Google has snarked back at Microsoft’s controversial “Scroogled” products, the range of anti-Google mugs, t-shirts, and other items that quietly went on sale earlier this week. The latest move in Microsoft’s Gmail and Chrome sniping, the physical “Scroogled” products mark an escalation of what was previously an online campaign, but Google has issued a tongue-in-cheek statement in reply.
“Microsoft’s latest venture comes as no surprise” a Google spokesperson told the LA Times, “competition in the wearables space really is heating up.”
The reference is obviously intended to draw comparisons between Microsoft’s gimmicky products and Google’s current focus on wearable technology, epitomized by Google Glass. So far, that’s not a segment Microsoft has conspicuously waded into, with the subtext being that the software company is falling behind.
Of course, Microsoft has been rumored to be working on its own Glass-style technology, despite the absence of a public demonstration. Back in October, insiders claimed the company was preparing prototypes internally; before that, several patents have been filed for related technology, such as augmented reality for live events as well as for AR gaming.
Cast your eye further back, though, and you might be surprised at how much history Microsoft has with wearables. The company was responsible for developing one of the first life-logging cameras, the SenseCam, which Microsoft Research’s Gordon Bell has worn for years, building up terabytes of image data along the way.
Whether the Scroogled campaign actually benefits Microsoft in terms of positive PR is questionable, however, and many have argued that it in fact reflects more poorly on the company itself than it does on Google.