Tech's original Great Satan calls out Google for being evil

In an amusing reversal of fortune, Microsoft tries to claim the mantle of good-guy tech company

My, how the tables have turned!  Microsoft is apparently placing ads in major newspapers this week (I say "apparently" because no one reads newspapers anymore and I thus have no way of fact-checking) that call out Google for being too evil and not "putting people first."  Yes, it's pretty amusing that Google, which has long branded itself as the good-guy tech company, is now under fire from Microsoft, which happens to be tech's original Great Satan.  Let's take a look at the post on Microsoft's blog announcing the new ad campaign:

During the last week or so, there has been a fair amount of discussionabout how Google is making some unpopular changes to some of its most popular products. You can see some of the concerns and worries about lack of choice and so on in these links.

When we read the coverage last week, it was clear people were honestly wrestling with the choices that had been made for them and were looking for options or alternatives.

I do dearly love the more-sorrow-than-in-anger tone that Microsoft is establishing so far.  "It's just so, so tragic that Google has decided to p*** you all off so much... and to make things worse, we just happen to have lots of services that you can use instead!  Oh, the humanity!"

The changes Google announced make it harder, not easier, for people to stay in control of their own information. We take a different approach – we work to keep you safe and secure online, to give you control over your data, and to offer you the choice of saving your information on your hard drive, in the cloud, or on both.

So, if the news about Google has you feeling frustrated, or concerned, orboth, we have some great, award-winning alternatives:

  • Hotmail: Join the hundreds of millions of people who enjoy not worrying about the content of their private e-mails being used to serve ads.
  • Bing: The search engine that gives you great experiences using the whole Web.
  • Office 365: The award-winning online collaboration solution for businesses who don’t want their documents and mail used to benefit advertisers.
  • Internet Explorer: The world’s most popular browser, now withTracking Protection, offering controls over your privacy as you browse.

OK, Microsoft, you've got some problems here now.  The chief among them is that both Internet Explorer and Hotmail still pale in comparison to Google Chrome and Gmail.  It's fine to suggest alternatives, but this is like suggesting that people who are disappointed in Sam Adams should start drinking Milwaukee's Best instead.

(Note: As much as I don't like Hotmail and IE, I am a fervent XBox fan and I find myself intrigued by the changes Microsoft is making with Windows 8.  So I'm not completely anti-Microsoft or anything.)

At any rate, it's a real testament to how much perceptions have changed that Microsoft feels confident enough that it can accuse another company of being "evil" without being laughed out of the room.  Whether this translates into a mass exodus from Google products is another matter entirely, but at the very least it shows that rival tech companies think they can gain from the controversy surrounding Google's new privacy policy.

UPDATE: I should note that Google has published a fairly exhaustive response to Microsoft and its critics on its Public Policy Blog.  It does call attention to a few, shall we say, exaggerations in Microsoft's ad campaign, such as this one:

  • Myth: Google reads your email. [Microsoft]
  • Fact: No one reads your email but you. Like most major email providers, our computers scan messages to get rid of spam and malware, as well as show ads that are relevant to you.

At any rate, figured I'd post it in the intrerest of fairness and balance.

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