Microsoft Wants To Soothe 5 Traumatized Android Users With Free Windows Phones

Do reports of malware on your Android phone have you in a cold sweat? Are dreams of scary phone viruses dancing in your head? Microsoft is taking advantage of those fears and using recent bumps in the road for Android to offer free Windows phones to five Android users with the worst malware horror stories.

PCWorld says Ben Rudolph of Microsoft announced the contest on Twitter with the hashtag #droidrage, and an official announcement soon followed on the Microsoft Twitter page.

The scare came when Google removed 22 apps that were fakes, posing as programs like Angry Birds and other popular titles. Instead of flinging birds about with slingshots, the apps would sling malware into your phone to up SMS costs by about $5 per message.

The scam, dubbed “RuFraud, went down just in Europe, but it still may have spooked American Android users enough to try for one of five free phones.

Feels sort of like that guy who shows up right after your boyfriend cheats on you with a bottle of half-empty tequila.

Microsoft Uses Android Malware Hysteria to Offer Free Windows Phones [PCWorld]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    “Feels sort of like that guy who shows up right after your boyfriend cheats on you with a bottle of half-empty tequila.”

    I sense a story here, MBQ. Do tell.

  2. Sean says:

    Yeah and a Winblows phone is going to be better.

    • nicless says:

      Have you used a Windows Phone? Which part of the phone OS blows exactly?

    • sixsevenco says:

      It is actually. Unlike Android, apps must go through an approval process. Each app runs in a sandbox. And let’s not forget that Windows Phone is the only smartphone OS without Carrier IQ.

      And the UI is winning over die-hard fanboys:,0

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      I bought one a few weeks ago. Never looking back.

      I’d reconsider Android if I didn’t just finish spending two years with devices whose on-screen keyboards frequently crashed. Not spending $600 for a phone that hasn’t figured out how to reproduce functionality that’s been stable since the 1970s.

    • jeni1122 says:

      I actually like the Windows phones quite a bit. I have several friends that work for the Microsoft mobile department and they gave me a phone to test out against the latest and greatest Android at the time. It was easy to use and a lot less cluttered as far as the OS was concerned. The actual hardware was pretty cool too. I thought the touchscreen worked pretty well and I am not the biggest fan of touchscreens on phones.

  3. Tegan says:

    If you’re concerned about malware, Microsoft is one of the last companies I’d turn to as a solution. That being said, way to jump on the FUD bandwagon MS!! The reports of malware on Android devices were very much exaggerated:

    And the initial report came from McAfee. Of course a company selling antivirus bloatware is going to try its best to convince you you need their product.

  4. LabanDenter says:

    I like my windows phone way better then my droid x. Sure it would be nice to have a few more apps, but for being a smart phone it works better.

  5. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Only five? That’s not enough to generate buzz – unless the reports of malware are greatly exaggerated and they get few submissions.

    • bdgbill says:

      Yes but it will double the number of Windows Phones in use!

      We certainly don’t have to worry about malware in Windows apps because there are hardly any apps available.

  6. SkokieGuy says:

    The scam, dubbed RuFraud……

    Desperately trying for RuPaul / Drag reference.

    “Honey, this app better WERQ!”

    Okay, rather lame, come on, this has potential.

  7. teke367 says:

    At least Microsoft is being rational, even with free phones, they don’t expect the amount of takers to go beyond single digits.

  8. Shine-runner says:

    A dead android phone is better than 100 windows phones. I have two touch pro’s windows mobile version 6.1 They was ok phones, not enough programs to make them worth while. The iphone came out and just slaughtered them for programs and apps. Companies was building apps for the iphone and windows mobile was dead in the water. Then Verizon took over Alltel and made the phone complete junk. Get a text from someone and you would not only get it once, but up to six to eight times. Complain to Verizon and you would get “You need a Verizon phone to work correctly on a Verizon network” It worked fine on Alltel. Couldn’t blame the phone as I have two, both was the same. Then Htc dropped the ball and removed the update. If Verizon had to replace the phone, they sent you an Alltel phone that wasn’t updated. At times I think a string and can would of worked better. Windows is just to far behind to even be worth having.

    • SabreDC says:

      First, it doesn’t sound like any of those issues are related to the OS of the phone. It sounds like Verizon and Alltel just screwed up. Second, Windows Mobile did suck. The Metro-based Windows Phone is very good though.

    • sixsevenco says:

      Your talking about apples and oranges. I had a touch pro 2 with t-mobile running Windows Mobile. While very hackable, the phone was laggy and crash-prone.

      Windows Phone is something entirely new.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      Windows 6.1 and 7.5 are about as far apart as Windows 95 and a fax machine.

  9. ungeheier says:

    Dear MS. I have an iPhone 4, but I’m a huge Xbox fan and would love to see the games/integration with Windows Live.

    ICanHazWindowsFone? ;)

  10. BigDragon says:

    Windows Phone? What’s that? Is that like and Android phone or iPhone? I have never seen a Windows Phone in the wild. They’re always the dusty ones in the back corner of phone stores. I don’t want a Windows Phone. It has a clunky and cluttered UI that wastes space and ignores the boundaries of the display.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      For example…?

    • sixsevenco says:

      It’s hard to understand the UI without touching it. The UI is actually very fluid and dynamic. I posted a link in the second post that does a good job of explaining it.

    • nicless says:

      Yeah, 6 giant squares really clutters things up. I love the clean and unclutterness that is 16 smaller squares.

      • nicless says:

        Yes, unclutterness is a word. What it means I haven’t figured out, but it’s a word by George!

      • BigDragon says:

        That’s the clunky part. Having gigantic tiles flanked on the right by a massively tall bar of wasted space containing just a little arrow button is ridiculously bad design. The home screen on an Android or iPhone puts more useful information right at your fingertips or for a quick glance. The Windows Phone clutter comes in when you have bottomless lists of text on top of images such that the text blends into the image or runs off the side of the screen. Links on this page, stuff on the next page running over from the previous, and just general chaos. I don’t care for the UI.

        • SmokeyBacon says:

          Whait, there is wasted space but then it is cluttered? That seems to be a contradiction. And what big column of wasted space is that – my phone must be missing that part because I don’t have it. And where is there text on top of images such that the text runs into the images or runs off the screen – I haven’t seen that on my windows phone ever – what am I missing to get that to happen because I haven’t seen it.

          I will admit there is a lot about my windows phone I would change but after seeing the people in my office struggling with problems on their android and iphones I don’t really want one of those either.

          • kujospam says:

            Shrugs, have HTC Rezound, Havn’t had a single problem with it yet. Then agian, only had it for 2 weeks. But I do use it 3/4 hours a day. My first smart phone. I did think about a windows phone, sadly Microsoft just doesn’t market it hard enough. I could pretty much tell that because when I went to go buy one, verizon only had ONE windows phone for sale. I admit I didn’t look up that phone, and I admit I do like standards so I really should of. But at the same time I like freedom, and mircosoft is so so in that deparment. When it comes to programming great great support, when it comes to xbox they fail. Windows is so so on average. XP Great, Vista, eh ok, Win 7 , Great. And when it comes to office, half the industry is still using 2003. That says something. I’m not a Microsoft hater, I just think they should try harder if they want me to buy their phone. Rezound is great for being a phone, although the whole beats thing is stupid I think. I havn’t used beats yet, it is just the fact that when ever you read officially about it, they can’t say rezound without the word beats coming after. Pretty lame when it comes to marketing.

    • Ayanami says:

      I work in a school system. I am in different buildings every day. Since the launch of winpho I have yet to see even one in the wild. The administrators are iPhone and blackberry,and it seems that almost all the teachers have Android.

  11. framitz says:

    So, why does Microsoft want to traumatize Android users with Windows phones?

    So easy to read that headline wrong, or right?

  12. sixsevenco says:

    Arg! So many misinformed people. MS is really needs to do a better job with it’s marketing.

  13. xanadustc says:

    …all because we know that windows NEVER gets viruses!

  14. dragonbox says:

    In reality, it’s going to go to whoever not who has the particularly best story but the most followers, because that will end up raking in more PR for ’em.

  15. q`Tzal says:

    Microsoft is taking advantage of the same market share disadvantage now (2011 Nielsen Mobile Insight –
    that Apple did when they broke in to the home computer market.

    Because Apple then and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 (and 8) have such a low share of the total amount of users worldwide they present much less of an entertaining target for those that write malware. It’s a simple matter of effort: least amount of work to mess with the most amount of users.

    But Microsoft learned their lesson from the iMac: most consumers fear for their safety but don’t want to do change their actions. Initially the iMac’s limited market share was a strength in that there was very little malware in the wild. Once the Mac OS expanded in market share malware followed. Indeed Mac users were easier targets because they had been assured the Apple’s computing platforms were perfectly safe and immune from malware. This was proven to be wrong.

    With WP7 and WP8 Microsoft is drinking their own KoolAid. Fundamentally it is just as safe as the Mac OS was.
    Structurally, regarding the WP7 OS, I must commend them: they are implementing everything they can think of to enhance security. It is these enhancements that will keep away the early adopters – those of us who like Android.

    I am especially dismayed by their wholesale marriage to the DMCA displayed in this “positive” security “feature”: (from
    “Helps protect information by securing the device through PINs and passwords, while limiting the unwanted transfer of data by no longer allowing access to data via PC tethering or support for removable SD cards”.

    You’d think Microsoft had learned from Windows Vista that if you lock down a user’s data too much you reduce functionality, people just won’t use your device.
    If I was trying to run a highly secure corporate mobile sever I’d want to use something as secure a Windows Phone 7 is reputed to be.
    I also know from personal experience, as someone who takes great pride in circumventing security for the sake of my laziness, that while this will provide a great business only platform data security issues will occur. When they do it will be through unmonitored hardware and software that Microsoft will absolve themselves of any responsibility for.

  16. SJ says:

    Free Windows phone? … … Hmm… … No thanks.

  17. Rexy on a rampage says:

    Quite happy with my Evo 3D. Now if only Ice Cream Sandwich would be released for it…

  18. aleck says:

    Way to launch a global marketing blitz with FIVE phones. Wow!!! I mean, MS, you need not have to go all out and spend all that cash on five phones.

  19. Swins says:

    Interesting, 5 new windows phone users would double their marketsahre