Microsoft wants to hear about your Android malware problems.. so it can promote Windows Phones

Filed Under: Android, Featured, Google, Malware, Microsoft, Mobile, Windows phone

So much for the season of goodwill to all man.

That certainly counts for nothing between warring rivals in the smartphone business, if the following tweet is to be believed.

Yes, Microsoft's official Windows Phone account clearly thinks that spreading stories about Android phones suffering from malware equates to better sales of Windows Phones. Just in time for Christmas! Kerrching!

Need more convincing? Just take a look at what Microsoft's Windows Phone was saying yesterday (with a generous plug for the newly-published Sophos Threat Report):

More tweets from Windows Phone

Readers of Naked Security will remember that Microsoft tried the same tactics last December, where it first started using the hashtag #droidrage.

Windows PhoneBack then, Microsoft was offering free Windows Phones as prizes for the "best (worst?) stories" of Android malware mayhem.

This time the company hasn't been so clear as to exactly what goodies might be up for grabs. (I hope for your sake it's not a free Microsoft Surface RT. Tum ti tum...)

Seriously though, there clearly is a growing malware problem for Android devices. It's nothing like as bad as the one hitting Windows desktop computers, but it's a less safe place to be than on an iPhone or a Windows Phone.

Having been on the receiving end of abuse over virus-infected Windows computers for so many years, can you really blame Microsoft for wanting to put the boot on the other foot for once?

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10 Responses to Microsoft wants to hear about your Android malware problems.. so it can promote Windows Phones

  1. Machin Shin · 629 days ago

    Is it just me that thinks this is about as smart as when they came out with service pack 1 for XP and said something to the effect of "I would be surprised if anyone was to hack this".

    Sure it is nice and calm on a windows phone right now, but that is because it is new and shiny so the hackers are still having fun and playing with it. They will get around to writing the malware for it as soon as they tire of the games that came on it.

  2. Alan · 629 days ago

    I'm surprised this article didn't mention how this tactic backfired spectacularly. #WindowsRage is trending on Google+ and Twitter...
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/05/microsoft...

  3. mittfh · 629 days ago

    Given long enough, and sufficiently large market share, almost any OS (mobile, portable or desktop) can get infected with malware. If Microsoft's desktop operating systems are anything to go by, it'll only be a matter of time before someone finds a mechanism to get malware onto a Windows phone.

  4. roy jones jr · 629 days ago

    Whoever signed off on this in Microsoft's marketing department, should be demoted or let go.

  5. Statistically speaking, they're right. The vast majority of mobile phone malware is found found on the Android platform. That said, it's more than a little hypocritical for Windows to start throwing stones since they've built -- and are still living in -- an ornate and delicate glass villa.

    I actually watched a pretty good webinar on Android malware the other day -- it's presented by the senior security strategist at Kaspersky: https://www.brighttalk.com/r/jRm

  6. MikeP_UK · 628 days ago

    Such anti-competitor marketing tricks have seriously backfired in the past and this will suffer the same fate. Why do these 'marketing spivs' think it's worth nay-saying their competitors when their own products are just as vulnerable.
    I prefer, as a scientist/engineer, to stick with researched data and have open debates that progress issues forward, so I ignore all this 'marketing speak'. I reckon our systems are safer for it - but we are always wary of anything we have not seen before until we get more detailed information to use. And we always use anti-virus, anti rootkit, etc.
    And we don't open emails from unknown/uninvited sources.

  7. do what microsoft does - use reports of malware and viruses and use it to promote old fashioned pen and paper

    just a thought

  8. Nigel · 628 days ago

    "Having been on the receiving end of abuse over virus-infected Windows computers for so many years, can you really blame Microsoft for wanting to put the boot on the other foot for once?"

    Well, actually, yes...I can blame Microsoft for taking the low moral ground here. Microsoft was on the receiving end of abuse for all those years because Windows and other MS software was abusively insecure. They deserved to get their butts kicked for that.

    I don't buy the argument that, now that they've cleaned up their act a bit, they're justified in pointing the accusing finger at someone else. I mean, it's not like there's nothing left for them to do in the area of getting their own house in order. What a bunch of hypocrites and losers.

  9. Dude · 628 days ago

    I wonder if Microsoft can manage to fix their malware nightmare on desktop Windows before starting to speak about malware in others' systems!!!

  10. Sootie · 626 days ago

    egarly awaiting the surface pro that can run all the old windows malware in the newest way and still be a pre-beta peice of junk for only $800.

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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.