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This article was published on February 5, 2012

Newly registered Microsoft trademark may hint at longer Google offensive

Newly registered Microsoft trademark may hint at longer Google offensive
Alex Wilhelm
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Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

It’s always fun to watch a tech squabble, and the recent few rounds between Google and Microsoft have delivered mightily. Microsoft, gleeful over the public shellacking that Google is currently enduring over it privacy policies, took some very low-cost, and low-tech pot shots at the company through blog posts and a few newspaper ad buys.

Amplified by the larger tech press, Microsoft’s modest investment (for a company of its size) has reverberated back and forth, leading to a wave of what could be called positive PR for the company’s Internet Explorer and Bing products. It’s been fascinating to learn how Microsoft sees Google’s search product, employing the lens of its ad recent and public statements. So far as we can deduce, Microsoft feels that privacy is the soft underbelly of Google, and intends to keep scratching at it.

That in mind, a recent move by the Redmond giant adds a fresh dimension to this discussion: a new trademark. Noticed first by Fusible, Microsoft has a new trademark on file for “People Powered Stories,” a phrase that may be the start of a new round of griefing Google. Here’s their take:

[I]t looks like Microsoft may have something more in store for Google in the coming days, something that is powered by everyday people. […] [A]s the phrase and trademark description suggest, Microsoft may launch an advertising campaign that is supplied by user-generated content.

Microsoft has used ‘regular folk’ in its ads before, so that is not new. The idea, however, of using some average people to potentially whack Google is something else altogether. Microsoft, we are sure, won’t comment on all of this, so for the time being we have to wait and see. I wouldn’t think, though, that Microsoft is far from finished milking the current Google controversy, not when its opening salvos have been so effective.

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