back to article Android malware victims offered free WinPhones by MS

Microsoft is offering free Windows phones to Android malware victims, providing they are prepared to tell world+dog about their problems. The marketing stunt - already given the hashtag #droidrage on Twitter - follows a run of publicity about android malware. Ben Rudolph (@BenthePCGuy), the Microsoft Windows Phone "evangelist …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha!

    "Android malware victims offered free WinPhones by MS"

    ...because MS products are notoriously free from malware, viruses etc!

    1. tmTM

      So

      Will Google or someone be offering free phones to WP8 users everytime they're hit with a security bug?

      I doubt anyone has deep enough pockets for that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      @AC

      Aye.. As other posters already mentioned; WM7 isn't free of issues too. For example; being able to disable the entire message (SMS) service by merely sending one specific SMS to the phone isn't exactly reassuring where security is concerned.

      I wonder if the people who get this offer are also allowed to publicly share their WM7 experiences (outside of commercial (ad) channels).

      Oh the irony if one of those 5 people would accept the WM7 phone; only to be hit by some other piece of malware in the weeks thereafter...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Doh...

    Ironic that WP7 has just been hit my a remote exploit malware that means you need to hard reset your phone.

    I don't think it gets any more EPIC FAIL than that.

    1. Bean0

      Haha how true. I was just musing how long it'd take before this backfired spectacularly... Possibly much shorter than I would have guessed at...

    2. GatesFanbois
      Mushroom

      No malware which requires a hard reset is a fail. An epic fail is downloading something from the official app store which results in you getting a huge bill because of the premium services it has signed you up to.

      1. Craigness

        No

        The epic fail is confirming that the app is able to send premium rate SMSs, authorising it to do so by accepting the TOS, and then complaining when it does it. It's easy enough not to do this; I've blocked the Facebook app for precisely this reason.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        WP7 needs a full wipe and factory reset.

        if you get this SMS. That is a remote exploit. It's great fun, in the unlikely event you know someone with a Windows Phone.

        You can also bet this is just the tip of the iceberg, and more exploits will be discovered on a weekly basis, just like Windows...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      not quite

      Truth hurts sometimes. Android daily malware news bulletin at your nearest newsagent?

      As for what you described as malware in WP it's not. Apparently if a SMS with some specific characters in it, it may crash your mobile. That's not confirmed yet and the guy who found it won't disclose it. And if even if there is such a problem there will be an update from Microsoft (Now compare that to the mess Android is with updates!). I have already received an update after Mango for an exchange fix.

    4. The Original Ash
      FAIL

      "#droidrage Received my new Windows Phone! Got sent SMS, phone rebooted and now borked and returned. Thanks, Microsoft."

  3. Jim Coleman
    Devil

    I reckon most owners of phones running the Internet Advertising Company's Linux fork* would be happy to receive a phone running the "What Mobile?" Mobile OS of the Year 2011.

    *Android (IYHTBT)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wow 5 posts mentioning the What Mobile Phone of the year...

      127 posts mentioning how good Windows Mobile is and how bad the competitors are...

      I hope you're just a Rabid Windows Fanboy rather than an actual shill for Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        I think

        he forgot to tick the Anonymous Coward tickbox, and one of their hundreds of MS shill accounts just got compromised.

        Too bad they didn't use Opera, Chrome, or Firefox, as it would take 10 seconds to make an extension that ticked the AC tickbox as standard.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Barry

          Do you think you don't sound like a Google shill?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Do you think you don't sound like a Google shill?"

            The boy who cried Google. You must work for Nokia.

      2. Jim Coleman
        Holmes

        @AC: The irony of you posting that anonymously is delicious, thanks for the chuckle.

        The thought of you trawling through my posts is a bit creepy though. But yeah, I like WP7, whoop-de-fuckin'-doo. So sue me.

      3. Doug 3

        many employees, some are likely to be paid to post on blogs

        the cat's already out of the bag on this but it seems many don't know that Microsoft pays people to post to blogs and forums. There should be little doubt that a company like Microsoft who is taking a wooping in the smartphone segment is behind many pro-Windows and pro-Microsoft posts here and elsewhere. I dont' think that many of their 1.7% user base are going to cause this much talk back.

        1. Jim Coleman
          Alert

          @Doug 3: Proof, please, or STFU.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Proof...

            Not the same Jim Coleman as this one: http://www.spoke.com/info/p80R2dE/JimColeman ?

            A "Senior Technical Account Manager" at Microsoft?

            Nooo...surely not. Coincidence? Well I can't see why anyone would be so relentless in their pro-Microsoft posts to mention it won a single award 5 times. Not even Fanbois or Phandroids do that...

            1. Jim Coleman
              Pint

              LOL actually no, that isn't me, I'm a freelance IT contractor and I definitely don't work for Microsoft. Bearing in mind how MS employs tens of thousands of people and how common the names Jim and Coleman are in the US, I'm not surprised someone with the same name has turned up as an MS employee. Heck, in the US there is a celebrity TV chef called Jim Coleman. That ain't me neither. Maybe if you were to give your name, I could find some comedy company that your own namesake works for.

              Anyway, the assertion that no-one could possibly be pro-MS without being paid for it is really childish, especially when you look across the tech sites on the Net and see how many positive comments are being made regarding WP7. Plenty of people are loving at, including many high profile tech journos. Haters gonna hate, as they say.

              But thanks for the chuckle, nonetheless. Keep 'em coming.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Well, great that settles it then. you can't possibly be working for Microsoft as no-one would ever lie on here.

                But at least you made a direct comparison between Microsoft and a "Comedy Company", first bit of sense you've spoken.

                1. Jim Coleman
                  Flame

                  OK now you're calling me a liar, which really is offensive. Give me your name and I'll "prove" you work at a company that you don't. Or at the very least, stop making groundless, offensive attacks on other Register users. You have crossed the line.

            2. Jim Coleman
              Megaphone

              "...mention it won a single award 5 times..."

              OK ok I'll try another one. The Mobile Gazette "Best Device of 2011". That's a Windows Phone as well. I promise I won't mention it was the What Mobile phone of the year 2011 any more. Happy now?

              http://mobilegazette.com/2011-review-11x12x08.htm

              Sheesh!

  4. Simbu

    Ah the voice of the uninformed...

    Apparently Jack Daniel hasn't actually used Mango then.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't give the buggers away now!

    MS they're always good for a laugh!

  6. Miek
    Linux

    Beaten to the punchline ...

    "One security consultant joked that Android malware victims ought to be the last people who receive Windows Phone smartphones, even free ones. "Haven't they suffered enough?""

  7. CarlC
    FAIL

    LMAO

    in my best Mick-roSoft Voice, "No please come to us - we don't have malware (yet) - but do be careful what text messages you receive, ok?"

    Huge fail on MS's part - lets highlight someone elses issue just as a major exploit is found on our own OS.

  8. dotdavid
    Coat

    Android Malware

    I'm a victim of it, and here's my sob story;

    I installed this t'other day - https://market.android.com/details?id=com.hotmail.Z7

    I'll get my coat.

  9. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Trollface

    Giving away win-phones for free, what has Jack Daniel's been drinking??

  10. Owen Carter
    Go

    Frankly..

    Google and Android deserve a lot of bad publicity from this.. I like Android a lot.. but the market is a sewer; a few dozen useful apps, a few dozen good games. And countless thousands of lightly polished shiny turds; sticky, shitty, clingy stuff you want out of your system, not in it.

    And all of them require you to allow full access to your Network; all of them want access to your contacts; without fail.

    - Do they want access for Ads or for Spamming? Tracking? Lulz?

    - Does anybody know?

    - Does anybody involved in running the Market care? apparently not.. I've never seen much evidence that anybody involved with the Market has ever pro-actively protected users..

    And don't get me started on all the apps that say 'Free' but actually require you to create an account with the developers; This goes double for all the facebook/twitter/chat social media aggregation apps where their real business is gathering a list of all your social media accounts and interactions in one place in order to monetise your personal details..

    Sooner or later it was inevitable that someone would pick this shit-covered stick up and start beating Google with it.. If MS want a way to differentiateWinP7 from Android; here it is..

    1. Daf L
      Alert

      Why does it matter what they are going to use the access for or the list of contacts - as you have realised it's a bit too much access you don't install the app. The security worked, the phone warned you that the application required certain rights and asked you if you still wanted to allow it access.

      So 'good' apps become well known by having reputable authors with a decent company, strict privacy policy, reviews by trusted organisations etc

      This is just like Windows, Mac OS and even Linux on the desktop. You can simply install anything from anywhere on these platforms and they will not inform you what permissions they require. You use your common sense but you also aren't restricted to only programs that your OS maker decides you are allowed to access.

      Android is safer than any desktop in that respect - just use your friggin common sense - use the permissions to decide to install and don't try out any ol' crapware just for the fun of it.

      1. Alex Rose
        Thumb Up

        @Daf L

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

        "...use your common sense..."

        You clearly don't work in IT or you wouldn't make that kind of comment.

        People using their common sense, you've just made my day!

        1. Shakje

          @Alex Rose

          Isn't that the truth. Here's what really happens:

          1) Some users who don't know bugger all about security download an app and click ok on everything

          2) They review app and say it's amazing

          3) Users who might normally be more careful think that it's probably fine because lots of people reviewed it positively

          4) Because they won't see adverse affects, these users become desensitized to the boxes asking for permissions (and because of just how often you have to click ok to install some things) and ignore them

          And there you go, random shit being installed. Asking a user if they want something to do something doesn't make the system any more secure, the only way to almost guarantee security is to use the Apple model, but assuming that this is a bad thing as you probably do (I don't like the way that they treat developers, but for users it's a pretty good option in my opinion) then you'll just have to suck up the fact that permissions questions are a veneer of security to give people the idea that Android does something in their interest.

    2. Miek

      I think this is an eventually that will be inescapable regardless of phone choice, although I'm totally with you up until the end of the first paragraph.

      "- Does anybody involved in running the Market care? apparently not.. I've never seen much evidence that anybody involved with the Market has ever pro-actively protected users.."

      Google have removed malware from the market and people's device in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

      1. Owen Carter
        Meh

        Removing malware after it has been in the market and installed many times is not the same as pro-actively preventing malware getting onto the market in the first place.

        That's why I used the words 'pro actively' 'ya see ;-)

    3. KnucklesTheDog
      Thumb Down

      "And all of them require you to allow full access to your Network; all of them want access to your contacts; without fail."

      Err, just no. I'm sure you make some good points in there, but making stuff up which is blatantly not true doesn't really inspire me to find them.

    4. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Mushroom

      @Owen Carter

      Sorry mate but the only reason the shit is in any of these market places is 'cos fucking idiots buy it! Market forces seem to break down in these online Fart-App festivals. In any normal business the shit is pushed down so far that the punters never get to see it but in these places it floats right to the top!

      I only use about a dozen apps at most so quite frankly so long as I can find half decent apps that do 90% of what I need without a load of shitty advertising and crashing, I'm happy. It's the idiots who think a digitised sound of a cow farting is actually funny, most of us got over that when we first found our old 8bit micros could do very basic digital capturing.

      You only have to read the reviews of some POS app to know there is one born every minute. The description is usually bloody obvious to describe the app as an utter waste of space. You then read the reviews by some arseholes complaining that is £1.99 was wasted on something that it was so bloody obvious it was a take on you wonder how they managed to even find the on switch on their mobiles! Nope 'cos it appears reading and comprehension are lost arts. Just spend an extra 30 seconds reading and they might no get fleeced.

      Mobile app markets back up the old adage, "Fool and his money are soon parted!".

      1. Owen Carter
        Happy

        I want Android to succeed; but If the market gets a reputation as a sewer it will never be able to shake it off..

        And that requires a bit more of a Jobbsian attitude to the market by G; having a pogrom and throwing vast numbers of slimeball apps off it; in a storm of publicity/outrage from slimeball app developers, would do Google a power of good with their customers.

        And this is Android; if these apps are so great the devs can always create their own market system for people to use. The ability to install apps directly instead of being tied to the market is one of Androids defining 'open' features.

        The mechanism by which these crap apps survive is obvious to us here; it is also obvious to non technical folks, but they feel powerless to stop it and powerless to make really informed choices.

        Apple (while far, far, from being perfect) are still doing a much better job; My iDevice owning colleagues feel like Apple is actively trying to protect them; how many Android users feel the same?

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Oh dear, it's the O'Leary school of marketing

    People tend to steer of companies who do stunts like that, if they can.

    Thankfully when it comes to mobile phones they can.

  12. Metz
    FAIL

    Anyone looking for a job in marketing?

    There's about the be a vacancy or 2 at Microsoft resulting from the monumental #fail of a viral campaign ;)

  13. Error Message Silver badge
    Linux

    Whoring for Microsoft!

    And all I got was this lousy phone...

  14. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Do I have to have an android phone

    or can I just say mine got so infected I ditched it?

    And how can I root a winphone - has anyone got one to try it?

    1. Miek
      Coat

      I wonder if XDA has an android ROM for a winphone

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hehe...

      Is there an Android ROM I could put on it?

      /joke

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even if a windows phone could ever be seen as better than an android device infected with AIDS, giving them a different device wont raise their IQ above "ooohhhh pretty button must push" so the problem wont go away..and they'll continue to be scammed....If you are one of these people then please send me your e-mail address so that I can give you the fix for the android issues for the low low price of just £5.99 + £10P&P for on-line delivery only.

  16. eulampios

    the truth rapists

    Microsoft is very good at raping the truth. Firstly, the number of Android so-called malware does not number in thousands, even hundreds. Secondly, the two ways people can get it are fundamentally different for the two platforms.

    On Android you get it by the voluntary installation even though permissions of the app in question will most probably manifest its malice nature (unless some rare vulnerability is at at play).

    For the MS Windows we have that every website, "dirty" media, such as usbdrive, cd-dvd media, email attachment and the RPC marvel -- all are likely to become the infection vectors.

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Speaking of the RPC marvel ... if you want to prevent the RPC service from working properly simply change your hostname once you have completed the OOBE (Out of box experience) and it completely drats it ;) Just an FYI.

      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884564 (Problem not confined to disk management but all RPC functionality)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah ok

      So you would say that USB, CD/DVD and RPC are likely to be Windows Phone infection vectors? Don't mix apples and oranges...might as well just say "well Android is secure because Gmail is more secure than Hotmail". And how many of these are actually problems for Windows 7?

      Anon for flames.

  17. Roger Stenning
    Pint

    "Haven't they suffered enough?"

    ROFLMFAO *VEG*

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free Android phones, anyone?

    Can I get a free Android phone if I tell a horror story about a machine running Windows?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, but you can get a free copy of Ubuntu.

      or Fedora, or Puppy, or ...

  19. Armando 123

    'Haven't they suffered enough?'

    Rats, beat me to it.

  20. Dave's Jubblies

    The comments in here...

    Wow... just wow.

    Can't believe how many are so anti MSm purely for the sake of it.

    Without exception, every person I've shown WP7 to has liked it. Not all to the point of changing, but not one has said 'urghh'.

    A couple have said they prefer the 'manageability' of android, a fair point. But NONE have said it's 'awful' or 'dreadful'.

    The comments here merely expose the anti ms brigade for what they are. At least have the nerve to try a product before you slate it.

    Yes, Barry, I'm looking at you.

    1. Miek
      Linux

      "Can't believe how many are so anti MSm purely for the sake of it."

      Simply not true, many of here will have very good reasons for their contempt of $MS

      "The comments here merely expose the anti ms brigade for what they are. At least have the nerve to try a product before you slate it."

      I personally had a go with the on-line windows phone 7 trial () and was suitably un-impressed. It was more the fact that I spent 5-10 minutes clearing up all the coffee on my screen, phone and desk after giving winphoney a whirl ;)

      1. Dave's Jubblies

        Yes, I played with an online simulator of my next tv, and thought the picture quality was poor.

        Look, if you want to be taken seriously in any criticism of any company, then at least don't resort to M$ or Winphoney type comments.

        It just makes you look like a childish whiner.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      I'm guessing by everybody

      you mean everyone at the Reading campus...

      Looking at the number of Microsoft shills here in maximum protection mode, it's scary how much viral marketing they are flooding the interwebs with.

      Good job there are still SOME of us immune to it.

      1. Dave's Jubblies

        really?

        Are you seriously suggesting that the only positive comments for ANY microsoft products MUST come from either employees, or paid contributors on behalf of MS?

        Srsly? Are you THAT deluded?

        Under various names, you've been at this for years... and it is getting very tiresome.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          @Dave's Jubblies

          Are you an employee of Waggener Edstrom? Speaking of "under various names, you've been at this for years"...

          When MSFT uses such tactics, is it so strange that anyone posting repetitively on favour of them, even against the evidences, is considered a shill?

    3. eulampios

      grounds for the hatred

      I do not thing that Microsoft is surprised at all. What opinion would you expect from the public about Chikatilo? A long history of he Redmond's behavior is the cause. Think about the recent episode when Microsoft racketeering Android device manufacturers. Did you see the actual patents? Those from the B&N case are merely ridiculous, MS (their chief lawyer) has the impudence to hypocritically talk about innovations.

      Comparing the products, say Windows7, it might be good , it cannot compare to any free and open OS. It is much less secure, nobody (but MS) knows how it is built, architecture is not modular (Win8 promised to bring that after 25 years at last, everything is uncomfortably GUI, it is very inconvenient, lacks repos, central installer, updater like dpkg/pkg/rpm,aptitude/yum and many more.Contrary to the existence of the MS Tax one has to pay for many PCs, you cannot resell an OEM copy., so it is imposed by a monopolistic company.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It has nothing to do with how good WP7 is, or how easy to use, or how many features it has.

      'Windows' is 'what my father did in the 90s', it is 'boring old businesses 10 years behind the times (still running XP)". The brand has expired.

      Another problem is the "just you wait for" marketing. As soon as a product is released Microsoft starts talking about the next one. Nothing surer to kill sales than "The next one will be much better".

      Whan WM6.5 was released it was just an interim before 7 was ready. WP7 killed compatibility with WM and yet did not have all its features. 'Just wait for 7.1' and 'Mango will fix all that'.

      Nokia had the same problem (and still has). "Don't buy Sybian, we are dumping Meego". Don't buy anything until we get our WP7.5 phones out. The 800 arrived but "wait for 710".

      Now it is "Wait for Windows 8". The message is that Windows 8 will run everywhere (eventually) and the WM6.5 to WP7 discontinuity is still remembered so it may be that WP7 is another dead end.

    5. PeteA
      WTF?

      Wow

      So, the best recommendation for WP7 is that nobody hated it... (they just preferred the alternatives)?

  21. billium
    Linux

    @jubblies

    Some of us have a sence of ethics.

    I wonder why M$ bother with a mobiles anyway as Android users are now paying an M$ tax like laptop users have to.

    1. Dave's Jubblies

      A sense of ethics?

      What are you on about? Are you suggesting that it is unethical of MS to charge for the use of their IP? Perhaps they should take the apple or motorla route and just ban any sales of such infringing devices? Cos that makes it much fairer dor the sonsumer doesn't it? Just plain restrict choice.

      And since when did laptop users pay a 'tax'? If you want to make a stupid point, at least try and back it up with sense.

      1. Gerhard Mack
        Stop

        I payed the tax

        I have a Windows XP license that I never used because getting a laptop without a Windows license was more expensive.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "A sense of ethics? What are you on about?"

        We could just leave it at that. However...

        "And since when did laptop users pay a 'tax'?"

        Since the majority of laptops sold carry a product that cannot be conveniently unbundled or swapped out, with a bunch of excuses ranging from the product being "free" or some low price you can't actually get that product for, to the suggestion that it is actually subsidised by "sponsors" whose crapware you have to endure who kindly bought you a product you didn't want.

        Ethics: you have heard of them, surely.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I paid the MS tax on the laptop I am posting this on; I could not buy this laptop without the Win 7 tax. I never booted this machine into Windows, I booted and installed Linux on it the first time I turned it on.

      4. eulampios

        windows tax

        >> Are you suggesting that it is unethical of MS to charge for the use of their IP?

        OK, imagine MS would have to pay for .... using the language C? For billions of far more someone else's innovative ideas than they use and sell on the daily basis. Their so far extremely profitable business would go extinct in a few weeks. Some of the IPs they claim being infringed by B&N have been in use (like by GNU Emacs) long time before MS had a multi-user OS. IT patents are baseless and a shame of our time, those in the case M$ vs. Android are even worse and more ludicrous. Reasons to pay upfront are the same as when you deal with US mafia in the 30-s. It stinks but it might be much cheaper, proving your case in court is not affordable...

        >>And since when did laptop users pay a 'tax'? If you want to make a stupid point, at least try and back it up with sense.

        Last time I checked all major stores and websites of OEM's who "recommend Win7". If MS is making a good competitive product compared to that free crappy how-so-they-call-ti.... GNU/Linux? What to be afraid it. At least, let me sell my OEM copy/key. They don't, right?

        Remember the glorious "Get the fuc..facts " campaign? Lie and misinformation are not ethical and get stuck with a person/company for long.

        So you ask why M$ is so much hated, again?

      5. toadwarrior

        ms lol

        Because MS only goes after the small guys they can bully. If android violates their IP then go after the developer google. They don't because they'll get owned.

        Secondly they won't go after google because it has nothing to do with protecting ip. It's about bullying companies into selling wp7. Companies that give into selling their rubbish have, in some cases got more money than they paid out.

        So yeah if it's about ip go after google and quit bullying phone makers into selling phones no one wants.

  22. Tom Jasper
    Facepalm

    Open invite to the next soft target?

    Can't help but thinking that Microsoft have inadvertently issued a challenge to all those black hats and script cowboys to come along and have fun with WM7.x / WM....

    Until now, it's rather just been about the size of the installed base.

  23. zen1

    I blame it on official platform store

    for not thoroughly vetting an application and FORCING vendors to disclose everything. I also blame the freetards, because they are the main reason we can't have anything nice.

    Flame away... don't care.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Nonsense about "freetards"...

      I think the only people being victimized here are those trying to get something for nothing. It seems to highlight and entirely separate problem from the one being used for FUD purposes. Google needs to ensure that it's the owner selling the app. This seems to be more a case of piracy than of malware.

      Freeloaders are certainly not unique to Android. Freeloading also describes most of the activity on either of Apple's app stores.

    2. eulampios

      >>I also blame the freetard

      Blame as much as you want, just get me something non-free as good and powerful as bash, GNU Emacs, mutt, .... and hundreds of thousands more. Just remember: without free there would be no non-free, or you have something to sub the C language?

  24. dssf

    If this is what it takes...

    I NEVER thought I'd see the day where I would cheer Microsoft.... But, there is a reason:

    If this (real or not) is what it takes, then, for ONCE, I APPLAUD Microsoft.

    GOOGLE, GET THE f*ck OFF YOUR ASSSES AND give us decent firewall tools, intrusion detection, and forensice tools to help us assail in court the ASSHOLES who keep intruding our android phones! WHY do we have to ROOT our phones to add firewall tools, DAMMIT?

    1. KnucklesTheDog
      Thumb Down

      If you download an application which asks you to confirm on install that it's ok to send SMSs, and in its terms and conditions states that it sends premium rate SMSs, how is a firewall going to help?

    2. dssf

      My Phone...

      I get ticked off because the HTC/Google interface will spuriously, randomly just reset.

      I hate that the DRM tools and other "call home" shit activates. I hate having nfl, amazon, blockbuster, adn that f*cking NOVA game, and the stock app on my phone, undeletable -- unless I root the thing. Why should we have to root our phones because a megalo-narcisso cell carrier demands it to be painful to remove?

      Why should we have to root our phones just to install HiSurfing or other easy-to-understand traffic monitors?

      For those who down-thumbed me: Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up my Android for a winphone, and I am utterly not interested in an iPhone, either (soooo tired up looking up every where on any train (BART or MUNI) or any bus and seeing 7/10 phones within 10 feet of me being an iPhone. They DO look nice, but I'm not on that bandwagon. I don't WANT a phone that everybody and their friggen granny and cat and parrot will whip out. They're screen being smaller than mine would not be a win for me, either. I don't care about retina, either.

      But, Android being non win and non iOS, and apparently being "linux" is a form of locked linux, or the devs of firewall tools WANT to force us to unlock our phones. Whether my perception of things is borked or not, Google are NOT helping their own image by not givnig up some of the control to us, locally, so we can feel more in control of what is coming and going. The processors are fast enough to run a packet sniffer or a logger so long as it's mainly web pages and no music or live video streams (I don't stream much of any entertainment to my phone because I don't leave much time for it, and yes, I'm knida paranoid that live streams make it easier to ignore "other" things the phone is doing behind my back...)

      What also pisses me off is that randomly, in the middle of texting, the phone gets sluggish as hell, loses touch sensitivity, and acts like it is not itself. I keep fearing that an off-load of content is happening. But, honestly, sometimes a damned phonecall will come in while I am trying to fire off a text, and when I decline the call, the texting session gets bogged down, acts crazy, and so on. Irritating. No, a faster processor should not be part of the solution. This is an HTC EVO 4G.

      Maybe my next phone will be a bigger one, something from Samsung, and maybe, maybe I'll get around to rooting it. Or, I'll just downgrade to the dumbest, non-multimedia-featured phone I can find.

      1. dssf

        Puzzling how anyone could thumbs-down discount the painful experiences

        of another.

        But, I suspect that I've ranted on and disparaged google/htc/sprint/et al so much that someone's weak soul has had enough of it...

        (Personally, FWIW, I think I have yet to thumbs down any post in ElReg -- I either abstain or thumbs up....)

  25. Steve Evans

    Five best....

    Only five? They're sounding really confident about this aren't they.

  26. P. Lee Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Win some, lose some

    Some fail all round here.

    Yes users shouldn't give permission for apps to access these services but there are lots of trivial apps which ask for stuff they don't need. There's a bit of "UAC fatigue" in being asked for permissions for every poxy app people fancy trying.

    Having said that, we probably should have expected that this would happen. There should be no background dialing services. This is not the same class of access request as asking for GPS location or internet access. All phone calls & SMS should drop you into the default phone/sms application and then switch you back once you have confirmed the connection. This is something that the standard Android OS build could & should enforce. There's nothing to stop a compile-time flag being set to disable this if you want to embed android in some other device where perhaps sms is all it does. There's also nothing to stop the "default" apps being changed but that can be flagged with all sorts of warnings and password requests that you don't normally get from installing an application.

  27. Lance 3

    "Microsoft is offering free Windows phones to Android malware victims, providing they are prepared to tell world+dog about their problems."

    So what they are really saying is that their manufacturing partners have a lot of phones sitting on the dock that they can't get rid off and MS has found a way to buy market share.

  28. David Hicks
    Devil

    Giving away five windows phones?

    Well that ought to double the user base nicely. Why not give away 10? Then they could report a 200% increase in users!

    It could be the best phone platform in the world and (to be completely honest) I still wouldn't think of going near it. MS have been downright evil over the years, and the sheer number of Win Phone 7 shill you see on the internet has put me right off.

    No, I don't mean anyone making the slightest comment in its favour. I mean the people who have been part of a concerted campaign, since before the platform was even available for preview, to paint it as the BEST THING EVAR for user and developer alike, and clearly the natural heir to the entire smartphone arena, no contest, and continue this blind optimism in the face of continued indifference from the public and total market failure.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would like to say:

    http://www.reghardware.com/2011/12/13/windows_phones_debilitated_with_killer_sms/

    which is also today's date.

  30. squilookle

    I like the look of the OS, but I have been an Android user since the G1, it does everything I need it to and I'm happy with it.

    Stunts like this won't make me move from Android to WP7. If they want to make me move, then they need to emphasize why I should do so by highlighting how WP7 will meet my needs better than Android.

    I'm no fan of the iPhone, but I think the Original iPhone adverts were the best example. They showed the phone bring used to do certain things, like finding the nearest cinema using maps, checking what films were on using the browser, and the calling to book the tickets using the phone. If MS want to get anywhere with this, then this is the kind of advertising they need. Show us what it is, what it does well, and so on.

  31. Ian Ringrose

    This all just comes down to the trade-off between “safety” and “freedom”. Windows Phone and the iPhone only lets you load approved apps that are written in an approved way, so they give you more safety.

    Android give you freedom and hence high risk and complete confusion by the phone makers, app vendors and networks being allowed to do what they want.

    I like Window Phone, as it lets me choose for a reasonable selection of handset designs while still giving me safety – I am willing to give up some control to get the safety.

  32. Saucerhead Tharpe

    It's a tax

    I want a new laptop, it's probably going to have Debian on it, or perhaps Arch, but not windows.

    I go to a shop, I ask for the laptop, it comes with Windows, which is factored into the price. I cannot have the machine without Windows, so I am forced to pay the price.

    It is a tax, and one of the reasons that I, who remember DOS 3.3 with fond memories, which is way too much drink will do to you, won't touch the WinPhone.

    I don't like the way MicroSoft do business. The behaviour destroying a Standards body to try and thwarf ODF was vile, and that's only ONE of their practices over the years

    I don't buy from Murdoch, why would I buy from MicroSoft?

    1. Dave's Jubblies
      FAIL

      Sorry, but you are NOT forced to 'pay the price'.

      If YOU choose to buy a laptop from a shop, first off, you DO have a choice, usually Windows or OSX. At least with Windows you get a far greater choice of config.

      Secondly, if you really want an OS free device, choose one that ships in that way. Just because the shops that YOU choose to buy from don't shop the laptop YOU want to buy in the configurationYOU want, don't blame MS for that...

      1. eulampios

        It's an everlasting excuse for every monopoly advising the dissidents to go someplace else or f...ck out of here/there. The problem is that an OEM version is IMPOSED, since you can't resell it. If it is bundled with a PC, then call all OEMs subsidiaries of MS or vice-versa. If I buy a car with "bundled" tires, I can resell'em if am willing to. I if there is law that a forbids this action, Soviet Union was more free.

        So make MS/OEM return the money with the first demand. If not, apply the anti-trust charges against the both.

        Can't you understand with or without reference to MS, that monopoly is detrimental to progress.

      2. PeteA
        Stop

        The only problem

        is that NONE of the shops that I CAN buy from have the configuration that I DO want. Of course, that's part of why I build my own machines (and knowing exactly what went into them - I have a fairly low attrition rate due to buying good quality components in the first place). For the average user, though, there's no choice - you go to the shop and you get sold a machine with Windows on (unless you've got enough money to go to the shop where they sell you one with OSX)

    2. eulampios

      Exactly, as far as the MS Tax is concerned, were a preinstalled copy of whatever Windies a product, one could RESELL it, not for the same price, but still for a few bucks. It takes good will of some OEM companies to reimburse it if they are willing to and a looooong time.

      It's actually up to MS to impose whatever they want, however this does stifle competition not as impudently as with patent trolling, but still... MS should be declared a vile monopoly and banned from governmental institutions, schools and universities (as should Apple).

      1. Dave's Jubblies
        FAIL

        This really isn't that hard...

        An OEM copy is a CHEAPER version of the full product ties to a single machine. If you want to resell a copy of windows, buy a full retail copy. The OEM is cheaper (substantially) for a reason.

        The car analogy isn't valid either. If you buy a full price car, do with it as you want. But if I buy a subsidised car (PHP, or PCH) then I am not free to do with it as I want. But I get it cheaper.

        And as I said before, if yuo want a laptop without Windows, buy one without windows. Don't look to buy one that has it, then moan.

        How about you try to buy a macbook without OSX? And don't tell me it's free, it's just built into the price, you know, like Windows is.

        The differencebeing of course, is that I can buy a PC spec laptop without Windows. Maybe not the exact one I want, but hey, that's supply and demand. If enough people wanted them, they would be there.

        Dell tried, remember?

        Flame away.

        1. eulampios

          All the agreements between OEMs and MS are strictly non-disclosure. It is like MS is doing everything wrong, they try to keep secrecy of their every day very immoral and maybe illegal negotiations. So, no one knows how cheap this OEM version is. When people are successful in getting it returned they get a similar to regular copy amount back. Moreover, OEMs include as a percentage of the PC cost.

          OK, Dell tried what? I though, yeah, cool. Then you compare the specs of the Win and Ubuntu laptops, you find that higher end ones are with Windies and they are even cheaper. What was there in the non-disclosure agreement between Dell and MS? I am using Dell's old E510 machine . WinXP died in a year, it still runs flawlessly with Debian on-board. But I will never buy from them again, unless they undo their wrong.

  33. M man
    Thumb Up

    What are the odds

    The perosn who win this would have to know how to get lot of infections on thier machine INCLUDING rooting it.

    a few random ones wont do.

    And that person would know thoir android quite well.

    hmmm......could make £300 quid out of this!..

    time to warm up my ebay account

    anyone know were I can get a few infected android install files?

  34. Sulehir
    Stop

    Why is everyone taking this so seriously? Its a bit of tongue in cheek marketing hype. Chill out.

    Disclaimer: I currently use a windows phone and I like it, my last phone was an android and for the most part I liked that too. I switched for the simple reason that as a developer who uses visual studio it was nice to have a phone I could write apps for without learning a new language.

    Microsoft has done quite a few unpleasant and shady things over the years, but on the other hand so have google, apple and infact just about any other large company you could name.

    I doubt a voice of reason will go down well in a heated environment like this but I have thick skin so feel free to flame on.

  35. NumptyScrub

    SMS of death

    is actually not just confined to Windows phones:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/30/rogue_sms_danger/

    apparently even Nokia *feature* phones can be crashed with a maliciously constructed SMS.

    It's just taken MS this long to catch up with the rest of the players :D

  36. Nanomousey

    Android Malware?

    I found Android sucked due to the restrictions of the handset and service provider's modifications to the supplied phone. I don't think Android itself has much in the way of issues. I stopped all the background stuff that the service providers run by rooting the phone and running a custom ROM (Cyanogen mod) and I haven't had a problem with any odd behaviour, malware or anything. I would say my phone has been more stable over the last year than any desktop operating system I have used.

    I think it's more that the service providers interference with Android which tends to throw a spanner in the works for a small group of Android users. Friends and colleagues with iPhones have switched to Android and they think it's an improvement. As for WP8, they just will not switch to it based on their experience of desktop Windows. Maybe that is a bit prejudiced towards Windows, but that is down to the user experience of people not wanting endless updates every 12 hours.

    Just to note, many Android users (including me with the phone as supplied and tweaked by my service provider) do not receive updates because service providers turn off the OTA (over the air) update service for many and exercise their own controls. It is in their interest to try and make you upgrade handset and get locked in to a new contract for 18 months to 2 years. It is this that prevents patches being available to many Droid users, not so much anything else.

    Having a rooted phone on Cyanogen gives access to nightly builds and regular patches, which I have to say are not really required. I just move between major revisions when they are officially released and that's more than enough.

  37. Stephen Channell
    Unhappy

    Shame it's only the first 5 :-(

    When replacing my ancient WinMobile 6 phone, I didn't want very much {a few days battery life; a phone that works; email; word & pdf docs; internet browser} preferably with Google Sky but mostly cheap, cheap as chips..

    Looked at loads of Android phones with lots of version, but none compared to iPhone for experience; Nokia for a Phone, WinMo for Office, and no way of knowing which version of Android would work with the apps I need/want.. plus I'd have to buy an unlocked version to avoid Network spyware.

    I ended up buying a discounted Dell WinPhone for the price of an Android 1.6 relic and got everything.. except the one (Google Sky) app I really wanted.. so I don't have any broken phones to trade.

  38. BitDr

    Count on it...

    As the Windows Phone-using population grows, Redmond may well find itself dealing with a mobile malware problem of its own.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wow, the hate

    so back in the day Windows and IE were a security joke, and the security vendors quoted in the article made a pretty penny protecting users.

    Time moved on and with Win7 and IE9 the platform is regularly coming out as more secure than the alternatives... and Sophos and co are starting to see the gravy train dry out unless they create and maintain a wall of FUD

    Microsoft have often been critisised for not being aggressive enough in marketing, especially the new Mango phone which is actually getting great reviews and has happy users - so the fan boys are feeling the heat and have to justify why they're thinking different and carrying the same fruitphone or feature race android that's out of date before it leaves HTCs factory ... so now they try something and those anti malware vendors see a chance to spread the FUD and the press (always happy to knock MS because they're living in the past and still think MS are the evil monopoly when that's now a long way from the truth) are happy to repeat the fact free spoon fed material.

    Oh, and Mango has an SMS vuln which will probably be fixed and rolled to every handset in short order (just try getting that done on Android) ... but hasn't both iPhone and Android had similar issues as well as other problems reported in the past. At least Mango and iPhone have similar app store policies to at least add a level of protection for apps (vs the free-for-all in Android marketplaces) and Windows Phone is the only one CarrierIQ free on every handset/network...

  40. Saucerhead Tharpe
    Linux

    @Dave's Jubblies - What planet are you on?

    "If YOU choose to buy a laptop from a shop, first off, you DO have a choice, usually Windows or OSX. At least with Windows you get a far greater choice of config."

    USUALLY? OSX or Windows?

    That word usually

    Kind of implies a fairly large selection of "other"

    But that's not true is it?

    When there was another OS, back in the early days of netbooks, Microsoft moved heaven and earth to kill the CHEAP part of that market, and managed to undercut "free"

    People speculated you were a Bell Pottinger style shill before, I think this works as an element of proof, that you would make such a patently ridiculous and untrue statement, suggestign that the market is free and level

    1. Dave's Jubblies
      FAIL

      Who are these 'people' you talk of? I don't even know who this bell pottinger is, and I can't even be arsed to google it.

      People like yourself have absolutely no interest in a balanced argument, only shouting your own point louder and louder until you are the only one in the room, and you consider that a victory.

      You seem to construe meanings from my posts that simply aren't there, and make them fit your own argument, with no relation to the actual intent.

      How does my mention of 'usually osx or windows' imply a 'fairly large selection of "other"'?

      It simply doesn't. Another example of shouting at yourself in a large empty room. It inplies that when you buy a laptop, you have a choice of at least two OS's. If you want another choice, seek out a laptop that has that option. Don't buy a laptop that ships WITH WINDOWS, then blame MS for forcing it on you.

      I see no-one slating Apple for 'forcing' osx down your throat? Oh but can you resell that license? No, thought not.

      Yes, MS were agressive in the early netbook days, but you know what? Consumers CHOSE windows, cos the linux alternatives that were about then, were shit. How do I know? Cos I bought two of the buggers, so don't say I'm some sort of 'shill'. Both my fairly technically literate wife, and my technically illterate mother hated it. So I stuck xp on them, and suddenly they could use them again.

      I tried linux. I still do occasionally. I don't doubt it works.

      For the record, I use a dell laptop with windows on it, cos it was cheap, does what I want, and I work with Windows, so it pays me to keep up my skills. I use linux occasionally as I come accross it in work scenarios. I also sometimes come accross Macs. I like Apple hardware. It's well made. I don't like Apple as a marketing machine. They have become everything that MS were at their worst. I've had android phones, I've had windows phones, and WM's, i also have a Wii, PS3 and a 360.

      So what sort of shill does tha make me again?

      At least I have the nerve to state my allegances, my biases, and my logic for all to see, as well as stick to the same name and account, never posting under anon, or other means.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android is not perfect?

    Wait, are you suggesting, and I mean, MS, that Android has issues? No - wait, it's perfect! it has all the features you could possibly want! Ridiculously sized screens that all but the most humungous hands can use, over the top features such as Face unLock that dont actually work very well (Try holding a photo of yourself and see), battery drain with just a handful of widgets - and cluttered UI that favours screen clutter/bling over utility? Or a marketplace that isnt even on 100% of android phones, and that is hard to make any money from for the developer thanks to puracy and a lack of a decent payment experience for users, and is full of cut and paste apps that are merely pruated versions of other peoples work, or 1000s of fart apps, intermixed by serious security flawed apps that are malware?!

    This cant be true! it must all be MS and Apple shills telling us this!

    As we all know, all android users root and mod their phones and know about security and the implications of saying Yes to everything automatically - so it's all their fault anyway!

    Stupid users!

  42. Saucerhead Tharpe

    @anon coward re Win 7 and IE 9

    And back when security was a joke, Microsoft's position was "We're the only game in town, tough".

    It was only the rise of competition that led to them improving IE and Windows (via a blip on Vista, which did get a little better after the SP)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    If you can't sell it give it away!

    Microsoft's smartphone market share has fallen from 15% to 2% and still falling, meaning they've lost most of the customers they had and can't replace them or convince new buyers, regardless of how many glowing posts their Technical Evangelists make in forums like this.

    Not to worry though, the $500M they lost on marketing and branding Wp7 has been made up by extorting bogus IP "license fees" from suppliers of Android smartphones.

    So, what do you do if you have a warehouse full of product you can't sell? Give it away, of course.

  44. dssf

    Probably doesn't matter though..

    http://androidsecuritytest.com/features/logs-and-services/loggers/carrieriq/carrieriq-part2/

    http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/16/2641286/sprint-disables-carrier-iq-software/in/2365736

    http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/1/2603544/htc-says-it-doesnt-receive-data-from-carrier-iq-investigating-ways-to

    Frightening reading...

  45. dssf

    If Carrieriq-part2 hasn't made an impression upon you, then see part 1

    http://androidsecuritytest.com/features/logs-and-services/loggers/carrieriq/

    "CarrierIQ

    This information is written to the best of my knowledge using publicly available resources. No security was bypassed to obtain anything marked confidential, and Carrier IQ made no effort to protect said documents.

    You can take the Carrier IQ training yourself here – https://dis1.water.carrieriq.com/dis/training.jsp

    I have made a mirror of all materials referenced here for download for the sole purpose of allowing others to understand and verify my security research on Carrier IQ.

    http://www.androidfilehost.com/main/.TrevE/CIQ/

    mirror1 – http://www.multiupload.com/BAAKNNSM3J

    What is Carrier IQ?

    Written by Trevor Eckhart

    Carrier IQ (CIQ) sells rootkit software included on many US handsets sold on Sprint, Verizon and more. Devices supported include android phones, Blackberries, Nokias, Tablet devices and more."

    More at the URL.

    Grab your favorite brandy or other imbibement to dull and blunt the anger you might beging to feel swelling up.

    It would be quite interesting if 80% of users of smart phones dropped and stomped their phones, or tossed them into the sea. Or, better yet, just "went off the grid" for a month. Pull the battery, lead-box the phone to guard against a 2nd, HIDDEN battery being present, and just reduce a net footprints. Those spy, marketing, malware, and criminal logs might dry up. But, the reality is that MOST of us would give up red meat for a month than abstain from using our smart devices for a week.

    1. dssf

      Battery Life...

      If ms didn't use/doesn't use any rootkits, does anyone suspect its phones would experience very long battery life? Now, I am suspecting that the presence of carrier iq explains a lot of battery consumptions. The fekkin app is keystroking the hell out of our phones (Androids, at least). So, those who ROOT their phones with cyanogen probably get much longer battery life JUST because their root kernel probably has not stupid iq aggressively logging and aggressively reporting them.

      Guess what: I have carrier iq on auto kil and it STILL comes back, chewing up 1.5 to 2.3 mb of RAM, AND manually killing it in two different task managers is not sufficient.

      Anyone out there know whether ms phones are or are still collecting "metrics" based on "triggers"?

  46. dssf

    How to flick ciq from your phone and test for its removal

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=17612559&postcount=110

    "To tell if you are spyware/logging free, none of these buttons should do much of anything. For example:

    if you check usage stats/dropbox/devlog, you should see no files or 0k for anything listed.

    if you start the usage service intent, you should see no apps listed. All other intents should not start.

    You should not be able to connect to port 65511.

    Screenshots of a "fail condition" Shows on stock rom regardless of tell HTC or location setting logging is enabled and running, proving HTCs statement wrong, wasting resources, io, memory, bandwidth the works - http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...&postcount=114

    Screenshots of a "pass condition". Shows all logs not writing and intents disabled (only possible after modifications, i cannot find a stock setting that will do this. see post1) - http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...&postcount=116 "

    Amazing that he is offering his "pro" version for only $1.

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