Feeds

Microsoft's anti-Android Twitter campaign draws ire, irony

Wags take Redmond to task on malware issue

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Microsoft has launched a repeat of a Twitter-based anti-Android marketing stunt that it first tried last year, but this year's campaign seems to have netted the software giant more than it bargained for.

On Wednesday, Redmond's official Windows Phone Twitter feed at @WindowsPhone laid into Google's mobile OS for being vulnerable to malware, citing a recent Sophos Security Threat Report that labeled Android as "today's biggest target."

In a series of tweets, the Microsofties went on to outline a rather sarcastic three-step plan for dealing with smartphone malware:

Step 1. Wait for your Android phone to get infected with Malware
Step 2. Recover from SMS scam bill shock
Step 3. Skip steps 1 & 2, buy a Windows Phone and connect with people you care about instead of some hacker plotting in a dark basement

The feed followed up this advice with an exhortation first made by Microsoft product evangelist Ben Rudolph in 2011, in which he called upon Android users who were frustrated with malware to tweet their woes using the hashtag #DroidRage.

This year's Windows Phone team tweet didn't give any specifics, but for last year's stunt, Rudolph offered the tellers of his five favorite sob stories each a free Windows Phone.

While a few Android customers seemed willing to play along, however, citing tales of deceptive apps that spammed everyone in their contacts list or sent premium-rate SMS messages, the majority of this year's participants were more inclined to treat the stunt with ridicule.

Many of them used the hashtag campaign to mock the idea that Android customers were in "rage" over their devices, comparing the platform's market share to that of Windows Phone:

Others were just disappointed in Microsoft's apparent willingness to tear down the competition, rather than promote its own products in a positive fashion:

One of the more popular observations, however, was that Microsoft should perhaps be more careful about throwing stones where malware is concerned:

Ironically, similar comments were made last year by Graham Cluley of Sophos – the same Sophos whose report Microsoft cited as proof of the Android malware problem – who described the #DroidRage hashtag campaign as "a somewhat below-the-belt punch."

"I guess it must be kind of thrilling for Microsoft ... to find the malware boot on the other foot for once," Cluley wrote at the time. "After all, they have long suffered having the Windows desktop operating system negatively compared to the likes of Unix and Mac OS X when it comes to the levels of malware infection."

To follow the full blow-by-blow of this year's anti-Android marketing ploy, readers can grab some popcorn, surf on over to Twitter.com, and search for the #DroidRage hashtag.

Here at The Reg's San Francisco outpost, however, our favorite comment on the subject so far came from Peter Durfee, whose own droid rage had nothing to do with malware:

Sorry to hear about those plans, Pete. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.