Microsoft Laughs At Facebook Home And Android

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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Microsoft executive says Facebook Home does what Windows Phone was doing two years ago

A top Microsoft executive has criticised Facebook Home, launched on Android last week, as a collection of outdated ideas that his company implemented years ago.

Frank Shaw, VP of corporate communications at Microsoft, also bashed Android for lacking some of the “social” features of Windows Phone, in a post on the official Microsoft blog.

“While we applaud Facebook for working to give some Android owners a taste of what a ‘people-centric’ phone can be like, we’d humbly like to suggest that you get the real thing, and simply upgrade to a Windows Phone,” wrote Shaw.

“Put people first”

In his blog post, Shaw jokes that following the presentation by Mark Zuckerberg, he had to check the calendar to see if “it was somehow still 2011” since its content “was remarkably similar to the launch event we did for Windows Phone two years ago.”

windowsphone8screenFacebook Home is an application that effectively takes over user’s Android home screen, offering instant access to photos, statuses and events from the social network without the need to open a dedicated application. According to Zuckerberg, the software is like an OS built around users rather than applications.

However, Shaw said many of the concepts that were used by Facebook are already at the core of Microsoft’s mobile OS.

Among them, using the home screen to display notifications and not apps, integrating SMS and Facebook Messaging into the same thread, having a single contact book that includes major social network profiles alongside phone numbers and emails, and having a single photo gallery that includes content hosted on social networks.

“Millions of Windows Phone owners have already discovered how great a phone can be when it’s designed this way, and they aren’t shy about telling their friends,” wrote Shaw. “So, we understand why Facebook would want to find a way to bring similar functionality to a platform that is sadly lacking it.”

In the same post, Shaw called Android “complicated” and suggested users try “people-centric” Windows Phone. “When you get your Windows Phone, simply log into your Facebook account (along with Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn and Gmail) and pin your best friends and family to your start screen, and we promise you’ll be feeling even more at ‘home’.”

It is worth noting that Microsoft’s mobile offering is not really setting the world on fire. Last month, the platform was openly criticised by Samsung’s mobile chief J.K. Shin, who called the demand for Windows Phone handsets “lacklustre”, despite being a Microsoft partner. In the US, Microsoft’s market share in the mobile market currently stands at around 4.1 percent.

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