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Microsoft Is Stupid to Attack Google

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) is raising the stakes in its battle against Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) . Don't be surprised if it backfires.

The software giant rolled out, a website with an accompanying video that chastises Big G for turning Google's Shopping hub into comparison shopping website that only features paid ads.

Bing has a point. Google Shopping seems less useful since its springtime tweak. However, Microsoft may be barking up the wrong tree by suggesting that Internet surfers turn to Bing for honest search results.

Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan is taking the Scroogled campaign to task, suggesting that Microsoft's shopping portal is just as guilty.

Mr. Softy's portal for interested merchants begins with a level playing field introduction.

"With Bing Shopping, you can drive traffic to your sites for free, potentially displaying your online products to more than 93.6 million unique searchers making decisions with Bing."

Cool. However, that's immediately followed by an italicized disclaimed that Bing is not accepting new merchants for its free program at this time. The only way for new merchants to list their products is through its partner

Now, eBay's (NASDAQ: EBAY  ) isn't a free site for merchants. Businesses need to pay a minimum of $100 to fund their accounts to get started. Merchants than pay for every click that and its partners -- including Bing -- delivers.

There's nothing wrong with this.

Even Bing's own merchant portal -- promising "higher visibility" for paid offers that are highlighted throughout Bing Shopping -- is perfectly legit. Bing and Google are search engines. This is how they make their money.

However, for Bing to call out Google's practices at a time when it's not exactly a free marketplace is bizarre to say the least.

The move also opens the door for Google to fight back.

Why pay for Microsoft Office's productivity suite, when Google Drive offers a free cloud-based platform for the creation of spreadsheets, presentations, and word processing documents? Why should licensees be paying for Windows and its various operating systems, when Google's Android is open source?

Does Microsoft really want things to get that far? The Scroogled campaign was probably a smart idea at one time. You have to love Mr. Softy's timing, rolling this out just as the holiday shopping season is drawing Internet users to shopping portals. However, it's not cool to be calling out something as black hat when your own hands are dirty.

Thinking outside of the search box
It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2012, at 6:07 AM, onadifferentnote wrote:

    "Why pay for Microsoft Office's productivity suite, when Google Drive offers a free cloud-based platform for the creation of spreadsheets, presentations, and word processing documents? "

    Really? What do you call Microsoft's cloud-based FREE Skydrive and the associated FREE Office Web Apps?

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2012, at 7:10 AM, normcf wrote:

    It's like a political campaign, when you're losing and desperate, the negative ads come out.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2012, at 11:57 PM, RandomMeaning wrote:

    Really, it's been rather depressing. Each time I try to bail on Google, Bing and Yahoo turn out to be even worse. We need a new option.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2012, at 3:52 AM, shotcretepumps wrote:

    This is important stuff in very important times of the internet with all the worries about future restrictions, the loss of free speech, moderation, and a possible kill switch. Yuck. So I made my vote at

  • Report this Comment On October 08, 2013, at 6:14 PM, bigcomplainer wrote:

    Hello are you listening Microsoft?????, I have an old Laptop with XP. Many web sites tell me that

    I need to upgrade my Browser and I can not!!!

    They suggest Google Chrome or FireFox.

    I have been a real Advocate of MS but it is killing me that YOU MS are giving up to your Competitors.

    It does not make sense to me?????

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