The technology giant, Microsoft has taken Scroogled, an anti-Google campaign one level up by offering merchandise such as mugs, caps, T-shirts and hoodies, with anti-Google messages, on its online store.
The products feature the Scroogled logo in Google colors or a Chrome logo with hate messages for Google. A mug, for instance, bears the message, ‘Keep calm while we steal your data.’
The merchandise are moderately priced and are gaining quick popularity. A mug is priced at $7.99 and a t-shirt at $11.9, both of which are currently sold out but hats ($14.99 each), hoodies($25.99) or t-shirts ($11.99) are still available.
Last April Microsoft launched Scroogled, an anti-Google campaign which depicted Google as a dishonest company interested in increasing profits and power rather than protecting people’s privacy and providing unbiased search results. The campaign appeared online, on television and in print.
In answer to this campaign, Google stated:
“Ad targeting in Gmail is fully automated, and no humans read your email or Google Account information in order to show you advertisements or related information. We also don’t deliver ads based on sensitive information, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, health, or sensitive financial categories”.
Parker Higgins, an activist and spokesperson at the digital rights group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that there is not so much difference between Google and Microsoft, he added-“A campaign against Google by Microsoft on privacy raises eyebrows. In terms of security practices, Google is a little more aggressive about encryption.”
Microsoft has attacked Google a number of times in the past, but this effort is by far the most very direct one. The merchandise might appeal to Microsoft fans and Google haters alike, but not everyone would find it in good taste.
Regardless of Microsoft’s effort, Google is still the top U.S. search engine. According to data from comScore, Google Sites holds 66.9 percent of search share in October, while Microsoft only managed to hold 18.1 percent.