A $22.5 million civil penalty against Google for improperly tracking Apple Safari users brought on by the Federal Trade Commission gave Bing the fodder to launch a Web campaign Friday suggesting that Apple Safari users switch to Bing.
The landing page message tells site visitors that Google may have recently tracked Apple Safari users even though the company promised it would not. Aside from the message suggesting users stop searching with Google and start searching with Bing, it suggests making Bing their home page and starting every search with Bing.
The two companies compete across many segments, from cloud computing and Web-based docs to Web browsers and search engines, but this campaign focuses solely on showing consumers how Bing becomes a viable alternative to Google search, according to Stefan Weitz, senior director at Bing.
The small, online campaign is designed to make Safari users aware that Google had circumvented Safari's privacy settings -- which resulted in the FTC’s largest penalty in the history of the agency, according to Weitz, adding that the goal remains making consumers aware of the facts.
"Earlier this year, we showed a more open approach to social search, where Google favors only its own G+ information," Weitz said. "Last week, we launched the Bing challenge, to show customers the quality of Bing's Web search results had surpassed Google's."
Clearly, Microsoft has become more aggressive in its competitiveness against Google, similar to the Microsoft PC vs. Apple Mac campaign made popular through humor. The penalty against Google could also explain Apple's decision to cut ties with Google YouTube and Google Maps. In the case of mapping, Apple developed its own application.
Apple's replacement app mapping features became available in the iPhone 5, which recently went on sale. Earlier experts criticized the app, saying it often becomes confused, doesn't provide directions for public transportation and displays inaccurate business information.
With the iOS6 release, major changes were included in the mapping application. This has implications for small businesses, local arms of national brands, and franchises, according to industry insiders. If the iPhone rethinks a business location, it could mean fewer customers.