Microsoft offers free Windows phones to Android malware victims

Filed Under: Featured, Malware, Microsoft, Windows phone

Android malware
Want a free Windows Phone? Well, it turns out that you may be able to get one for free - all you need to do is tell Microsoft about the malware problems you've had with Android smartphones.

Yes, that's right. Microsoft's latest social media marketing initiative is not to focus on the benefits of a Windows Phone device but instead - in a somewhat below-the-belt punch - invite Android users to share their stories of malware woe.

Ben Rudolph, Microsoft's Windows Phone "evangelist", is the brainbox behind the scheme which has adopted the hashtag "#droidrage" on Twitter. Linking followers to current news articles about Android malware, Rudolph says he will give an "upgrade" to a Windows Phone to the "5 best (worst?)" stories about being hit by Android malware.

As a marketing ploy, it's rather transparent. But you can't deny that Microsoft has managed to find a cost-effective way to get disgruntled Android users to describe their struggles with malware, just as news broke of hackers cloning Android games such as "Cut the Rope" and "Angry Birds" to deliver malicious payloads.

I guess it must be kind of thrilling for Microsoft - which has endorsed the "#droidrage' campaign - to find the malware boot on the other foot for once. 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.

Microsoft would be wise not to look too smug at the current focus on Android malware issue though - and using the issue as a promotion for Windows Phone 7 may be shortsighted. Let's not forget, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

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14 Responses to Microsoft offers free Windows phones to Android malware victims

  1. Bill · 1010 days ago

    Microsoft has been trying to install bulletproof glass...

  2. Jay · 1010 days ago

    Yeah,... Microsoft products have such a great reputation for never having any security issues...

    • rxcall · 1010 days ago

      hmmm. most of the phone exploits I'm hearing about are on the Android. Also, I run antivirus on my Win 7 machine at home and have never had an exploit. I suggest you upgrade from XP.

      • Mic Check · 1009 days ago

        Windows 7 has many vulnerabilities as well. The hackers simply focus their time and energy on the most widely used platforms. Android seems to be suffering from the same problem.

  3. Vess · 1010 days ago

    May I have a free Android phone if I tell a horror story involving a Windows machine? ;-)

  4. zato · 1010 days ago

    Microsoft still thinks it can win with BS.

  5. Someone should point to them that Android phones can't be killed by a text message like WP7.

  6. Richard Hodgson · 1010 days ago

    It's a pretty odd move to announce this on the same day that someone demonstrates an exploit that completely kills the message centre on a Windows Mobile phone with nothing more than an SMS.

    Not that I approve of malware making it onto the Android Market, Google could certainly do a lot more to reign it in; scan new apps for known exploits, or for similar names to existing popular apps, and maybe begin manually checking apps that have permissions that could potentially cost users money. The there's still the chance of data theft, but it at least makes malware that directly charges the user less attractive a prospect.

  7. B Nean · 1009 days ago

    Bottom line - do you use your cellphone to call people or do you use it as a 'toy chest' ? Does anyone over the age of say, 20 actually need 'Angry Birds' ?

  8. TheTruth · 1008 days ago

    @Graham Cluley - You are now a novice technology consultant. End your career in IT and start fresh in cosmetics, cause your REALLY do not understand where malware comes from. Windows has some of the lowest malware infections, Java, adobe, and OTHER 3rd party software are MAINLY exploited not Windows. But since you "call" yourself a senior technology consultant, you should of known that.

    • Mr. Cluley need not worry much: whenever a microsoftie boasts of the lack of Windows malware, they are always comparing the present iteration with previous versions of that OS, not with other competing operating systems.

      Otherwise they could no doubt produce long lists of Apple malware, Linux malware, and BSD malware with the corresponding near-empty list of Windows malware.

  9. Jimmy JoeBob Alooba · 1008 days ago

    Yes; I'm 54 and play Angry Birds in times of boredom, such as waiting in a Dr office.

  10. Sizzle69 · 1007 days ago

    Rudolph offering free phones for Christmas? Has Santa authorised this? Perhaps it's a Yuletide muttany and the lead reindeer is taking the "reins" from now on. Ho ho ho.... Merry Christmas you filthy animals.

  11. Jubei · 1007 days ago

    One of the best instances that defines this word perfectly.

    Oxymoron

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.