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Mud wrestling: Microsoft targets Gmail

By Donovan Jackson, Thu 14 Feb 2013
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Microsoft, that paragon of virtue which has always put customer interests first, has the old Googler square in its sights.

As it ramps up its Johnny-come-lately cloud email and office apps, a market in which Google snuck in and ate Microsoft’s lunch (and dinner…and hung around and smashed breakfast, too), Redmond is fighting dirty. Reaaal dirty.

Demonstrating the seriousness with which it takes Google’s 425-million strong Gmail business, it’s put together a campaign called ‘Scroogled’ (check out one of the ads…on Google’s YouTube)  which in many ways shows MS’ tech industry pedigree.

Yes, that’s right, good old FUD is the key sales tool for Outlook.com, rather than any ‘features and benefits’.

For those who don’t know, FUD is ‘fear, uncertainty and doubt’. That’s an industry-standard sales tool applied by vendors everywhere since always: scare, confuse and instil scepticism in your customer as you make them buy your stuff.

If that sounds nasty, it’s because it is. As nasty as Dickens’ Ebenezer Scroogle, sorry, Scrooge? You be the judge.

Anyways, scroogled has its own rather amateurish looking website which exhorts you to try Outlook instead and join the mere 25 million users of that platform.

We suppose the campaign is, however, likely to be a success. It’s got us talking about it, after all.

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