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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 3, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Microsoft vs Google, today’s fight: browsers and search

Microsoft is swinging away at Google with a series of ads this week targeting Google’s recent privacy policy changes.

On Wednesday, Microsoft’s ad focused on trying to attract users wary of Google to Microsoft products such as Bing, Hotmail, Office 365 and Internet Explorer. Thursday’s ad focused on email. Today, as seen in an Official Microsoft Blog post from Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw and the accompanying ad, the focus is on IE9 and Bing.

Shaw sums up the week of ads this way:

The overall theme we hit in our ads and here on this blog has been that while Google has one customer – its advertisers – we have many customers. Of course we have advertising customers, and we love them and are working to make sure we improve the advertising experience for you, and for them. But we think of YOU as our customer as well, customers for Office and Windows and Windows Azure and Bing and Internet Explorer and Hotmail and so on – and because we have a big view of who our customers are, we naturally make some different choices than Google does.

Google had fired back earlier this week, calling Microsoft’s claims “myths.”

BTW, Ed Bott at ZDNet recently made some handy pie charts of where revenue is coming from for Microsoft, Google and Apple.

And Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land fact checked the privacy claims of both Microsoft and Google.

Regarding Google making changes for the sake of advertisers, Sullivan said:

Google is a profit-making company, with the vast majority of those profits coming from advertising. When Google talked about the privacy policy changes last week, part of what it highlighted was that they’d allow for better ad targeting. Potentially, that’s nice for users. But it’s far bigger improvement for advertisers. … However, it’s perfectly accurate that Google isn’t solely doing these changes just for advertisers. In fact, I can recall at one point how Microsoft was highlighting how easy it was to drag content from its search engine into its Hotmail email system. That’s cross-platform data sharing that Microsoft is raising issues about with Google. Microsoft does the same, but no one runs ad campaigns taking the company to task over it.

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