Microsoft Is Scroogling Again, And This Time It's About Android

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That didn't take long. Just when we thought Microsoft was wrapping up the whole "Scroogled" thing, they're back with a big new campaign, this time taking on Android.

Scroogled, as you may or may not know, started as a holiday themed attack against Google over Google Shopping results. While it was Microsoft launching the bitter campaign, Google was painted as the Scrooge-like character. You know, Scrooge? Scroogled? Get it?

Obviously, now that we're well into April, the word "Scroogled" has a non-holiday themed connotation.

“You can interpret it however you would like," Microsoft senior director of Online Services, Stefan Weitz, recently told us.

My interpretation is that Microsoft is spending a lot of money to make consumers think that Google is screwing them.

And that continues today with the new campaign against Android, which just happens to coincide with a complaint filed with the EU regarding Android, saying that Google uses it as a "deceptive" and competitive advantage. Microsoft, is of course, a major force behind the seventeen-Google-competitor FairSearch coalition.

The Scoogled campaign isn't quite about that, however. It's about Google sharing personal info with app makers. The campaign goes like this:

When you buy an Android app from the Google app store, they give the app maker your full name, email address and the neighborhood where you live. This occurs without clear warning every single time you buy an app.

If you can't trust Google's app store, how can you trust them for anything?

Obviously, this is a plea to get you to try WIndows Phone. Here are the new ads:

"Unlike Google, Windows Phone Store doesn't share your personal information with app makers," Microsoft says. "Google hands over details about you to app makers without any clear warning, placing your personal information in the hands of unknown third parties. The privacy breach could potentially lead to spam and online harassment."

"It's not necessary for an app maker to have your full name, email address and neighborhood, so Windows Phone Store refrains from passing on this sensitive information," the company adds.

As reported in February, the issue at hand had caught the attention of lawmakers.

It wasn't all that long ago that Microsoft was facing some privacy criticism of its own. Here's an excerpt from a UPI article from October, sharing comments from Consumer Watchdog, a privacy advocacy group that often criticizes Google in a fashion that in some ways really isn't all that different than the Scroogled strategy (remember Eric Schmidt the evil ice cream man?):

John M. Simpson, who monitors privacy policies for Consumer Watchdog, said although Microsoft has stated in emails and blog posts it won't use the information in targeted advertising, the Services Agreement does not.

"What Microsoft is doing is no different from what Google did," Simpson said. "It allows the combination of data across services in ways a user wouldn't reasonably expect. Microsoft wants to be able to compile massive digital dossiers about users of its services and monetize them."

Microsoft is taking every chance it gets to attack Google. Last week, while no "Scroogled" campaign was involved, the company spoke out against Google's Enhanced Campaigns AdWords offering.

Image: Scrooged

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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