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With Gmail Man spoof, Microsoft assails Google privacy policy (+video)

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(Read caption) The new Gmail Man video spoofs Google's new privacy policy. Here, a still from the Gmail Man video.

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The war of words between Google and Microsoft just got a little bit hotter. 

Horizons readers will remember that earlier this year, Google unveiled a new, streamlined terms of service and privacy policy. The updated policy is a piece of a wider – and extremely controversial – Google initiative called Search Plus Your World, which mixes standard search results with information plucked from sources such as Google+ and Gmail

Critics have cried foul. Users have complained. And now Microsoft, Google's longtime competitor, is piling on, as well. Meet "Gmail Man," the spoof character introduced in the Microsoft-made video below. The funny video leaked last summer, but it's back now with Microsoft's official blessing. Gmail Man, according to the video, is "everywhere and nowhere at the same time" – he probes "all your sentences and punctuation" and he has "his nose in every colon and situation." 

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