No, it is not April Fools day though you might be excused for thinking that it is!
Microsoft has launched a new product range that is anti Google “Have you been Scroogled?” Tee shirts and coffee mugs etc.
Being Scroogled refers to the fact that Google actively collects whatever data they can about you (via Gmail, YouTube use and any other Google account logins) in order to feed you targeted ads or use the information some other way at a later stage. (Facebook and others also collect your information)
Microsoft even has a dedicated retail site for selling this merchandise.
It is well worth a look for a laugh (or to scare you)!
Some of the slogans and descriptions for the merchandise
Scroogled I’m Watching You T-shirt
“Do you use Google Search? Or Gmail? Or Google Chat? Or Chrome? Then Google is watching you…all the time.”
and on the coffee mug:
“Keep Calm while we steal your data”
More from the site:
“A classic that shows the world that you’re tired of having your digital life monetized by Google.”
About the Spiders Web T Shirt:
“Google’s the spider. You’re the fly. You probably know what happens next. If you use Gmail, Google Search, Gchat or Google+, you’re a fly trapped in Google’s web.”
Why is Microsoft doing this?
Well, Google have about 67% of the search engine market share while Microsoft’s Bing still languishes at about 18%. Bing would love to be at the top so take every chance they can to try to knock Google down. After revelations about Google providing user data to the US National Security Association, Bing ramped up their attacks on underhanded use of data.
Whether they pass your data on to the NSA or not, they certainly do actively use that data to feed you, and any friends they know of, targeted Google Advertising. And they will undoubtedly find other uses for it later. Microsoft wants to scare you into stopping Google use and moving to them instead.
The main thrusts of Microsoft’s campaign are about:
1) Google showing paid ads (Adwords) rather than good search results – pay to rank.
2) Gmail practices – collection of contact information and going through emails to collect data so they can target advertising at you.
3) User Privacy and the sharing of information with App providers and others.
4) Spamming Gmail users with targeted ads that look like real emails
5) Spamming schools and students with ads that distract them from their studies.
Microsoft’s Scroogled retail site offers free shipping, free returns and, of course, a free analysis of everything Google is doing wrong.
I think you get the picture.
Big brother might not be watching you but Mr G most certainly is!
Read a full article about this at