Microsoft has been unrelenting in its attacks on Google. Whether it is a product launch or a lawsuit, Microsoft doesn’t let go off any opportunity to attack the search engine giant. This time round, Microsoft has launched a whole new campaign against Google. Being touted as Gmail Reads Your Email, Microsoft is trying to create doubts in the minds of Gmail users over privacy concerns. This is seen as Microsoft’s way of getting people to switch from using Google’s email service to its own Outlook.com.
Google Scans Emails to Sell Ads – Microsoft Claims
According to Microsoft, Google is using Gmail as another way to sell more ads. It is a well-known fact that most of Google’s revenue is made through its ads. Selling more ads means that they make more money. In short, it does seem as though Microsoft has gotten on to something here. They allege that the folks at Google are scanning the emails sent and received by Gmail users to try and find the topics and subjects of interest so they can target them with relevant ads.
Microsoft Flouting Poll Results
To add some substance to its claims, Microsoft actually conducted a poll asking people about their views on email providers reading their mails. Not surprisingly, 90% of the people are opposed to the idea of their email privacy being compromised by email providers. 70% of the people don’t actually know of any major email providers engaging in any such practices. Microsoft is using the results of the poll to target Google and is claiming that they scan emails to target ads.
On the other hand, Microsoft has stated that they too scan the users’ emails but not for ad purposes. Instead, they just want to make sure that the emails received and sent are free of spam, malware and other harmful elements. Though they have no proof against Google, they are bashing Gmail and asking people to sign a petition against it. Moreover, they are asking users to switch preferences and create an Outlook email account.
Users Can Opt Out from Scanning
One particular point which Microsoft has raised is that it allows users to opt out of the scanning process. For that, they only have to pay a nominal sum of $20. Yet, Gmail users also have the same option, albeit they have to $50. Using the HTML version of Gmail also saves them from scanning. Hence, this is something which goes in Google’s favor. If people don’t allow them to scan their emails, they don’t do it. So, Google can be expected to use this point to defend itself.
At present, Gmail is the second-largest email service in the world. It is hot on the heels of Yahoo and is expected to catch up and surpass it in the near future. On the other hand, Microsoft has less than half the number of email users as Google. Perhaps this is a major factor in Microsoft’s new campaign against Google. What remains to be seen is how many people actually ditch Gmail and switch allegiances to Outlook.
[Image via multivu]