I recently wrote a blog post about a Windows Phone 7 SMS exploit, that while minor, was still causing crashes in Mango. In this article I talked about a few minor security issues involving Windows Phone 7.
I admit I was probably a little too hard on the operating system, especially considering the fact I use Android which has become the king of malware issues.
I find it very disappointing that an OS based on Linux technology has become such a playground for security, malware, and virus issues.
While Microsoft’s WP7 is not without its small security flaws, it’s locked down like Fort Knox in comparison to Android. If Microsoft was smart about things, they’d take the recent Android issues as an opportunity to get some publicity drawn their way… oh wait, that’s exactly what they are doing.
The recent large Android malware fiasco has sparked a special competition of sorts from Redmond. Microsoft is giving away free Windows Phones to the five Android users that send in the worst malware horror stories regarding their experience with Android.
This is actually rather similar to what Microsoft did when WebOS was being phased out, but instead of regular consumers they offered free phones to some developers.
For those who don’t know about the misfortunes surrounding Android, there has been many security issues regarding the OS.
One of these issues called the “RuFrad” scam resulted in Google removing 22 malicious apps that managed to pass through, even though they were actually malware disguised as popular programs such as Angry Birds.
The apps were packaged to send fake text messages to premium-rate SMS numbers, and cost users around $5 per SMS. This particular scam targeted Europe (and not the US), but there are many other issues that have plagued Android throughout the world.
While this might seem like smart marketing, it also could risk angering others. Many of the users that have been scammed with malware on Android have gone through high charges on their bills that they’ve had to fight and so making them ‘duke it out’ in a kind of “who’s time with their phone has been the worst” competition might seem a little insensitive.
I don’t know, I think it is not a bad idea really but it could depend on approach. It does offer free publicity and could help drive attention to Windows Phone.
Windows Phone has yet to have the kind of success that Android or iOS has, despite the fact that Microsoft has worked very hard to update the interface and styling of WP7 when compared to Windows Mobile.
Now is a great time for Microsoft to really heat up its marketing and start focusing on how much more secure it’s platform is compared to Google’s.
This is an all-time-low for the Android platform and if ever there was an opportunity for Microsoft to finally get its less-than-popular OS into the hands of consumers- this would be it.
What do you think of Microsoft’s little ‘competition’? Is it a good marketing strategy or does it seem a little insensitive? Share your thoughts below.