Originally posted on 5/15/2013
Microsoft and Google obviously compete on many levels (Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs, Bing vs. Google Search, etc.). In the past, Microsoft has even formed advertising alliances with Google's chief search competitor Yahoo! in order to keep pace with the search giant.
Yet this week, the two companies came together to enable Microsoft to offer its Outlook.com users the ability to import Gmail contacts and connect with them using Google Talk
. As we have noted many times, coopetition is the norm in high-tech, so on one level it isn't a surprise. After all, by bringing many of Outlook.com's 400 million customers to Google's ad-dependent chat functionality, it provides more eyeballs to tout to its customers.
Still, as one Australian wire service noted
, there has to be a little bit of awkwardness. According to the author:
"Even as Microsoft offers Google Chat to its Outlook.com users, it warns them of the unreliable Google's search engine through a series of critical advertisements attacking Google's Gmail, the foundation for Google Chat.
While depicting Google as prying the texts of emails to decipher user discussions to put up ads accordingly, Microsoft's ads urge people to switch to the less intrusive Outlook.com."
Of course, at the end of the day, an unlikely union is just another day in high-tech.