Microsoft tells users to ditch Gmail for because Microsoft “doesn’t go through your email to sell ads”


So while we take a break from all the Apple versus Samsung lawsuits, why don’t we shift our attention over to the brewing Microsoft versus Google battle. This time, we have Microsoft on the offensive with their current “Scroogled” ad campaign — which also cost them  a seven figure amount. The gist of the campaign? Google’s Gmail reads all of your email’s contents and doesn’t respect your privacy. Outlook, doesn’t. Here’s one of the ads:

According to Microsoft, while 88 percent of people disapprove of the practice of email providers “reading” through their emails contents to sell ads, 70 percent of users don’t know that email providers do it. Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal points out that Microsoft’s Outlook service tailors its ads based on the subject lines of your emails. When asked for comment by The Verge on the other hand, Microsoft denied this and said that it does not scan subject lines of emails to target ads. A number of users in multiple outlets also point out that Microsoft does in a way scan the contents of your emails, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to do things like auto-sort newsletters and even something as simple as a spam filter. So while they say might not do it for targeted ads, they are still technically reading your emails in some form.

Microsoft paid a lot of money for this ad campaign. Was this a waste of time and money? Or do you agree with them? Comment and let us know!

[via WSJThe Verge]

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  • Bruce Fraser


    The difference is more than just that Thunderbird is an email client, not a provider. For me, the vital thing is that these providers will (if I choose) keep a copy of my email indefinitely. So even if I delete or otherwise lose one or more emails, it’s relatively easy to get them back again.
    I use Google mail, and searching for an email from long ago is quite easy, as long as I remember a few key words, or sender, or date, etc.
    Curiously, though, there have been a few emails which I never could find a trace of… vanished completely.

  • BearPup

    @Ashraf: Ah. Thank you. That clears it up. My internet provider (Verizon) provides the email service, and I use Thunderbird as the front end. Got it. I like what I have. Thanks.

  • Ashraf

    @BearPup: I believe what you are missing is Thunderbird is an email client while Gmail and are online web email. Thunderbird itself doesnt provide email services. You can use Gmail/ with Thunderbird.

  • BearPup

    OK, what am I missing? What about Thunderbird (Mozilla)? No ads, completely customizable interface, and excellent spam / junk filtering. The few spam emails that make it through go directly to my trash folder.

    And while its true they’ve stop developing it, that’s because its stable and doesn’t need anything more than what it already has. They promise to do security updates if those become necessary, but so far, they haven’t needed any for quite some time. Old may be boring, but as long as it works…. If I’m missing something, please let me know.

  • thegreenwizard

    @Strahd: etc.
    That’s a German company. I got my first email with them since 1995 +/- and I never moved from them for my main email. They have a nice spam filter.
    Another advantage is they are German and if you use an EU address, your email are treated as European with more privacy law.

  • Enrique

    @Steve: Yikes, that sounds pretty bad! It seems like Microsoft’s ad campaign has pretty much backfired, huh.

  • Steve

    The new Outlook is a PitA (Pain in the …)
    It replaced the Hotmail interface which was MUCH better. Examples:
    1. If you are in an Outlook email and try to scroll down while in the text, you are jumped to the next email. To scroll down an email in Outlook you MUST use the scroll bar.
    2. If you are using a low resolution screen setting, you cannot see the entire width of an email without scrolling to the right.

  • Ashraf
  • Seamus McSeamus

    Didn’t Microsoft invest something like a quarter billion dollars in Facebook last year? That makes this a bit hypocritical, IMO, since FB is notorious for disrespecting user privacy.

  • Strahd

    gmail going through email, well thats not anything new, but is why i never used them.

    Whether or not microsoft goes through thee mail, well that i dont know about until it gets proven. So for now I can only go by my experience and what i read.

    @ vandamme
    Never heard of GMX, but sounds like you still gets ads. If its less or no ads you want in your email, well then has no ads. I have used it since Ashraf posted about it here in dottech, and I have never seen one ad in Outlook to this day.

  • They all do, so learn to ignore the ads.

    GMX mail has less ads than any I’ve found.