Microsoft Silently Killed the Anti-Google Scroogled Campaign

The Scroogled page is still up, but Microsoft no longer wants to continue it

The Scroogled campaign launched by Microsoft last year has apparently been discontinued and the software giant no longer wants to continue the fight against long-time rival Google by revealing some of its unfair practices in various services it offers.

Derrick Connell, a Microsoft corporate vice president in charge of the Bing Experiences team, said in a Q&A session during the weekend that “we are now done with the campaign,” suggesting that Microsoft’s Scroogled effort has come to an end and the company is no longer planning to attack Google for the way it handles user data.

The comments posted on Yabbly have since been removed at Microsoft’s request, but ZDNet has managed to save some of Connell’s comments, so here’s what he said about the Scroogled campaign (emphasis is ours):

“That campaign had a primary purpose so let me explain that first. The main purpose was to bring attention to some activities that we didn't like as a company (for e.g. the idea of scanning email for the purpose of selling you ads seemed wrong). As a company we deeply care about trustworthy computing and user privacy. We felt there were things happening in the industry that didn't match our world view, and the campaign was aimed at providing information to consumers.

“It is tricky as you want to raise awareness and do it in a fun way. I think we achieved that goal, and changed some policies, and we are now done with the campaign. Mostly I feel proud that we decided to do it regardless of how we might be perceived.”

Microsoft used the Scroogled campaign to reveal some of the unfair practices that Google was using to sell ads in a wide variety of products, such as Gmail, Google Search, and the shopping service. Microsoft has always criticized Google for looking into users’ accounts to deliver more relevant ads and promoted its own services instead, promising to treat privacy more carefully.

The new CEO Satya Nadella, however, appears to be pursuing a completely new strategy for the software giant and attacking Google seems to be out of this plans for the time being.

The Scroogled campaign was started by Mark Penn, currently Microsoft’s executive vice president and chief strategy officer, which according to the aforementioned source, no longer controls the company’s advertising and marketing budget, so this change in the Scroogled campaign might actually come down to a different way to spend the money.

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