Microsoft warns against using Gmail from Google

In a weird advertisement from Microsoft (for their new Office 365), they warn users against using Google’s free e-mail solution, Gmail.

Probably all Gmail users have noticed ads when you’re using the free web-based version of Gmail, but not all might know that the ads are actually based on the content of your e-mails. Google is looking for keywords within your e-mails and is displaying relevant ads to you, hoping you would click on them (which makes Google a bit richer each time you do).

On one side, sure, I’d probably prefer to see ads that are relevant to me. I don’t care about cats so I don’t need to see ads for fantastic cat foods, they’ll probably annoy me more than seeing an ad about something I care more about. On the other side, it is kinda creepy that your e-mail is being indexed like that, and used to show you ads.

Below is the Office 365 advertisement from Microsoft, featuring “Gmail-man” who skims through peoples mail.

While “Gmail skimming your e-mail” is not exactly breaking news (or news at all), I still think it’s relevant to make sure people are aware that even if it looks free to use their service(s), you’re paying with your personal information instead. Personally, I don’t care (yet), but maybe eventually it becomes too much and I’d rather start paying for ad-free services elsewhere. What about you? Leave a comment below!

41 thoughts on “Microsoft warns against using Gmail from Google”

  1. Weeeeell, maybe exactly makes me wanna ditch my gmail – and certainly not to go to office 3-6-5. It is fun though, seeing it acted out live just makes it so wrong.
    Yet, I don’t seem to care. Gmail is just soooooo good.

    Plus i mean, an ad free internet is seeming more and more like utopia and if I have to see adds anyway – why not some that are relevant for me. On a sidenote, I would pay for an ad free gmail in a heartbeat.

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  2. I’m personally okay with the ads. Plus, the thing I like about Gmail is it is fast. Not too sure about 3-6-5 though. But Gmail has topped the security with two factor authentication which personally think is essential to have.

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  3. Hey, if you can’t beat em’, slander em’, start a smear campaign, do character assassination…whatever works…LOL.

    Go Microsoft…:)

    Mark

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  4. what a powerful ad by Microsoft. Does anyone know if this is true or not?

    Could just be a way for Microsoft to put this thought in people’s heads and get them to stop using Gmail. Just curious if there is any proof of this…

    Either way, what an ad!

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  5. Well even i am unsure about the fact weather this is true or no. Gmail is on of the best service providers it is fact and instant then any others. It has also a variety of addons and that makes it the best.

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  6. It’s the first time I’ve heard of Office 365 but it’s definitely not the first time I’ve heard about Google skimming our emails. Good thing I’ve only used GMail for a short period.

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  7. Well, the ad is certainly disingenuous. There is NO ‘person’ skimming the email, reading the intimate details of your life. I would say MS is going a little over the top with Gmail man. Wesley at Round Rock Utilities

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  8. I’m thinking maybe this is a futile effort to discredit Google, quite possibly because Hotmail (Live) is so incredibly horrible and slow (and the anti-spam features never really work on hotmail).

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  9. I never knew Microsoft was so desperate they had to resort to this kind of stunt. It really does a good job of making me want to stay away from 365. Their e-mail services was always lousy. To this day I still have arguments with friends who use Hotmail. Worst e-mail service. ever.

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    • Well it’s going to be hard to drag me out of Gmail into another email service, seriously

      Although there’s always a possibility of something better might come up in the future

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    • And this isn’t the first time Microsoft has portrayed a service as evil, they also do it against Linux, FOSS, Firefox/Chrome, and pretty much anything else that is direct competition against Microsoft products.

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  10. so we pretty much are undecided on if this Ad is true or not.
    Half of the people commenting here think it is real, half think it is just Microsoft trying to scare people.

    Either way, it is a good ad from Microsoft even if it just gets people to question Google’s integrity. i’d feel more comfortable using Gmail if google came out and issued a statement about this…

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  11. what will google wants with our email that they do not already have? Microsoft just put more stain with their name than what they intentionally want to do with google. I still can’t forgive them for what they have done with netscape..

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  12. How old is that video?
    They’re doing it for a couple of years now, so it’s really not breaking news.

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  13. I think we would all be really surprised what Google does and how much they know about us. Im sure they skim the email to deliver the most relevant Adds. Any data sent via email is digital therefore possible to read by machine and can be sorted or searched in any way they please. Have you had a look in your cookies which google is saving on your computer? All we can see is the detail but what actual information they are extracting from users and how they use it? Well no one knows for sure and i think it is about a time this gets regulated.

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  14. Pingback: Chris C. Richardson
    • It doesn’t really matter what email service you use, there is really no such thing as privacy on the internet as your emails are stored on a server somewhere regardless of the service you are using.

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  15. These companies are forever fratching and making wild statements at each other, I say just compete fairly and the consumer will decide which products will add value to them the most.

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  16. I’m ok with the Microsoft ads but google mail has the highest security of protection not only they have 2 authentication but they also have lessen the spam unlike google and msn mails.

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  17. I don’t care either. I just ignore those ads. Personally, I prefer Gmail over Hotmail. There interface is far more better.

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    • Maybe not now. And maybe common folks never will but as far as businesses are concerned, yes I think they will care who is reading their mails and will want more privacy.

      But then I believe there is Google App paid version existing too.

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  18. I’m not surprised, it’s free service and it is Google. Of course they are going to think of as many ways to get paid for their “free” products. So it makes sense to see ads related to the email. After all, it IS Google!

    I actually take Microsoft’s warning with a grain of salt. Both companies are “conglomerates.”

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  19. I frequently see people complain about Facebook having too much access to personal data, but rarely do I see this complaint lodged at Google. I wish more people were aware of how much information Google has on them and how that may be abused in the future.

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  20. Its all about business techniques.Google always try to introduce new features in its product/services.Now Gmail is the most popular communication weapon in web.Microsoft is also doing good.

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  21. The fact Google skims emails is old news really. They provide a great service and in return need to make ad revenue and that’s something I can live with personally.

    I can understand other people’s privacy concerns, but in this day an ages it’s inevitable. Also there are regulations to deal with this kind of stuff.

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  22. True or not, it is absolutely possible. By any of the email parties. Google does offer some great products / services, so you need to weigh the pros with the cons for your own personal expectations / uses.

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  23. As far as Gmail goes – Do you really expect Google to give you something for free?
    And for Microsoft – They need to spend less time worrying about Google and take a look at their Live Mail program, OMG that thing needs help.

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  24. Gmail is free service. So it’s OK to having advertisements on their site. We check our emails in our Gmail account. So who care about these ads. We only care about our mails.

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  25. Yes, it’s alarming that gmail looks into our e-mail and check for keywords in order to show relevant ads but i really don’t mind because this ads are useful and Google is a reliable search engine that really give valuable information to their users.

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  26. Well, any e-mail service, be it hotmail gmail or something else, have their the client mails stored on their servers. They HAVE that info. So they always can and will use it in any way they choose, no matter what they claim. There is no possible way this can be regulated.
    Ok, google uses it to decide which ads are more relevant to you. Do you really think microsoft is not using it for anything? Why they would not use it when there is no way that to be known. Do you really believe that just because their ad is spitting at google, that means they themselves are honest? Believing that would be utterly naive and stupid.

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