Microsoft pokes fun at Google with “Gmail Man” video

By Tom Warren, on 28th Jul 11 6:11 pm with 71 Comments

Microsoft’s latest Google dig is a comic “Gmail Man” parody video.

The video was revealed at Microsoft’s internal MGX conference on July 20 and depicts a “Gmail Man” who pokes his nose in your business. “Your email is your business,” states Microsoft. “Google makes it theirs.” The video is designed to pit Microsoft’s Office 365 product against Google Apps and Gmail. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley spotted the video but Microsoft refused to comment on its authenticity. However, there are references to Contoso Ltd within the video, a fake company that Microsoft uses in marketing and training materials.

The two companies have taken pot shots at each other over the past year. Microsoft has stated that Google Apps includes a “Google Tax.“ The company’s senior director of Microsoft Online Services, Tom Rizzo, previously claimed Google is failing in the enterprise. “Let Google say we’re way behind as we continue gobbling up enterprise customers. Let Google underestimate us. They’ll be shocked when they see all the momentum we have inside this space.” The ill feeling between the two companies continued this year when Google kicked off a search engine war of words. Search Engine Land posted a broad investigation into what Google claimed was Bing cheating search results. Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow who works on the company’s search engine ranking algorithm claimed that Bing was simply copying Google’s results. Google allegedly caught Microsoft’s copying by creating a “Bing Sting.” The search giant created one-time code that would manually rank a page for a certain term and create around 100 synthetic searches searches that hardly anyone would ever enter into Google. The searches returned little or no results on Google or Bing but Google created a special honeypot page to show at the top of each synthetic results page. The result? Bing started listing the random queries only a few weeks after Google began listing them.

Microsoft was quick to deny Google’s claims with a blog post entitled “Thoughts on search quality.” Microsoft’s Harry Shum simply shrugged off Google’s claims as part of over 1,000 different signals and features in Bing’s ranking algorithm. Google wasn’t happy leaving it at just that though. Amit Singhal published a Google company blog postentitled “Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it.” The blog post outlines much of the original report from Search Engine Land but also called Bing’s search results stale and a “cheap imitation” of Google results. Microsoft and Google employees also traded jibes over Twitter. Microsoft eventually “set the record straight” and both companies swept the incident under the carpet.

However, the feud came to a head recently when Microsoft filed an E.U. antitrust complaint against Google. The complaint is part of an ongoing investigation in the EU into whether Google has violated European competition law. Microsoft’s concerns center around the following:

  • Google acquired YouTube – puts in place technical measures to restrict competing search engines
  • Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube
  • Google is seeking to block access to content owned by book publishers
  • Google is restricting advertisers from accessing their own data
  • Google contractually blocks leading Web sites in Europe from distributing competing search boxes
  • Google discriminates against would-be competitors by making it more costly for them to attain prominent placement for their advertisements

The most recent example of Microsoft vs Google came in early April when Microsoft posted a stinging blog post publicly attacking Google. Microsoft’s claimed that Google had mislead its customers by claiming it has been certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel David Howard, explained that the United States Department of Justice had rejected Google’s claim that Google Apps for Government, Google’s cloud-based suite for government customers, had been certified under the FISMA. “So why did Google tell governments and the public that Google Apps for Government was FISMA certified even before it had applied for that certification? We’ll have to wait for Google to tell us what they were thinking,” said Howard in his original blog post. Google claims Microsoft’s blog post was breathless and irresponsible. “We’ve been open and transparent with the government, and it’s irresponsible for Microsoft to suggest otherwise,” said a Google spokesperson.

Microsoft also posted an Office 365 vs Google Apps comparison in April. The software giant created a mini-site to compare its Word Web App against Google Docs. Microsoft highlighted several inconsistencies when the same Word file is saved on Windows Live SkyDrive (or SharePoint) and Google Apps. Microsoft will likely continue the attacks on Google to convince business users to switch to or adopt Office 365. Check-out the Gmail Man video below.

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Its on like butta popcorn

  • Anonymous

    As always, the fictional business on the video is called “Contoso”.

  • http://www.about.me/AngeloGopaul Eingoluq

    O_O low blow.

    • Grs_dev

      How is it a low blow when it’s true?

    • http://www.about.me/AngeloGopaul Eingoluq

      what? are you kidding? Low blows are always true.

  • Anonymous

    Does this mean that Live.com is the same?

    • http://twitter.com/MichielPapp Michiel Papp

      live.com is just hotmail.

    • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

      No Live.com is actually different Microsoft services (Hotmail, Skydrive, Calendar, My Windiws Phone, etc) mail.live.com is hotmail.com

    • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

      No Live.com is actually different Microsoft services (Hotmail, Skydrive, Calendar, My Windiws Phone, etc) mail.live.com is hotmail.com

  • Anonymous

    From the company that invented the idea of tagging your outgoing posts with adverts – you know actually *in* the body of the email – this seems kinda rich.

    • http://profiles.google.com/carlosrfonseca Carlos Ribeiro da Fonseca

      Yeah, but the ads were simply added to the e-mail, Hotmail didn’t actually scan the e-mail to add a sort-of-relevant-in-the-context ad.
      The point is that GMail *does* if fact scan the content of *all* the e-mails you send and receive.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for your contribution, Captain Obvious.

  • http://profiles.google.com/danstu Dan Stuart

    Gmail would have to attach a .pdf of my social security card to every mail I send before I would settle for Office 365.

    • Guest

      How about the fact that Google hands your password out to connected partners.

    • Guest

      how about hotmail accounts being easily hacked?
      Sorry but we can all come up with something silly.

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      Aren’t they about to require passwords to be more complex?  Also hacked is one thing – keylogged is another.

    • Guest

      how about hotmail accounts being easily hacked?
      Sorry but we can all come up with something silly.

    • Guest

      how about hotmail accounts being easily hacked?
      Sorry but we can all come up with something silly.

    • Guest

      What? Where did you hear this?

      This whole thing is a lot of bickering, I wish companies could stand on the merits of their product with facts instead of gimmicks like this. That said, this is clearly an internal only video that has been leaked not an actual advertisement.
      When did the honor in owning a company go out the window and in came all this crap of spreading fear, uncertainty, distrust? Probably about the same time small companies starting being prevented from market entry due to ridiculous software patents.

    • Guest

      What? Where did you hear this?

      This whole thing is a lot of bickering, I wish companies could stand on the merits of their product with facts instead of gimmicks like this. That said, this is clearly an internal only video that has been leaked not an actual advertisement.
      When did the honor in owning a company go out the window and in came all this crap of spreading fear, uncertainty, distrust? Probably about the same time small companies starting being prevented from market entry due to ridiculous software patents.

    • Guest

      What? Where did you hear this?

      This whole thing is a lot of bickering, I wish companies could stand on the merits of their product with facts instead of gimmicks like this. That said, this is clearly an internal only video that has been leaked not an actual advertisement.
      When did the honor in owning a company go out the window and in came all this crap of spreading fear, uncertainty, distrust? Probably about the same time small companies starting being prevented from market entry due to ridiculous software patents.

    • Guest

      What? Where did you hear this?

      This whole thing is a lot of bickering, I wish companies could stand on the merits of their product with facts instead of gimmicks like this. That said, this is clearly an internal only video that has been leaked not an actual advertisement.
      When did the honor in owning a company go out the window and in came all this crap of spreading fear, uncertainty, distrust? Probably about the same time small companies starting being prevented from market entry due to ridiculous software patents.

  • Devsparks_14

    Thank God for Hotmail

  • Devsparks_14

    Thank God for Hotmail

  • Mister Twister

    It’s pretty catchy! “G-Mail Man!”

  • Mister Twister

    It’s pretty catchy! “G-Mail Man!”

  • Mister Twister

    It’s pretty catchy! “G-Mail Man!”

  • Grannyville7989

    I don’t care which tech company do these because I love these little parody videos. I miss the Get A Mac ads that Apple did with Mac vs. PC. I found some of those halarious :)

    • Grannyville7989

      I’ve just realised that I’ve spelt “hilarious” incorrectly. I do apologise, Win Rumors community.

  • Anonymous

    should have been Gmale or somethin

  • Anonymous

    should have been Gmale or somethin

  • Anonymous

    should have been Gmale or somethin

  • Anonymous

    should have been Gmale or somethin

  • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

    Oooooh Snap!.  

    kind of funny though.  They should make a whole series like the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Cavalcanti/100002178260420 Ian Cavalcanti

    Its kinda funny, because hotmail have adds and not gmail XD

    • Guest

      Really? Then the insurance company name with text about getting a free quote today must be part of the theme then?? ;)

    • http://twitter.com/Wheezle211 Wheezle

      What are you talking about? Gmail has always had targeted ads based on keywords in your emails. That’s what this video is referring to.

    • Anonymous

      Hotmail has ads, but gmail reads your emails and targets their ads to you based on what they read.  Microsoft does not read your emails to target ads to you.

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      Yes, Gmail does have ads.  I just got an ad for health insurance.  Why?  Because some of my emails deal with signing up for work benefits.  I zone them out but yeah, gmail does read your email. ;)

    • Bryan

      this video is not comparing gmail to hotmail, its Office 365 and gmail do have ads because they eran by ads so it can be FREE for you but office 365 is a paid service so its does not have ads, get your facts right before you want to comment

  • http://twitter.com/jimmyfal Jimmy Fallon

    I love this, and it’s true.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not a Microsoft hater nor am I a Google fanboy (I use products of both companies), but I’ll take Gmail looking at my emails over Hotmail allowing 5-10 pieces of junk mail into my inbox any day.

    • Montyhall

      You get that much spam with hotmail?  I don’t.  You must be spending too much time surfing porn or something. On average my Hotmail address gets about 150 emails/day and of that 150, perhaps 3-4 are junk/spam that wasn’t automatically directed to my junk mail folder. One click on each one adds it to the junk mail list.

    • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

      Hello, learn to read, they are not promoting Hotmail in the video, they are promoting Office 365 which is different from Hotmail. Office 365 is a business product.

    • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

      Hello, learn to read, they are not promoting Hotmail in the video, they are promoting Office 365 which is different from Hotmail. Office 365 is a business product.

    • http://twitter.com/kid_jenius Daniel Paulino

      like what montyhall said, you probably watch a lot of porn, because i have absolutely no spam on my hotmail accounts, and i have 3 of them! The only emails i get that were closest to spam were emails from microsoft regarding promotions and stuff (and i actually like those)

    • Savage

      Carefully ignoring the fact that I keep missing important emails because Gmail decides they’re junk.  Welcome to the police state.

    • Bnlf

      thats because you use your hotmail to subscribe to every site on the internet and the gmail for real use as most of ppl who complain about hotmail do. Thats why you get “unrequested” messages a lot. Try to make a new hotmail account and see how it goes. I switched from gmail to hotmail a few months ago and i dont regret tho i personally think gmail web interface is better and cleaner.

    • Grs_dev

      I have been using all of them for years, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail even AOL. These days I use Hotmail for my serious stuff and I have not received any spam in my INBOX in God knows how long! Yahoo used to be my serious email account but the usability and spam filtering mechanisms in recent years made me go with Hotmail. Gmail up until recently was just too cluttered for me and the fact that Google didn’t implement a delete all and empty deleted folder feature on day 1 made e suspicious of their practices and I never use it for anything more than just a spam bucket.

  • Gornot

    BEST… VIDEO… EVER!

  • Noreply

    This is great.  Gmail should be taken to task for this.

  • Anonymous

    I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, GrabPenny.com

  • João Pedro

    Love Gmail but that was funny.
    And it’s not like there’s a real person reading your email, people.

    • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

      No, no real person is reading your mail, it is a computer reading your mails so it does it a thousand times faster.

    • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

      No, no real person is reading your mail, it is a computer reading your mails so it does it a thousand times faster.

    • Grs_dev

      No there is not an actual person sitting there reading your emails BUT there is a huge company that exists solely based on the fact that we the users have agreed to give them access to our thoughts exchanges and dialogs in return for… “free email”!?!?

      And yes there are people who ultimately take the information and use it to drive more revenues, so you’re wrong at the end of the day there is an account exec or a vp somewhere who’s looking at the intelligence being gathered from gmail and making decisions on how to bring more $$ in…

    • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

      Yeah, it’s only a big monopoly reading your stuff (privacy).

    • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

      Yeah, it’s only a big monopoly reading your stuff (privacy).

  • Dhaoracle

    This was soooo funny. They should make some more mini episodes or something of that nature every month showing what Google is doing with our information.. LOL!!!!

  • Anonymous

    This is one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a while. I got a very hearty laugh out of it.

  • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

    I have warning people of this for years, Google is NOT a search company, it is an AD company. When you use Google’s product, you are selling them your life for all the “Free” products. Android for example is the best trojan Google invented. If you don’t believe me, read this: http://mcakins.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/in-canada-streetview-is-dead-long-live-streetview/

  • Guest

    Haha, good stuff

  • http://twitter.com/Translatethis27 Translatethis27

    Microsoft is an innovation company. Not.

    • Grs_dev

      And google is an innovation company? What have they innovated? Gmail? Google Apps? Google+? Android?

      This is so funny! The only area of google that could be labeled as innovative – google labs, is being shutdown!

    • Anonymous

      Google does innovate in search or at least they did, but they bought Android and essentially copied the interface from Apple so I’m not sure that they should get too much credit there.

      Google TV looks like it may be a dud and even that was copied from Apple which hasn’t had much success and Microsoft has been in this market for years as well with little penetration.

    • http://twitter.com/Translatethis27 Translatethis27

      I think this advertising is very low. And it seems like Microsoft would rather sue their competitors than competitive

    • Grs_dev

      And google is an innovation company? What have they innovated? Gmail? Google Apps? Google+? Android?

      This is so funny! The only area of google that could be labeled as innovative – google labs, is being shutdown!

  • Renzo

    If Hotmail wants to compete with Gmail in my eyes they need to take out the banner ads and copy the label system in its entirety (including the recent “easy access” links to popular labels like Unread and Starred).

    I think Hotmail has the superior backend and ecosystem built around it, but the front end (on the web) needs to be brought up to speed.

    • Grs_dev

      This is not gmail vs hotmail. This is about Office 365 competing with GMail the paid version ($50/user/year as part of Google Apps). And one of the things that O365 doesn’t do (according to Microsoft) is snoop in on your emails.

  • jragdon

    Funny video, probably Microsoft’s way of selling their products to the non-tech savy people, you know, the only type of people that still use Hotmail.

    • Anonymous

      Actually if you were tech savvy… why would you use Gmail? I rely on hotmail first, yahoo second and yes while I have a gmail account it’s typically for junk and the 2 friends who I stay in touch with through gtalk.