Microsoft and Google seem to be battling it out over email. Cloud based email services to be exact. Earlier this week Google launched a campaign promoting Gmail, calling users to stage an 'Email Intervention', and "save your friends from outdated email". Within a day, Microsoft seemed to have responded with a video about the 'Gmail Man', who snoops your email.
It seems to be merely a coincidence that the two videos came out at the same time.
Whilst the Gmail man video squarely pitches Google's cloud based email service against Microsoft's new cloud based email service, Office 3-6-5, according to ZDnet, the production team behind the Gmail man video are the usual suspects for internal communications at Microsoft. This video looks like it was only intended to 'rally the troops', namely the salesteam - not an uncommon practice within any company. SEW reached out to Microsoft, but they declined to comment.
Dave Girouard, head of Google's cloud apps for the enterprise expressed his disdain for the Gmail man video on by posting publicly on Google+ "MSFT being silly & wrong about Gmail. We don't even have time to read our own email."
To that end, Google, via spokesperson, was quick to, point out that the Gmail man video was slightly misleading because, "Google Apps for Business administrators can choose to disable ads if they want." Indeed, the paid product for Gmail (i.e. a Google App) allows ads to be disabled although some users prefer to keep them as they find it useful. Nonetheless, Google does read your email - but only to target ads. No humans see it.
Google's campaign is quite funny too, focussing on the fact that it may be time for users to switch the address they have after 10 years, because, well, it's probably an embarassing username. The campaign also emphasizes the more social features of gmail such as Video chat and VOIP calling. You may have also spotted messages in your Gmail account, suggesting you "switch friends to Gmail".