Feeds

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

Wags take Redmond to task on malware issue

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.