Last week Microsoft held it’s annual Microsoft Global Exchange sales conference. Of the 12,000 attendees a vast majority managed to not tweet, record, blog, or other leak information to those outside the company. The one leak that did come out of the conference is a video poking fun at Gmail while extolling the virtues of Office 365.
Well, actually, a majority of the video is just poking fun at Gmail bookended by messages to use Office 365. Microsoft decided to highlight the advertising part of Gmail as a major downside. The video is focused on the fact that Gmail will serve you ads based on keywords in your email. Microsoft wants to make people uncomfortable with the perceived privacy issues of Gmail skimming your email for keywords to base ads on. Personalized ads aren’t a huge problem, though, and it’s not like real humans at Google are reading your email. Google is much more likely to have privacy issues in it’s social attempts.
In the future, Microsoft, if you want to bash Gmail, try starting with the low hanging fruit of how damn slow the service can be. Or maybe the fact that business users actually have less features than paid users. Also, this is obviously meant for a small group of 12,000 instead of the whole Internet, but don’t Microsoft employees deserve better videos? It’s a very reasonable assumption that these videos are going to leak out at some point, so it might be worth it to make them more watchable. I’d much rather watch the Seinfeld and Gates commercials than this on.