Microsoft hits out at Google with new "Scroogled" ad

Microsoft have restarted their "Scroogled" campaign, hitting out at Google for sharing personal information of Play Store customers. Every time a user purchases an application from the Play Store, which runs on Android, Google shares the personal information about them with the app's developer, according to Microsoft. Previously, Microsoft have attacked Google for scanning Gmail email content to target adverts, as well as Google's introduction of a policy that requires traders to pay to appear in Google's Shopping services. Greg Sullivan, Microsoft's senior manager for Windows Phone, told the Associated Press: "We think we have a better alternative that doesn't do these kinds of nefarious things," referring to Google's practises. And Sullivan isn't alone. DuckDuckGo founder, Gabriel Weinberg, told Neowin that there is a "natural conflict" between Google's business practices and user privacy. 

Microsoft's new advertising push could backfire, however. While the ads paint Google in a negative light, many won't be tempted to switch because they feel Bing doesn't offer the same quality of results as Google. PageRank, which powers Google, has taken years to perfect and delivers the best results on the web, one of the reasons users keep returning. "It's always the underdog that does negative advertising like this, and there is no doubt that Microsoft is now the underdog," said Jonathan Weber, a consultant at the search firm LunaMetrics. Google has recently been hit with a series of damaging PR nightmares, including a $7 million fine for Street View "snooping," but has not lost any ground in the search engine marketshare stakes.  

Microsoft's ads echo the concerns of key watchdogs, who say that Google has a monopoly on search which enables them to act in bad faith, such as ranking their own services above others. Consumer Watchdogs have raised concerns with the FTC about Google's "egregious privacy violation." Google says that sharing sensitive information with app developers "improves" the service. Microsoft claim that they have a better service, and don't share private information. Michael Cusumano, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of several books about Microsoft, claims that Google is the "biggest challenge that Microsoft has ever had to deal with." Microsoft's Internet divisions have lost over $17.5 billion since 2004, including some $6 billion for aQuantive, an online accounting firm that forced Microsoft into it's first ever loss. 

The market capitalisation's of both companies reflect the relative success. Google has risen from a small post-IPO cap of $25 billion to over $255 billion, while Microsoft has dropped from $300 billion to $239 billion. 

The "Scroogled" campaign is costing Microsoft millions of dollars, (Microsoft wouldn't supply a figure, but did say the cost would run into the "multimillions.") and isn't endearing them to anyone at Google. According to Microsoft, 117,000 people have signed their e-petition protesting at Google for scanning email content to target ads. However, when that figure is compared to the total 425 million Gmail users, it does pale in comparison. Over 4 million people have visited Scroogled.com, according to Microsoft. According to Alexa, Scroogled.com is receiving around 5,600 daily visitors. 

Microsoft "have been playing dirty for a long time. In this instance, they probably sincerely believe this can give them a little marketing edge and help them capitalize on the growing discomfort with the size and influence of Google," said Cusumano. "Nothing is below Microsoft." 

Microsoft's latest advert is below: 

Source: Scroogled, Yahoo | Image via Zeta.net

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46 Comments

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Microsoft is really starting to annoy me with these type of ads. Bing sucks, I've tried to use it, just never compared to Google results. I tried to use Outlook, and while the interface is nice, it's boring and its spam filters are crap compared to Google.

Put out better products before you bash the competition. Period.

Microsoft is desperate and apparently these Scroogled ads are not working...just like their smoked by WP campaign didnt work. For me, and a lot of others I know, we steer clear of products that do more bad mouthing/competition bashing than actually telling what the product is about.

Have a better product? PROVE it and SHOW the consumers that is is better. not that the competition sucks or is allegedly doing something.

techbeck said,

Have a better product? PROVE it and SHOW the consumers that is is better. not that the competition sucks or is allegedly doing something.

It could be ok to bash competition, if you have something better to offer.
I'm thinking it's Microsoft that would suffer the most from that "scroogle" campaign.

Quikboy said,
Smoked by WP is showing their phones can be better than the competition, right?

Posting to Facebook faster does not impress me.

Love these campaigns. Mostly because it shows how desperate Microsoft has become. Google has become a huge competitor for Microsoft. They can't stop Google's growth.

Microsoft reminds me of a tiny dog barking loud. The big dog doesn't have to bark at all. It just looks at it and the tiny dog is put in its place.

So if I purchase an app on the Windows Store my Information is not shared? That means I can use a fake credit card right?

Generally i dont like these kind of ads. But what google is doing is a monopoly in web and mobile devices. Apple is the only google's competitor. Look what google have done to apple. Lots of campaigns against apple. Then pulled off its maps application and made apple be embarrassed. I am not in talking on behalf of any company. I use most of google services and devices but fair is fair. Cunsumers should have choice and their privacy should be respected by all means.

lol you honestly think Microsoft are squeaky clean? both are as bad as each other... and this is coming from someone who uses services from the both.

None of the big companies are innocent these days.

microsoft is so desperate and cant compete!! I use to hate apple for I am PC,I am mac ad.
now i started hating microsoft for these cheap tricks. make your product better and compete.
never buying a microsoft products again ever.

astalvfnw said,
microsoft is so desperate and cant compete!! I use to hate apple for I am PC,I am mac ad.
now i started hating microsoft for these cheap tricks. make your product better and compete.
never buying a microsoft products again ever.

By the sounds of your previous illiterate and illfounded statement you have a blind hate towards them and never did by a Microsoft product. It is my regret to however inform you that just about every technology in the 21st century is in someway influenced by developments that have come out of Microsoft research. Your smartphone, your computer your internet even- wait for it, the ability to comment on articles like this with a keyboard.

ingramator said,

By the sounds of your previous illiterate and illfounded statement you have a blind hate towards them and never did by a Microsoft product. It is my regret to however inform you that just about every technology in the 21st century is in someway influenced by developments that have come out of Microsoft research. Your smartphone, your computer your internet even- wait for it, the ability to comment on articles like this with a keyboard.


true, i have a hate for MS but I was a very big fan of MS few years ago. thanks to all these campaigns and fanboys like you I am buying a macbook and wont buy any Microsoft product ever. so this campaign is a failure to me.

Well, when they that Google is the "biggest challenge that Microsoft has ever had to deal with"; it's inaccurate. Microsoft, would one day disappear, because of Google.
----> Put an evil laugh here. <------
Scroogled is Microsoft !

theyarecomingforyou said,
When you can't compete on merit you have to resort to attack campaigns like this.

Apple, Google, and others can't compete? They have all had attack ads. But I guess it is only Microsoft that is unable to compete.

SoylentG said,

Apple, Google, and others can't compete? They have all had attack ads. But I guess it is only Microsoft that is unable to compete.

Correct, people ate stuff like this up in the past when it went against MS. Not a fan of this kind of advertising but almost everyone does it.

SoylentG said,
Apple, Google, and others can't compete? They have all had attack ads. But I guess it is only Microsoft that is unable to compete.

And those companies were just a guilty when they engaged in that behaviour. It just happens that Microsoft is the one pushing attack ads at the moment.

SoylentG said,
Apple, Google, and others can't compete? They have all had attack ads. But I guess it is only Microsoft that is unable to compete.

Well, considering their complaints to the EU regarding Android...

dead.cell said,

Well, considering their complaints to the EU regarding Android...

Well, considering their [Google] complaints to the EU regarding IE...

theyarecomingforyou said,
When you can't compete on merit you have to resort to attack campaigns that will be shown on the CW network during Vampire Diaries.

Fixed it for you.

SoylentG said,

Well, considering their [Google] complaints to the EU regarding IE...


That Microsoft didn't fight and just broke out the checkbook and asked the EU "How much?" "Please don't cash it until Tuesday."

I don't see the big deal...

To be honest, this is actually a policy I like, as an app developer. I have used Windows Phone's dev center (the only platform I have developed for in mobile so far) and not having this information is frustrating really. You have no way of verifying that an incoming support request is from a paid customer or any way to allow the user to buy your app on mobile and get access to extras online via a unified account.

Just like when I buy something on Amazon marketplace... Amazon doesn't tell me that the third party seller will get my name and address (and other details) as it is expected that they would get some of my details since I chose to do business with them.

I'm a privacy hawk, but I think this is reaching by Microsoft. Reaching hard.

You are a privacy hawk, but you are happy that user's private information is shared with you, Amazon selling your information is fine, and you put your picture as your avatar for all to see?

Did somebody forget to tell me today opposite day?

SoylentG said,
You are a privacy hawk, but you are happy that user's private information is shared with you, Amazon selling your information is fine, and you put your picture as your avatar for all to see?

Did somebody forget to tell me today opposite day?

I chose to share what I want to share, but I don't share anything I don't prefer to share. As a result I don't have legions of my data freely posted on the Internet. I run my own Exchange server because I don't want anyone snooping around my email. So, I'm a privacy hawk and I decide what I do and don't want to share.

That being said, I don't see a problem with the person I'm purchasing something from to be given my Name, Email Address, and City. I expect that when I purchase something this information is given...

Amazon isn't selling it... The person needs the information to know where to ship the thing I just purchased! This is also true for eBay purchases that may come from some random shop in China that I have purchased. If they didn't get that information they wouldn't be shipping me my package... The app developer can use my name and email address to offer me a decent support experience, among other things.

Some data, yes, a company needs it. How could Amazon send you a package if you did not give them your address. However, there are much smarter ways of doing this than Google forking over your private data to devs. Compute a one way hash over your email instead of giving them your email. It is unique (or at least relatively close to it), keeps the user's data private, and keeps your information out of devs hands. I can understand metrics, however giving a developer your email, name, address, phone, etc. simply because you bought an app from the Play store, is not being a privacy hawk. It is giving your information out that can be used against you. Imaging you bought "Big Bouncing Babes" from the Play store, your email is sent to you, and now the company can tell the world about what you did. OK, maybe not a big embarrassment, but I would prefer that people did not know that.

A big deal being made over very little. Prior to the uptake of OpenAuth you had to give your email address to every website you signed up to (and this wasn't more than a couple of years ago). For each and every one of us our email address is shared with far more people that we can remember. It just isn't that big of a deal...

Hell... Today if someone cared to steal people's information it is probably far far easier to just use Facebook. People are quick to accept any friend request they get and they litter that place with their Name, Full Address, Phone Number, Birth Date, Friends, Parents, Siblings, etc...

Google is better than Bing (in my opinion) and some hostile attack ad isn't going to convince me otherwise. I did MS's blind search engine game thing and I picked Google for every single choice, so that's all the confirmation I need.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Google is better than Bing (in my opinion) and some hostile attack ad isn't going to convince me otherwise. I did MS's blind search engine game thing and I picked Google for every single choice, so that's all the confirmation I need.

While I do prefer Google's search results mostly, I have started to check bing just because the results *are* different between the two engines.

I used to use Dogpile for the longest time until it got ad crazy. So I moved to google since their results were generally what I was clicking on most of the time.

However, I have noticed google's results aren't as sharp as they once were, and they've started to do thing that really annoy the heck out of me. Like when they include keywords that they think might help my search, even when I try to NOT -allow them. And then, the general results are aimed more at shopping then providing results I'm interested in.

Bing is no better either, that's been squarely aimed at providing shopping results since day one but at least the result's page doesn't look like a domain holding advert anymore.

Don't get sucked into brand pride, use both google and bing to your advantage.

sagum said,

While I do prefer Google's search results mostly, I have started to check bing just because the results *are* different between the two engines.

I used to use Dogpile for the longest time until it got ad crazy. So I moved to google since their results were generally what I was clicking on most of the time.

However, I have noticed google's results aren't as sharp as they once were, and they've started to do thing that really annoy the heck out of me. Like when they include keywords that they think might help my search, even when I try to NOT -allow them. And then, the general results are aimed more at shopping then providing results I'm interested in.

Bing is no better either, that's been squarely aimed at providing shopping results since day one but at least the result's page doesn't look like a domain holding advert anymore.

Don't get sucked into brand pride, use both google and bing to your advantage.


Im generally getting tired of search engines. I think we're back where we where in the 90s. A stale progress. Where the SEOing of every website is making it impossible to find what you're looking for if you are not looking for shallow links... Or end up writing so much, why search it when its faster to type it out.
Trying to find articles older then a few weeks is next to impossible it seems. And often the words you use trigger so incredibly much websites... no point in going through dozens of pages.... Same as it was with old AltaVista, yahoo, ilse etc. Where searching just became a new way of wasting time.

Bing is barely targeted in Europe for SEO, and for that reason I often pick it. Because its results aren't cluttered with softpedia... or the other dozens of websites that do nothing but indexing or collecting their data from other websites and spam their own.

erikpienk said,
hate so much google, the greedy and dishonest company that fools most people...

dont be a fool. do you think MS is doing this for non profit?
they are trying to make out of you! in your term greedy

astalvfnw said,

dont be a fool. do you think MS is doing this for non profit?
they are trying to make out of you! in your term greedy

So what, MS does allot for money. But Microsoft gives us back ALLOT more for it too.
Microsoft at least has a commitment to improve our lives, to improve our futures.. Developing the next thing. Yes they do wrong to, but personally I think its not as bad, as they make up for it by spending billions on their research department. And often the things they research, are free to use for anyone. They actually keep raising the bar.

Google once was like this, many many years ago. But currently.. they aint.

The best thing they can come up with nowadays is glasses. Which have been around for years. I remember companies working on augmented reality glasses in the 80s and 90s. Its nothing new. What else have they been doing in recent years?
They gave us a (at the time) great search engine, opening the world to us with Maps/Earth, raising the bar for webmail with Gmail... But that Google seems to be long gone. And the sooner people realize current Google is nothing more then a capitalistic dog, the sooner Google might go back to its roots.

Shadowzz said,

So what, MS does allot for money. But Microsoft gives us back ALLOT more for it too.
Microsoft at least has a commitment to improve our lives, to improve our futures.. Developing the next thing. Yes they do wrong to, but personally I think its not as bad, as they make up for it by spending billions on their research department. And often the things they research, are free to use for anyone. They actually keep raising the bar.

Google once was like this, many many years ago. But currently.. they aint.

The best thing they can come up with nowadays is glasses. Which have been around for years. I remember companies working on augmented reality glasses in the 80s and 90s. Its nothing new. What else have they been doing in recent years?
They gave us a (at the time) great search engine, opening the world to us with Maps/Earth, raising the bar for webmail with Gmail... But that Google seems to be long gone. And the sooner people realize current Google is nothing more then a capitalistic dog, the sooner Google might go back to its roots.


"Microsoft at least has a commitment to improve our lives" laughable. they started doing it after apple and google innovated and improved. they are merely copying to catch back. you are a MS fanboy and to you it will look like MS is the ony one improving lives. to me apple and google improve lives. microsft has fallen short and since they dont want to lose money they are just being desperate.

Lol Apple? Google? improving lives?.....
they just want to make the next best seller, witch is ok, but that is it, they dont help research in huge projects to help te world in the next years to come, Google has projects but for money making, MS also have projects for money making BUT also projects to embrace education with academy's around the world in universities, projects to give away for free, implement technologies to help cure diseases, ETC...
and you are saying Google and Apple are better, they do nothing even close on what MS do for the word

MS i know makes mistakes, but google and apple are the worse companies around these days, so greedy, just interested in money and things that will make them money, but where is some sort of help to make a better world for tomorrow?
Apple just forget it they wont do anything, and google deceive people by saying their software is free, but underneath all of that is the software that make google more money, they only make research if it will give them profit someday, MS also do this but algo have projects that are there to embrace investigation, curing diseases, and investing infrastructure in Africa for a more technological advance in those regions.

erikpienk said,
Lol Apple? Google? improving lives?.....
they just want to make the next best seller, witch is ok, but that is it, they dont help research in huge projects to help te world in the next years to come, Google has projects but for money making, MS also have projects for money making BUT also projects to embrace education with academy's around the world in universities, projects to give away for free, implement technologies to help cure diseases, ETC...
and you are saying Google and Apple are better, they do nothing even close on what MS do for the word

"projects to embrace education with academy's around the world in universities"
ha you think doing that for academy is because of ms's good heart?
they are making people use ms software so that they sell it to them in the future.
students grow in to these software and use them and continue to buy. dont get fooled.

astalvfnw said,

"Microsoft at least has a commitment to improve our lives" laughable. they started doing it after apple and google innovated and improved. they are merely copying to catch back. you are a MS fanboy and to you it will look like MS is the ony one improving lives. to me apple and google improve lives. microsoft has fallen short and since they dont want to lose money they are just being desperate.

You realize you're on a pro Microsoft news site, right? Look to the cookie, Elaine! eh.. I mean, name: neoWIN.

Anyway, Shadowzz is right. MS has innovated through MSR since 1991. They've published countless papers, demos and sources to projects. They've done a lot of "crime fighting" aswell, helping the police developing forensics tools and child porn filters. The researchers there have a genuine wish to help get computing into the future.

Google doesn't to this at all.. in fact, everything they do they buy, copy or steal from other companies. Most of Googles tech, including Docs, Maps, Android, Youtube, Earth, Picasa, etc. are all bought from outside companies (which is fair, of course). They made search and gmail by themselves (and some of G+). Their research is small and quite secret. We've seen the car and the glasses, but not much else.

astalvfnw said,

"Microsoft at least has a commitment to improve our lives" laughable. they started doing it after apple and google innovated and improved. they are merely copying to catch back. you are a MS fanboy and to you it will look like MS is the ony one improving lives. to me apple and google improve lives. microsft has fallen short and since they dont want to lose money they are just being desperate.

After? You have obviously NO clue what Microsoft has been doing in the 80s and 90s. Go educate yourself please before talking out of your ass.

Catch up? Tablets > Microsoft 1991 and even before in their research.
Smartphones... Uhm I forgot, before the iPhone, who dominated the smartphone market? Was it android or Windows Mobile?
Google glass... Uhm how about Augmented Projectors? They are IMO much better and they've been in development for longer. And I cant directly find it, but I'm positive that Microsoft was working on augmented reality glasses in the 90s already.

Uhm... what else is fabulously new and invented in the recent decade and not just a small upgrade for previous tech..... Wait... Nothing really? Damn

I'm not a fanboy mate, I chose the one that provides the best tech and plays the fairest game in the industry. And in no way Microsoft has always played the fairest game, but their tech advancement has been absolutely stunning. Apple and Google cannot reach even close what Microsoft is doing in their Research labs. And for now, Microsoft is playing the friendly tech giant (simply because they cannot afford to be the *sshole in their fight for internet dominance with Google)... I seem to be less of a fanboy and more realistic then you good sir. Nice try though

Edited by ShadowMajestic, Apr 11 2013, 5:17am :