Microsoft, the No.1 software company, is hitting back at Google, No. 1 in search, by insinuating new Google policies may inadequately protect consumer privacy.
For the third day Friday, national ads placed by Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, No. 2 in search, claims it's Putting people first by deploying policies in its services, including Bing, HotMail, Office and Internet Explorer 9 that protect privacy.
Friday's ads specifically target Google's browser and state Microsoft's Internet Explorer takes protecting your privacy seriously by providing more choice and better control over which sites you can see when your browse.
Last month, Google sent all of its customers a notice about the changes along with suggestions how to opt out of policies that track online activity. Google said it wants to consolidate as many as 70 privacy policies into one.
The Google change came as the company reported signing up more than 90 million users for its Google+ service that competes with Facebook in the second half of 2011.
Google issued responses to the ads, claiming its users control their privacy controls, don't have their e-mail read by a person and can trust the company.
Microsoft's Friday ads say Internet Explorer 9 enables you to browse the Web without simultaneously being 'browsed' by others,'' suggesting Google's cookies installed in all users' platforms invade privacy.
The ads also feature an endorsement by Simon Davies and Alex Hanff of Privacy International of IE 9.
Thursday's ads suggested Google's g-mail customers can't trust the Mountain View, Calif.-based provider with privacy with their communications.
Privacy is a huge issue for the major tech providers that collect consumer data. In its initial public offering document, Facebook detailed signing a 20-year agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission compelling it not to abuse information supplied by its 825 million members.
Google is in the process of making some unpopular changes in some of their most popular products, the first Microsoft ads read, alluding to new policies Google wants to implement March 1.
Those changes, cloaked in language like 'transparency,' 'simplicity,' and 'consistency' are really about one thing: making it easier for Google to connect the dots between everything you search, send, say or stream while using some of their services.
Microsoft, which also sends periodic updates to its hundreds of millions of customers, claims in the ads, Every data point Google collects and connects you to increases how valuable you are to an advertiser.
Microsoft, whose Bing service also controsl much of the search functions of Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., doesn't say it also collects consumer data.
If these changes [by Google] rub you the wrong way, please consider using our portfolio of award-winning products, the ads say.
The ad campaign has had little effect on Google share performance. Since Tuesday, Google shares have gained $8, trading Friday afternoon at $592.54. Microsoft shares have 42 cents since Tuesday, setting a 52-week record price of $30.38.