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Monday, April 29, 2013

Microsoft Started Open War against Google

Microsoft has finally started a nasty marketing war directly against the search giant and ended any pretence of niceness between the companies. Microsoft has released a series of attack ads in the United States that have upped the ante considerably in its trade war against Google which commenced 5 months ago.


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The advertisements that have emerged on the Internet, on TV and in print demonstrate that Google is more interested in increasing profits than protecting its users’ privacy. This ad campaign was developed by a former political operative Mark Penn, a corporate strategist. He is known as a former pollster for President Bill Clinton and campaign strategist for Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful bid for president 5 years ago.

In the advertisements, Microsoft vilifies Google for sharing personal data collected about people purchasing Android applications. That’s a step up from earlier adverts that skewered Google’s long-running practice of electronically scanning the contents of everyone’s Gmail accounts in order to help sell adverts.

Microsoft points out that the company had a better alternative which doesn’t do such kind of nefarious things. Negative advertising isn’t widely seen in Europe and it’s just the underdog who needs to use it. However, it also stresses how the search engine has evolved from an endearing Internet start-up to a scary entity that takes a too close look at personal information. The software giant can get away with its adverts since Google has already been caught a few times and copped regulatory fines and other settlements across the world.

Ironically enough, it’s now Google who is facing complaints about its practices being anti-competitive. At the same time, Microsoft is depicted as fighting for a freer market. A few days ago, a group of companies led by the software giant explained that it has asked European authorities to investigate whether Google is acting unfairly by giving away its OS to mobile device manufacturers on the condition that its own apps like YouTube and Google Maps are installed and prominently displayed. The most interesting part that it’s exactly what Microsoft was accused of in its browser anti-trust cases earlier.

Thus far, the search giant processes about 2/3 of search requests in the United States and handles an even larger percentage of queries in Europe. In the meanwhile, Google’s market value has rocketed from almost $25 billion at the time of its IPO to $255 billion.

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