Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

Microsoft starts selling anti-Google merchandise

Published time: November 21, 2013 21:23
Edited time: November 22, 2013 15:49
Image from microsoftstore.com

Image from microsoftstore.com

A mean-spirited ad campaign launched by Microsoft against competing Silicon Valley giant Google is heating up upon the release this week of official “Scroogled” merchandise mocking their rival’s not-so-keen privacy reputation.

Microsoft has accelerated their anti-Google “Scroogled” campaign with the official opening this week of an online store that offers customers an opportunity to purchase products that point the finger at their high-profile competitor.

The Scroogled online store is currently limited in inventory, but already boasts a number of products that get their point across — namely t-shirts, hoodies and coffee mugs that mock the search engine titan and its tendency to exploit user data in order to make money.

“Keep Calm While We Steal Your Data” reads one slogan that customers can order on either a t-shirt or mug, the latter advertised as “Perfect for anyone who’s fully caffeinated and tired of being Scroogled.”

Another product, the “Scroogled Word Cloud” t-shirt, contains “over 20 synonyms for how Google is taking advantage of you,” according to Microsoft. Among them are Gulled; Humbugged; Buffaloed; Wire-tapped; Extorted; Sold out; Chicaned; Fleeced; Scammed; Conned; Surveilled; Double-dealt; Ensnared; Suckered; Sandbagged; Gossiped; Scandalmongered; Flimflammed; Skullduggered; Bamboozled; Hornswoggled; Beguiled; Cheated; Fooled; Double-crossed; Defrauded; Hoodwinked; Swindled; and Duped.

“They’re all just synonyms for being Scroogled – and you can get them all on this American Apparel 50/50 t-shirt,” Microsoft advertises. Shirts start at only $11.99 and are now available for ordering.

Image from microsoftstore.com

The opening of the Scroogled store does not mark the start of the peculiar Microsoft-run campaign, but is rather the latest effort from Bill Gates’ brainchild to try and take advantage of their rival’s propensity to pry sensitive data from its search engine and Gmail customers, and then use that to target specific individuals for ads and other campaigns. It also comes just days after Google agreed to pay a $17 million settlement after they were found to have bypassed privacy settings in the Safari web browser in order to track the online history of customers.

“The Scroogled campaign has struck a chord with consumers,” a spokesman for Microsoft told the Wall Street Journal. “The Scroogled gear is a fun way for them to do that.”

Google was quick to respond, mocking Microsoft’s effort as the company’s foray into the world of wearable technology, which Google has already successfully embraced as evident with their Google Glass product.

“Microsoft’s latest venture comes as no surprise: competition in the wearables space really is heating up,” a Google spokeswoman added to reporters.


Image from microsoftstore.com

Meanwhile, outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer referenced his company’s intention to avoid encroaching on their customer’s privacy during a meeting on Tuesday with shareholders.

"We all want to live in a country and a world that's safe and secure, but it is a business imperative that we retain the customers' trust in every country around the world," Ballmer said, according to Escapist Magazine. "We take a lot of pride at Microsoft about the care we take to respect the privacy concerns of our customers ... Across our industry there are some [who] seem rather bent on trying to use every single piece of personal information they can get so they can target you with more ads."

That isn’t to say that Microsoft hasn’t been linked to such sordid activity in the past, either. Both Microsoft and Google were named by National Security Agency contractor-turned-leaker Edward Snowden in recently disclosed classified documents in which those companies were linked to the NSA’s PRISM program, an operation that allowed intelligence operatives to gather user data straight from the entities’ servers. Even before the Summer of Snowden, however, the Microsoft-owned Skype program was accused of giving their parent company the ability to “silently copy communication transmitted via the communication session” without asking for user authorization.


Comments (31)

 

Jimmy Crackcorn 06.12.2013 16:18

[quote name='James Cheney' time='23.11.2013 20:07

If your devices are connected to the internet, unplug any cameras and/or microphones when not in use.
[/quote]
.........
I recently had HP replace the hard drive (and other bits) on my six month old computer. I had to repeat the process of removing the bloatware. While in the midst of deleting Symantec Norton A/V, I found out my integrated web cam had "miraculously&q uot; come on. I know for a fact, I did not initiate it. I keep a piece of electrical tape over it now.

 

Tyrant 06.12.2013 08:56

Snooping Iswrong 06.12.2013 04:05

Can you even run a smear campaign against a competitor without getting crushed by lawsuits?

  


It isn't a smear campaign if it's true. I'd call it "mudslinging&qu ot;.

 

Snooping Iswrong 06.12.2013 04:05

Can you even run a smear campaign against a competitor without getting crushed by lawsuits?

View all comments (31)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us