EditorialsGood and EVOMicrosoft

Google fans fight back by asking, have you been MicroShafted?

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We’ve all seen Microsoft’s latest “Scroogled” ad campaign against Google, and most of us who know better let out a collective groan whenever we see one of those commercials on TV. Some Google fans, however, have gone one step further, asking people if they’ve been MicroShafted.

Indeed, Microsoft has a lot of nerve leveling some of those accusations against Google. After all, as the “official” MicroShafting site points out, “Lets be honest, if you really think that Microsoft/Bing is not collecting user analytics, you are badly mistaken.”

Here are some of my favorite points that the MicroShafting site makes:

  • Google is very transparent about what kind of data it collects and, unlike Microsoft, Google lets you delete it yourself at any time in Google Dashboard.
  • While Microsoft has poked fun at the closing of Google Reader, Microsoft has decommissioned many products, too, including BOB, the Microsoft KIN, Zune, MSN Search, Windows Phone 6.8, and – wait for it – the Windows Start Menu.
  • To add salt to the wounds, Microsoft forced users who bought the KIN to purchase a new phone almost immediately after, as Microsoft shutdown the KIN’s management servers a mere six months later.
  • What about Zune Music users who lost the ability to redownload all their purchased music if and when they changed PCs?
  • Bing admits it tracks individual user results in its own Privacy Policy.
  • Bing’s Facebook integration gives Microsoft the ability to harvest your Facebook information and use it for targeted advertising. Microsoft can also sell your Bing search results back to Facebook, so Facebook can target ads, too. All of this is, again, permitted in Microsoft’s Privacy Policy.
  • Google does not staff any human beings to go through your email and serve you ads, no matter what Microsoft would lead you to believe.

This is a clever campaign, and I have to say that Microsoft had it coming – especially when you consider that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is accused of mishandling personal information of K-12 students in a massive $100 million national database.

When it comes down to it, Microsoft is a big company. While not its primary source of income, it still depends on revenue based on mining personal information and using it for targeted advertising. To suggest anything else, or somehow claim that Microsoft’s privacy policies are better than Google’s, is ludicrous and dishonest. And I haven’t even mentioned yet how the EFF gives Google better marks than Microsoft in how it protects user information.

With such a deceptive ad campaign coming from the bowels of Microsoft, I am now going to add it to my list of companies I’d personally rather not deal with any time soon.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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