Microsoft quietly buries Scroogled site

Microsoft’s much maligned “Scroogled” campaign is finally, completely dead, apparently. Winbeta spotted that the old Scroogled site (www.scroogled.com) now redirects to a higher-road “Why Microsoft” site. The vendor started pulling broadcast and print Scroogled ads last spring, but the web site had lived on until recently.

When Satya Nadella stepped up as [company]Microsoft[/company] CEO in February, I sort of figured both Scroogled and Mark Penn, the former Burson Marsteller PR head, Hilary Clinton strategist and pollster, might be on his way out as well. But such was not the case. Instead, he was promoted to chief strategy officer.

Microsoft brought Penn aboard in July of 2012 as corporate VP of strategic and special projects, reporting to then-CEO Steve Ballmer. His mandate was to focus on branding and positioning in the consumer arena. Hence, Scroogled, which is the high-tech equivalent of a negative ad campaign meant to paint [company]Google[/company] search as inferior, and more intrusive into your personal life, than Microsoft Bing search. It didn’t gain much traction.

Whatever you think of Penn, a Microsoft insider said, his polling background means he has a proficiency with stats (aka data) and he can talk a great game armed with his research — and Nadella loves data.

So Scroogled is dead but Penn lives on.

 

China blocks private search engine DuckDuckGo

The privacy-friendly search engine DuckDuckGo has been blocked in China, company CEO Gabriel Weinberg has told Tech in Asia. Weinberg said he was unsure when the blockade began, but Chinese censorship monitor Greatfire.org suggests it started early this month. In China, where local search operations like Baidu rule the roost, Google Search has also been blocked since May. Yahoo Search and Microsoft’s Bing are both allowed in China as both companies have local servers, but they have to heavily censor their results in the country. DuckDuckGo benefited from Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations, as it allows people to search for things without being tracked, though the fact that it is U.S.-based worries some privacy advocates.

Yale professor challenges Microsoft “Bing it On” claims

Do you remember those “Bing it On” ads? Microsoft ran advertisements that claimed a pool of 1,000 users “preferred Bing 2 to 1,” and allowed users to try it themselves with BingItOn.com. Yale professor Ian Ayers decided to duplicate the study, with BingItOn.com and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Detailing his study on the Freakonomics blog, Ayers said that Google’s results actually outranked Bing’s 53 percent to 41 percent, on average, but became more equal (48 percent preferring Google to 47 percent Bing) when Bing-suggested terms were involved.

No Henry, you need to get real about Yahoo. Here are the facts

Yahoo’s stock has been on a tear and its chief executive has graced the cover of BusinessWeek and the pages of Vogue. Its product re-launches have gotten Bieberesque attention. Yahoo loyalists are celebrating. I think they are wrong; here is why.