Microsoft offers up "GMail Man" video parody

Microsoft has been known to offer up a funny video from time to time to prove a point or just to poke fun at itself. Recently the company held its annual Global Exchange sales conference to help its sales reps sell Microsoft products. One of Microsoft's efforts to help its sales reps at the conference better represent its new cloud based Office 365 software suite is shown above; a sitcom parody that features "GMail Man".

As first revealed by ZDNet, the video shows an actor playing the "GMail Man" as he goes through mail sent by users through Google's GMail service. Microsoft makes the point that GMail can scan a user's email and use certain keywords inside the email message. Then Google creates ad links and shows them to the users based on the keyword scan. The obvious message from Microsoft is that using its new Office 365 service keeps your email from that kind of keyword ad generating activity.

Microsoft officially launched Office 365 a few weeks ago, but just before its launch, Google decided to take some pot shots of its own at the expense of Microsoft's new office software suite. Google listed a number of advantages that its cloud based services have over Microsoft, including being able to be used on any web browser, having just one price point per user versus a number of different prices for Office 365, and more. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft and Google will continue to take shots at each other over their cloud-based systems.

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108 Comments

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Wasn't that funny, and it was cheesy as hell.

BTW, Microsoft have clearly never heard of Adblock Plus. Seeing as it's not available on Internet Explorer, that wouldn't be a surprise but ABP stops those Gmail ads that the video was showing. There's still web clips at the top, but they're not intrusive.

MightyJordan said,
Wasn't that funny, and it was cheesy as hell.

BTW, Microsoft have clearly never heard of Adblock Plus. Seeing as it's not available on Internet Explorer, that wouldn't be a surprise but ABP stops those Gmail ads that the video was showing. There's still web clips at the top, but they're not intrusive.

Whoosh!

Wow I'm amazed at everyone's comments saying this is great. Am I the only person who thinks this lacks class, just like the Mac vs PC campaign by Apple?

Funny. I use Gmail, love it, but this was gold.

Though, yahoo and hotmail do the same exact thing as Gmail... so... iono if they don't realize this, or what? Funny still.

Woman: "This is really actually none of your business."
GmailMan: "My business, your business....it's all business. It's the business of Advertising, personalized for whatever you're Gmailing."
Woman: "Isn't that kind of wrong?"
GmailMain: "Hahahahahahahahahahahah......who cares?"

Classic.

yowan said,
MS is really out of ideas for promoting 365, they just criticize better products

No, they don't. This video criticises a worse product.

yowan said,
MS is really out of ideas for promoting 365, they just criticize better products

better products? and how is that? i guess you have used office 365 to be so sure about "better products" for bussines.

Funny as hell... primetime material for sure...

and to the ppl saying that they use ad-blockers or email clients, so they dont see targeted ads - the main problem with Google sniffing thru your email messages still remains... whether you see ads or not. It might be ok for personal use... but not so much for businesses.


As "The Foreign Guy" from Family Guy once said in an episode:
"Ha ha! It's funny because it's true!"


Also: it's funny how this video remains on YouTube.

This parody almost seems like a political advert. And i really like the finale where they compare a webmail experience to an office experience. I just wanna know how can hotmail have more spam then gmail if it's an address i barely give out to people (i almost never use it to sign up for any crappy newsletter and still get more spam). I wanna know how many times hotmail backs-up as you type the email. I wann know how can hotmail sync (read and unread) mail across any device that has basic mail protocols support (specifically imap).
I wanna know how many of hotmail's users actually know that the live messenger aplication they're to stupid to stop from booting comes with an email attached to it.

LauRoman said,
This parody almost seems like a political advert. And i really like the finale where they compare a webmail experience to an office experience. I just wanna know how can hotmail have more spam then gmail if it's an address i barely give out to people (i almost never use it to sign up for any crappy newsletter and still get more spam). I wanna know how many times hotmail backs-up as you type the email. I wann know how can hotmail sync (read and unread) mail across any device that has basic mail protocols support (specifically imap).
I wanna know how many of hotmail's users actually know that the live messenger aplication they're to stupid to stop from booting comes with an email attached to it.

Hotmail IS NOT Office 360. Hotmail is a free service, 360 is paid for and has a lot more features.

LauRoman said,
This parody almost seems like a political advert. And i really like the finale where they compare a webmail experience to an office experience. I just wanna know how can hotmail have more spam then gmail if it's an address i barely give out to people (i almost never use it to sign up for any crappy newsletter and still get more spam). I wanna know how many times hotmail backs-up as you type the email. I wann know how can hotmail sync (read and unread) mail across any device that has basic mail protocols support (specifically imap).
I wanna know how many of hotmail's users actually know that the live messenger aplication they're to stupid to stop from booting comes with an email attached to it.

You should provide evidence to back up your claim that Hotmail accounts receive more spam than Gmail accounts; I received more spam on my Gmail account than I have received on all of my Hotmail accounts together.

LauRoman said,
This parody almost seems like a political advert. And i really like the finale where they compare a webmail experience to an office experience. I just wanna know how can hotmail have more spam then gmail if it's an address i barely give out to people (i almost never use it to sign up for any crappy newsletter and still get more spam). I wanna know how many times hotmail backs-up as you type the email. I wann know how can hotmail sync (read and unread) mail across any device that has basic mail protocols support (specifically imap).
I wanna know how many of hotmail's users actually know that the live messenger aplication they're to stupid to stop from booting comes with an email attached to it.

right! i got 50spam per day in gmail, and i got now like 1 per months... sure hotmail gets more spam /s.
just because it happens to you, it doesn't mean it happens to everyone, and then i bet you have signed up for those "free xxx videos" maybe? or "chat with beautiful girls from whatever place"? sure you dont have to give it to anyone to get spam that way

At the end of the day Google makes its money from advertisement and the data it gets from its users. "Free" is not free. MS should use this in its advertising campaign. It at least makes its money from Software SALES. Selling Office, Zune Passes, XBox live Passes, Windows licenses, Exchange, SQL, etc. are all profit centers that bring in money so MS doesn't have to peek at personal data and resell it. Its a serious point and any business that is based on GMail and Google Apps should beware. Once you post it to the Google Cloud, you no longer exclusively own it.

kabix said,
MICROSOFT STOP ****ING MAKING VIDEOS AND IMPROVE PRODUCTS!!!!

FYI, the people that make these videos are not the same guys that "improve their products"...just sayin'....

kabix said,
MICROSOFT STOP ****ING MAKING VIDEOS AND IMPROVE PRODUCTS!!!!

They have their finest technical minds making these videos instead of R&D.

kabix said,
MICROSOFT STOP ****ING MAKING VIDEOS AND IMPROVE PRODUCTS!!!!

I take it you're not actually aware of all of the benefits Microsoft products may be able to provide you if you're acting like that? Anyway, all software companies' products have room for improvement.

warwagon said,
Now Gmail (Google) should respond with a video about hotmail accounts being hacked.

Reading/listening fail much? They're advertising Office 365, not Hotmail as an alternative.

warwagon said,
Now Gmail (Google) should respond with a video about hotmail accounts being hacked.

Except Hotmail accounts getting hacked are not actually hacked. People installing Malware that grabs their passwords is how Hotmail accounts get hacked. Which also happens with GMail just as often.

There is also the corporate mind side, of why hack Gmail, I can pay Google for access to the information stored in your account. (Or phone a friend that works at Google.)

What is your email address again? What to see how horribly unsecure GMail is, and how easily even a joe smoo like myself can get information on you directly from Google without hacking?

Oh PS, the other hotmail hacking that is not PC malware that happened a year or so back was from a series of rooted Linux based routers that used phishing. (But of course Linux doesn't ever get malware or rooted either. Sadly there are still a lot of Linux devices used by smaller ISPs that don't realize they are and have been rooted and botted for a long time. You might want to check with your ISP if they are not a major company.)


warwagon said,
Now Gmail (Google) should respond with a video about hotmail accounts being hacked.

Yeah, Gmail accounts are unhackable for sure..?

Wouter52 said,
Genius! but... I still use Gmail.... 'Cause I don't really like Hotmail....

+1

Now MS, how about a free Exchange account?

I only ever use Gmail through a web browser when I absolutely have to (using someone else's computer, etc.). Any other time I'm just accessing it from my e-mail client (Thunderbird) or on my phone. Point being, I almost never have to deal with the targeted ads anyway. The added bonus to this is that I ALWAYS have access to my old e-mail, even if my connection is down.

roadwarrior said,
I only ever use Gmail through a web browser when I absolutely have to (using someone else's computer, etc.). Any other time I'm just accessing it from my e-mail client (Thunderbird) or on my phone. Point being, I almost never have to deal with the targeted ads anyway. The added bonus to this is that I ALWAYS have access to my old e-mail, even if my connection is down.

The point is, that every time a friend or relative has to email you on your freaking GMail account, their originating IP, Email Address, and all the keywords are then added to their profile. So they see the ads by just having to email you.

Additionally, it is more than just the ads, Google is able to track trends and basically spy on what is popular even if you are mixed into a larger collective. They can tell when Product XYZ is becoming popular by people talking about it, as a tiny example.

So ya, you don't see the Ads, but the data on you is still collected and used. And the data is also accessible by their employees, 'as admitted repeatedly by Google'. So if someone at Google really hated your guts, they could not only look at the information 'data mined' from your Gmail, but actually sit down and read through all your Gmail, GDocs, and GVoice/etc chat logs. (Feel all warm inside cause you don't see the targeted ads?)

Go look up Google firing employees for reading people's email and Gmail and GVoice chat logs. The last that made semi-major news was last fall when they had to fire a black-mailing sexuall predator, stalking a teenage boy.

Feel warm and fuzzy still? Really?

roadwarrior said,
I only ever use Gmail through a web browser when I absolutely have to (using someone else's computer, etc.). Any other time I'm just accessing it from my e-mail client (Thunderbird) or on my phone. Point being, I almost never have to deal with the targeted ads anyway. The added bonus to this is that I ALWAYS have access to my old e-mail, even if my connection is down.

Chrome / Firefox + Ad block usually do the trick

FMH said,
They should make a TV ad of it. Something like 'Get a Mac' ad series.

Thats exactly what I was thinking. If the ad department at MS would show these kind of "commercials" to the public, MS would actually be doing better

TechGuyPA said,

Thats exactly what I was thinking. If the ad department at MS would show these kind of "commercials" to the public, MS would actually be doing better

But it probably may not be good for the overall brand image. That may be their reason for not doing so. They may succeed financially but would look "nasty".

FMH said,
They should make a TV ad of it. Something like 'Get a Mac' ad series.

They're not going to act like Apple and simply bash another (bigger) group because they can't defeat it. Would be weird though, because Hotmail > Gmail.

Shaun said,
Hotmail sucks.

This is where I can truly sense you haven't used it in a while, or haven't actually taken a moment to look at all that it does. In just the last two years, it has been revamped on the Server side and with several evolutions on the client side, even recently going HTML 5 making it far faster than GMail ever dreamed of being.

You have complete forwarding and email aliases and POP3 retreival. A lot of our company users have moved their company email into Hotmail/Live and keeping their Passport/LiveID issued back in the late 90s with their current company email address attached. This then integrates them with LinkedIn, and Facebook and Live seamlessly.

And they are doing this for their own personal use, and it is allowed, as Microsoft doesn't expose or have access to Live/Hotmail/SkyDrive user content.

PS This is a comparison of Gmail and Office 365 that target business users, and Office 365 if also not Hotmail, it is a full Exchange account, with features Google still doesn't offer. (Compare this to Google GMail Business)

Adrian0E said,

Doesn't matter. Hotmail still sucks.


No, it doesn't. Hotmail is better than Gmail (see, I can make blanket statements without expanding as well )

_DP said,
HAHAHA I'M DEACTIVATING MY GMAIL AND MOVING OVER TO HOTMAIL AS WE SPEAK. TYPE. WHATEVER!!!!!

if you move to hotmail you will still be scanned for word in your mail if you use the web client.
they also scan mail for their free mail server

tsupersonic said,
It wasn't really that funny. Anyways, adblock plus ftw.

IE9 Phishing, and Tracking Protection beats FF/Adblock. At least that is what more than one security study released in the past month has shown.

I don't think FF users truly realize the adblock features can be easily replicated in IE9 without an addon.

thenetavenger said,
I don't think FF users truly realize the adblock features can be easily replicated in IE9 without an addon.

There's more to AdBlock than just downloading a file... making custom rules in IE is anything but easy.

Hollow.Droid said,
I use gmail and still found that hilarious.

Why are you ok with them reading your Gmail and GDoc and GVoice chats?

Many businesses forbid their employees from using Google services if discussing anything related to work. They have Secrecy of Communication policies that also correlate with Secrecy of Correspondence laws in most countries.

(BTW What Google does violates the base principles of many countries Secrecy of Correspondance laws that are updated to include email.)

thenetavenger said,

Why are you ok with them reading your Gmail and GDoc and GVoice chats?

Many businesses forbid their employees from using Google services if discussing anything related to work. They have Secrecy of Communication policies that also correlate with Secrecy of Correspondence laws in most countries.

(BTW What Google does violates the base principles of many countries Secrecy of Correspondance laws that are updated to include email.)

Maybe because I'm not James Bond and won't endanger society with my emails. If this was done on some sort of manual basis with people sifting through my emails I'd be ****ed. But like the ad says, it's purely based on keywords. No one has access to my actual email except me. Plus once I add in ad-block I don't even have to look at them. Paranoid overreaction?

Hollow.Droid said,
I use gmail and still found that hilarious.

There is nothing right now that would come even close to convince me for leaving gmail.... but great video! More please!!

thenetavenger said,

Why are you ok with them reading your Gmail and GDoc and GVoice chats?

Many businesses forbid their employees from using Google services if discussing anything related to work. They have Secrecy of Communication policies that also correlate with Secrecy of Correspondence laws in most countries.

(BTW What Google does violates the base principles of many countries Secrecy of Correspondance laws that are updated to include email.)

Google doesn't physically read emails. They use a computer to scan incoming messages for particular key words and provide ads that may be relevant.

shinji257 said,

Google doesn't physically read emails. They use a computer to scan incoming messages for particular key words and provide ads that may be relevant.

just like Hotmail and Yahoo does
and like hotmail and yahoo they also only scan them to display the ads

shinji257 said,

Google doesn't physically read emails. They use a computer to scan incoming messages for particular key words and provide ads that may be relevant.


Oh. Ohhh. I see. When a computer reads the e-mails, it doesn't count no matter who it is sifting through the e-mails for. I get it now. You have rolled my eyes. What an idiotic logic you have.

Jdawg683 said,
well....umm...gmail is free and Office 365 isnt, so...

Hotmail/Live Mail are free for non-business users too...

Office 365 is a bit more than basic free Hotmail/Live, as it is designed for business users and professionals that have use of Exchange features instead of just basic Email.

So the analogy is correct...

http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/features.html

Note the pricing is about the same, except with Office 365, you get the best of the best in Microsoft Server product access and many features that Google doesn't have to offer.

thenetavenger said,

with Office 365, you get the best of the best in Microsoft Server product access and many features that Google doesn't have to offer.

Perhaps you could indicate poor humour with a smiley face or something.

shinji257 said,

Given that the paid version also has the option of removing the ads.


+1
This video compare the feature of a free version like Hotmail yahoo mail do also scan mail for words to display ads
Gmail never read mail from let's say pop3/imap.

then again you can alway say that spam filter read your mail...

shinji257 said,

Given that the paid version also has the option of removing the ads.


The AdBlock Plus browser add-on has the option of removing the ads from Gmail ... for free!

DJGM said,

The AdBlock Plus browser add-on has the option of removing the ads from Gmail ... for free!

But gmail still read them