Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., launches Microsoft Office 365, the company's newest cloud productivity and collaboration service in New York, June 28, 2011. (Jason DeCrow/VIA BLOOMBERG)

Only a few more hours until the weekend. Hang in there. 

This is the afternoon pick-u-up.

A new video from Microsoft is taking a swipe at Google’s GMail service. In it, Microsoft introduces GMail man. He looks like a regular mail carrier, except for the large GMail “M” branded envelopes that he carries and reads to gather keywords for Google’s AdSense service.

According to ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley, the video was shown at Microsoft’s Global Exchange sales conference on July 20 and was uploaded to YouTube by ZDNet’s Foley.

A Google spokesperson defended the company’s search and ad-retrieval technique in statement, which read:

Like most major email services, our computers scan messages to prevent spam and malware. We use similar technology to show ads that are relevant to you—these are triggered by keywords in your e-mails. No human is involved in this process or reading your e-mails.

The video encourages users to jump over to Office365, Microsoft’s bundle of business applications that includes an e-mail service, calendar, and video conferencing service.

However, the video is somewhat misleading. Google does not always crawl the accounts of their Apps for Business program, which is a direct competitor to Office365 and offers many of the same services. Company administrators can choose to turn the text ads off. The spokesperson also pointed to a defense of their GMail service, as posted on Google+ by the company’s president of Enterprise, Dave Girouard


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