Microsoft offers free Windows phones to Android malware victims

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

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.

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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.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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