Microsoft’s updated terms of service is a direct shot at Google

scroogled-world-cloud

Microsoft and Google don’t exactly get along. We’ve watched as the “Scroogled” campaign went from moderately funny to just plain pathetic, and we’ve seen Google repeatedly refuse to support Microsoft platforms. The Scroogled campaign is the most interesting thing to come out of their strained relationship. Microsoft knows that Google’s quest for data makes some people uncomfortable, and they are trying their best to exploit that.

Today Microsoft is sending out emails to address a change in their terms of service. The changes seem to be direct shot at Google. It’s almost as if the “Scroogled” campaign has leaked over to Microsoft corporate identity. In plain English for all to see, Microsoft has boldly claimed to be the anti-Google. Here it is:

Privacy

As part of our ongoing commitment to respecting your privacy, we won’t use your documents, photos or other personal files or what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail to target advertising to you.

Transparency

We updated our Code of Conduct so you can better understand the types of behaviors that could affect your account, and added language that parents are responsible for minor children’s use of Microsoft account and services, including purchases.

Simplicity

We tailor our privacy statements for each of our products to help make it easier for you to find the information that is important to you.

The first section is the most obvious shot at Google. Microsoft has made several videos in the past that aim to shed some light on how Google “reads” user emails. The video below is just one example.

Just today we wrote about Google Now reading emails to add events to you calendar. Google also reads emails for flight information, shipping status, and more. Most people who use Google services have opted into these things willingly, but there are those who don’t like Google rifling through their mail. Microsoft is hoping to gain the trust of those users.

Here are some bullet points from Google’s privacy policy for comparison:

We collect information in two ways:

  • Information you give us. For example, many of our services require you to sign up for a Google Account. When you do, we’ll ask for personal information, like your name, email address, telephone number or credit card. If you want to take full advantage of the sharing features we offer, we might also ask you to create a publicly visible Google Profile, which may include your name and photo.
  • Information we get from your use of our services. We may collect information about the services that you use and how you use them, like when you visit a website that uses our advertising services or you view and interact with our ads and content.

You can see how vastly different the two policies are. Microsoft is talking about what they don’t collect while Google is talking about how they collect it. We’re sure most of you (including us) have no problem with Google’s policy, but Microsoft is betting on the average consumer being afraid. With all the news about the NSA and companies stealing data, this is probably a wise move by Microsoft.

Microsoft, in general, has taken a very safe approach to user data recently. Their new Google Now-esque personal assistant, Cortana, for Windows Phone comes with a “Notebook” feature. The Notebook allows Cortana to know only what the user wants her to know. Google Now, on the other hand, knows an amazing amount about you. There are ways to control this, but it’s not completely obvious, and you won’t get the full functionality of the app.

Are you concerned about Google collecting your information? Should they be playing it safer, like Microsoft? Do you regularly read privacy policies of companies before signing up for their services?

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  • AbbyZFresh

    Why can’t Microsoft and Google realize that they both have different means of making money, different cultures, and different fanbases. Why with all this hating towards one another. I never see Google have it out against Apple the way Google does with Microsoft. Can’t they get along?

    Apple closes their services to Microsoft and it’s not a problem, yet when Google restricts their services to Microsoft it’s all about being “Scroogled”? Why does MS have to blame specifically them?

    • Charles – The Great and Powerf

      Google is the antichrist.

      • androidscales

        Aww how is ur killer mangoe phone doing with 2% market share..windows phone is a joke just a phile of junk

    • Joshua Hill

      Microsoft is scared of Google, for good reason imo, so they are lashing out. They’re just acting like most bullies.

      It will be a slow decline but I can’t see Microsoft remaining relevant in one or two decades. They are too slow to adapt and instead of trying to meet their users needs they just bash and blame their competitors.

    • InspectorGadget80

      Because for one thing. APPLE wasn’t making money during the 90s, now GOOGLE came out with MOBILE OS now making as much money as Apple. they are afraid they will loose consumers in the mobile market. They can’t or DON’T WANT TO COMPETE against another TECH giant, y u think Apple have so many damn law suits against ANDROID so they won’t LOOSE to NO one.

  • Dean Politis

    I trust Microsoft less than I do Google. Isn’t Microsoft the company that scanned searched a blogger’s Hotmail account to track down who was leaking company secrets without a court order. Targeted advertising is far less intrusive than actual spying. Who’s scroogling whom?

  • Mark2468

    I’ll still stick with Google, f#%k Microsoft

    • InspectorGadget80

      right behind u. i hate jealous/greedy companies like M$/Apple

  • androidscales

    Microhack doesnt track and mine user data is a joke every time you patch windows 8 vista blue screen and IE6/8 non standard hack browser you date is mined with all your user info. IE and hotjerkmail sniffs everything.

  • Nkolsen

    And who is it that reads people’s stuff on one drive? M$ ofcourse

  • David Fleck

    Wait, why does the “average, everyday user” not like getting more targeted ads? It’s not like if you don’t give them your info the ads go away. They just don’t apply to you, your likes, hobbies, etc.

    What I don’t want my info used for is identity theft, random NSA spying, etc. As far as I know, these have never been Google practices.

    • InspectorGadget80

      NSA spies on every phone from iOS ANDROID OS WINDOWS OS. Then don’t bother using a phone if u hate NSA there’s nothing we can’t do to stop NSA

  • NexusMan

    Microsoft…get a life.

  • ac

    Seems like Microsoft is going to continue grasping for straws and freaking people out, more-so than actually helping them.

  • http://www.heliosoptix.com Steven Skwarkowski

    Pot….meet kettle!

  • JBrowne1012

    Really now microsoft? So did you happen to forget how you used a employees personal email to win a case against whistle-blowing?

  • Dwight

    The reason Microsoft doesn’t read your emails is because Hotmail doesn’t have any emails on it…

    • JointhePredacons

      Love this comment, if you dont get 100 upvotes its a crime, lol.

  • CGS

    Oh god. Sorry Microsoft but since you both send me ads I’d rather see ads about stuff that interests me. Google Now can be weird but every day the stuff it gives me without asking improves and meets my needs. Worth having some robots browse my email and internet searches considering its all boring to the average person anyway.

  • Curtis Coburn

    I like typing into Google “Where’s my Package?” and Google giving me the results that “It will be at your house tomorrow around noon.”

    As to why someone would go the extra mile to log into your email, find the email, open it, find the link to the tracking page and then find out… Ya. Not for me.

  • netguru2000

    Give me a Zune & a Surface any day over a ridiculously organized & integrated platform.

  • Forget_you

    if google now can better predict and show me more info I don’t care. It is not like an individual at google is going through everyones email and saying “ooh look what I found!” Its all automated.Microsoft scare tactics are getting pathetic. keep grasping microshit

  • Welshgasm

    Isn’t this the same Microsoft who recently had to backpedal after publicly announcing they read emails?

    • William D.

      And can unilaterally invade your inbox to incriminate you?

  • DN

    I actually use Google.. ‘because’ it reads my email. Guess im different?

  • Matthew Hansen

    It comes down to this…google knows more about me than the NSA and it’s because I trust them and like their services that I allow this to happen…M$ can do what they want but their practices in the past soured me on their services a long time ago.

  • InspectorGadget80

    Jeezes M$ are u that damn dense to beat GOOGLE?

  • lolwut

    I suspect that Microsoft is far closer with the NSA/CIA/FBI than Google will ever be

  • DannyB2

    All those words surrounding the big central “Scroogled” are words that I have associated with Microsoft for three decades.

    There are many, many examples. But here is one. Microsoft wakes up one day in the mid 1990’s and realizes that the Internet is NOT “just a fad” (as Bill Gates had stated). OMG, other platforms have easy TCP/IP access and (gasp!) a web browser. Microsoft needs a web browser on its platform RIGHT NOW!.

    There is this small company that makes Spyglass. Microsoft approaches Spyglass to acquire their Spyglass web browser. Microsoft negotiates a deal to pay them $100,000 up front plus some royalty percent of profits. Microsoft renames it to Internet Explorer. Guess how many copies of IE that Microsoft sells? Guess how many boxed shrinkwrap copies of IE have ever been manufactured?

    Now, go re-read all those words surrounding the Scroogled again? Remember, that story is just one of many examples of Microsoft behavior in the last few decades.

  • enzofloc

    Once all the MS hate finally subsides, and once people get thoroughly spooked by Google’s “do know harm” infiltration, and once we realize the Apple brand is just an overpriced Big Mac, Microsoft will be cool again just because it isn’t.