace the company’s Hotmail e-mail service.
“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,” said Stefan Weitz, Microsoft online services director.
What are Gmail users asked to do as part of this privacy campaign?
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is asking Gmail users to put names on a petition at Scroogled.com, which would demand that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) stop its scanning activities. In an e-mail, Google replied, “No humans read your email or Google Account information in order to show you advertisements or related information. An automated algorithm — similar to that used for features like Priority Inbox or spam filtering — determines which ads are shown.”
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been a vocal opponent of the settlement reached between Google and the Federal Trade Commission regarding Google’s business practices and how it handles its standard-essential patents. Microsoft claims it was a “missed opportunity.”
What do you think of this campaign? Are you a Gmail user, and do you have issues with e-mails being scanned for advertising purposes? Would you consider trying Outlook by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for the sole reason of improved privacy and security? What would it take for you to switch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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