Microsoft is trying to skewer Google as a lousy holiday shopping guide in its latest attempt to divert more traffic to its Bing search engine.

The attack started Wednesday with a marketing campaign focused on a recent change in the way Google operates the part of its search engine devoted to shopping results. The revisions require merchants to pay Google to have their products listed in the shopping section.

In its new ads, Microsoft Corp. contends the new approach betrays Google Inc.'s long-standing commitment to provide the most trustworthy results on the Web, even if it means forgoing revenue. To punctuate its point, Microsoft is warning consumers that they risk getting "Scroogled" if they rely on Google's shopping search service.

The message will be highlighted in TV commercials scheduled to run on NBC and CNN and newspaper ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The blitz also will appear on billboards and online, anchored by a new website,

The barbs are fueling a bitter rivalry between two of the world's most powerful technology companies.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Google's search engine is dominant on the Internet, and Bing runs a distant second. Microsoft's Office and Windows software remains an integral part of personal computers.

Separately, Microsoft said Wednesday about 40 million licenses to Windows 8, the latest version of its Windows operating system, were sold in its first month on the market. Microsoft released the figure in conjunction with its annual shareholder meeting held near its Redmond, Wash., headquarters. -- AP