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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

February 2, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Meow! Microsoft vs Google, round umpteenth, focuses on email

The latest of many rounds in the Microsoft vs Google public spats centers today on email.

We wrote Wednesday about Microsoft taking out big ads in major newspapers, hoping to attract users wary of Google’s recent changes to its privacy policies and search methods.

Microsoft’s ads today focus on email. Writes Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw in an Official Microsoft Blog post:

Some email services, like Gmail, actually read the contents of your mail (both sent and received, even if you aren’t a Gmail user but just sending to someone who is) in order to decide what kind of ads to serve up to you. They may call it “scanning” and attempt to equate it with less invasive activities like “checking for spam” but it’s quite different. For you, and the people you send mail to, it’s not spam, it’s personal.

(Fact check time: As Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land pointed out in his article Wednesday checking out the claims of both Microsoft and Google: “Google is reading your email. It simply could not target ads to the content of your email without doing that. But no human is reading your email at Google. It’s all automated, and as Google says, the same type of automated reading is also done by Microsoft when it runs a spam filter against your email on Hotmail.”)

Additionally, Microsoft has made its Gmail Man spoof video official, putting the video that was originally shown at an internal Microsoft conference last summer onto the official Microsoft YouTube channel, The Verge noticed.

Here’s the video:

[do action=”custom_iframe” width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/TDbrX5U75dk

Will Google fire back, as it did yesterday in a blog post? Stay tuned.

(Video from Microsoft’s YouTube channel)

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