Microsoft is coming off looking a lot like Scrooge in launching an anti-Google "Scroogled" merchandise store just in time for the holidays.
The store extends Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign that criticizes Google for invading your privacy via scanning Gmail messages and grabbing other info about you via everything from its search engint to Chrome to Google Chat. Featured are mugs playing off the tired “Keep Calm” phrase, as in “Keep Calm While We Steal Your Data” along with a Google Chrome logo (that Microsoft might be asking for trouble by using). T-shirts boast a word cloud (shown here) consisting of “Gulled. Humbugged. Buffaloed. Wire-tapped. Extorted. Sold out. Chicaned. Fleeced. Scammed. Conned. Surveilled. Double-dealt. Ensnared. Suckered. Sandbagged. Gossiped. Scandalmongered. Flimflammed. Skullduggered. Bamboozled. Hornswoggled. Beguiled. Cheated. Fooled. Double-crossed. Defrauded. Hoodwinked. Swindled. Duped. They’re all just synonyms for being Scroogled,” according to the store promotional copy.
Hoodies, hats and other T-shirts can also be had. (On the plus side, prices range from $8 to $26… pretty cheap for Microsoft products.)
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Google responded to the Scroogled store by tweaking Microsoft’s late arrival to the wearable computing game, according to the LA Times. “"Microsoft's latest venture comes as no surprise; competition in the wearables space really is heating up," Google said.
Microsoft’s campaign against Google has been called hypocritical by some observers, who note that the Redmond company has plenty of its own questionable privacy issues, including corporate keyword scanning in Office 365 and Exchange 2013.
Harry McCracken sums up the campaign nicely on Twitter:
Worst Microsoft products ever. (No, not Bob.) http://t.co/SbH3fPNzfw— Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) November 21, 2013