Posted October 8, 2007 10:00 am by with 4 comments

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The last thing search giant Google needs right now is any suggestion that it has become all knowing, all seeing. The company is trying to get its DoubleClick deal approved, so comments from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer won’t help.

“Google’s had the same experience, even though they read your mail and we don’t,” Ballmer said, to chuckles and and a couple of gasps in the audience. “That’s just a factual statement, not even to be pejorative. The theory was if we read your mail, if somebody read your mail, they would know what to talk to you about. It’s not working out as brilliantly as the concept was laid out.”

Ballmer’s comments came in reply to a question raised at a recent speech in the UK.

Of course, it’s not such a shocking revelation. Google freely admits to examining your personal information using cookies. However, Google claims they don’t actually “read” your email.

It will be interesting to see Google’s response. If they don’t actually “read” your Gmail, they’d have to come out on the defensive–perhaps even sue Ballmer for slander? If they keep quiet, you’ll know Ballmer’s hitting close to the truth and Google would rather not debate the topic.

You can watch the video here.

  • Google says we dont read emails, our machines just scan them. Of course the machines scan, they could not hire people to read emails and store the data for every user profile, machines do that more efficient and better:)

  • Sigh… Every time Ballmer speaks the world gets a little stupider… Google no more “reads” your email than Microsoft Word “reads” your personal correspondence to suggest spelling fixes. Perhaps if Ballmer and quite frankly the entire MSN Search, Live Search, whatever it’s called these days, team had a clue what indexing and algorithm based search was and how it should work, they could provide a useable service instead of sad comedy in the form of Ballmer’s inane jabber. I mean really, is this guy not the world’s most overpaid door to door vacuum cleaner salesman or what?

  • Re: Your all seeing and knowing comment – I suppose you haven’t discovered this gem then:

    Enjoy – LOL

    Interesting to see what Google will do. Does anyone else get the impression that the big G is not so friendly anymore… Or is that just the Microsoft sponsored news I’m reading… I think I’ll stick to despising Gates, I’ve been doing it for over a decade…