updated 02:55 pm EST, Thu December 15, 2011
Microsoft claims big takeup of free Windows Phones
Microsoft's Bill Cox said Thursday that over 3,200 Android users had taken up company Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph's challenge to describe their virus "horror stories." As a challenge, Rudolph had offered a free Windows Phone to those who could recount the most convincing stories of Android malware instances. He didn't say how many of these would be getting devices.
The company is known to regularly seize on chances to give away Windows Phones to potentially influential users, and in this case was taking advantage of a seeming upswing in the occurrences of Android malware. Just this week, Google pulled a number of fraud apps from Android Market. While still far smaller than in the Windows world, Android malware has climed 472 percent and is an issue both on and off of Android Market.
How many of the 3,200 are sincere isn't certain: it's possible a portion are willing to invent stories for the sake of a free device.
No matter the accuracy, the timing of the offer is unfortunate for Microsoft, as it comes just on the heels of a messaging exploit that can crash the OS just by sending a specially-written message. Microsoft is aware of the flaw and plans a fix, but it leaves iOS as one of the few smartphone platforms without a known, in-the-wild security exploit.