Rather than plug the merits of Windows Phone those busy tweeters @WindowsPhone launched their new #Droidrage campaign today: “Do you have an Android malware horror story? Reply with #Droidrage with your best/worst story and we may have a get-well present for you”.
Presumably, some bright spark in the Windows Phone team bubble thought this was a clever move – imply that Android is an insecure operating system rife with malware and offer a thinly veiled promise of a new Windows Phone for the lucky ‘winner’.
Did they, part of the same company that makes Windows, not foresee the dangers of such a negative attack ad? In the same week that Microsoft Security Essentials (the engine for Windows 8’s vaunted Defender security) lost its AV-Test seal of approval due to poor protection against malware?
Anyone outside their bubble could readily envisage the resulting car crash, so why not Microsoft? Sure enough, tweets comparing Windows Phone very unfavorably to Android devices soon came pouring in – with many also criticizing Windows (and Surface tablets) just for good measure.
It’s all just too easy – some of my favorites include:
- I tried to buy a Nexus 4 but the device is too popular to get one! I wish it was less popular like Windows Phone.
- I once thought about writing malware for a WindowsPhone but then I thought, aren’t they suffering enough?
- Sorry. We’re back. Had to reboot the PC.
The insinuation that Android is a malware haven is a bizarre strategy for Microsoft (especially Microsoft) to employ. Depending on which stats you read, Android dominates the smartphone market with a share of about 65% whilst Windows Phone has less than 3% share.
Oh, the irony of a niche operating system with a tiny market share playing up the severity of malware on its near-monopoly competitor… Apple have been ploughing that same furrow for years with the claim that you will not (now rebranded to ‘you will be less likely to’) get a virus on a Mac.
Yes, Android malware does exist and it makes sense to take steps to avoid it but, in all honesty, I’ve never actually met anyone who has encountered it.
In my IT business I see virus infected Windows computers day in, day out, often the result of browsing to the ‘wrong’ site or downloading the ‘wrong’ thing. Many of those users also have an Android phone and no doubt use them for similarly unsafe things but their phone just doesn’t get infected with the same ease as the Windows operating system.
From personal experience then, Windows users may typically perceive Windows to be ‘insecure’ and Android to be ‘secure’ – Microsoft would do better to advertize the advantages of Windows Phone than try to overturn that widely held belief with a smear campaign.
[The original Windows Phone tweet is here if you want to have your say]