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By Noel Young, Correspondent

April 13, 2013 | 2 min read

Microsoft began a new series of ads this week attacking Google - this time for passing on personal info when you buy an app from them.

This is the third phase of a five-month-old marketing campaign that Microsoft calls ‘‘Scroogled.’’

The question is : are they wasting their time, underlining the fact that where once they were No 1. they are now very much an also ran compared with Google.

The ads - online, on television, and in print - depict Google as a company more interested in increasing profits and power than protecting people’s privacy , said a report in the Boston Globe.

In this week's ad at the top of this report , Microsoft has a go at Google for sharing some of the personal information that it gathers about people who buy applications designed to run on smartphones and tablet computers powered by Google’s Android software.

Earlier ads have criticised Google for electronically scanning the contents of people’s Gmail accounts to help sell ads.

Other ads attacked a recent Google policy that requires retailers to pay to appear in the shopping section of Google’s dominant search engine.

Greg Sullivan, Microsoft’s senior manager for Windows Phone, said, ‘‘We think we have a better alternative that doesn’t do these kinds of nefarious things.’’

The barbs could backfire, says the Globe, reminding people of "Microsoft’s mostly futile attempts to trump its rival with more compelling technology."

Jonathan Weber of search consulting firm LunaMetrics said, ‘‘It’s always the underdog that does negative advertising like this, and there is no doubt that Microsoft is now the underdog.’’

However, Consumer Watchdog, has complained to the Federal Trade Commission that Google’s apps practices represent an ‘‘egregious privacy violation.’’

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