There’s no love lost between Google and Microsoft, and the enmity is rising now that the latter has launched a new campaign accusing Google of bad ad practices on Gmail.
But consumers may want to check their outrage. This territory has been traveled before.
This is Microsoft latest salvo in its “Scroogled” campaign, dinging its archrival for using algorithms to scan Gmail users’ messages and serve ads based on the keywords they find there. This is a favorite target of Microsoft, which has criticized Google for the same practices in the past.
The campaign also promotes Microsoft’s own Outlook.com mail service, a relaunched version of Hotmail — which, it should be noted, does use personal information users provide, as well as users’ search histories, to serve ads of its own.
Fresh in this round is new data from a Microsoft -commissioned study of how consumers feel about seeing ads based on what’s in their personal inboxes. In the Gfk Roper study of 1,006 participants, a vast majority — 89 percent — said that they do not think that e-mail services providers should be allowed to scan the content of personal e-mail in order to target advertising.