back to article Microsoft: 'Facebook Home just copies Windows Phone'

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg might think his company broke new ground by building its Facebook Home skin for Android around the idea of "people first," but according to Microsoft, all the social network has done is borrow a page from Redmond's playbook. In a post to the company's official blog on Friday, Microsoft mouthpiece …


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  1. Steve Knox

    Degrees of Clever

    "And lest you assume the video was cleverly cooked up after the fact, it's actually promoting Windows Phone 7.5, not 8"

    Meaning that it was very cleverly cooked up after the fact?

    1. solidsoup

      Re: Degrees of Clever

      "Given the similarities to our own approach, I expect Facebook Home to fail quite miserably", he added.

    2. Jim in Hayward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Degrees of Clever

      Yep. Not to mention no one wants a windows phone. period.

      1. Shagbag

        Put People First

        If Microsoft designed WinPhone under the banner of 'Put People First', either they must have been very selective as to what 'People' actually meant, or they completely failed. The OS is struggling to make any impact on the vast majority of peoples' lives, save for generating lots of hate.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Degrees of Clever

        "Not to mention no one wants a windows phone. period."

        They do once they have used or seen one. It's a people and social network centric phone very different to Android and IOS, and much better designed as it has been build from the ground up to be that. IOS hasn't changed much since launch, and Android is pretty much a copy of the IOS approach.

        Windows Phone already overtook Blackberry in most markets and is the fastest growing mobile OS with double digit market shares in some countries. It is faster, more efficient and stable than Android and without all the security holes of Android's Linux origins. Hence a lot of enterprises are looking at WP as a replacement for Blackberry.

        Windows Phone also has ~170K apps now with 48 of the 50 most commonly used apps across all platforms, so the previous road block of not having applications has pretty much been overcome.

    3. Bob Vistakin

      But with Microsoft and Android, its "Patents First"

      Blamer is on dangerous ground slamming anything Android - the $5 per handset they extort from its manufacturers is by far and away their largest revenue stream from mobile.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      God no...

      A people phone that constantly bleeps to let me know that some uninteresting boring 'friend' person rabbits inanely on about their uninteresting boring insignificant life.....

      Bring me a phone that is only a phone, and nothing else.

      This constant exposure to the inept witterings bores down into my very soul and makes me want to shout enough!

  2. Tom 35

    borrow a page from Redmond's playbook.

    MS use Playbooks?

    Having received a Surface RT as I gift I guess I can't blame them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: borrow a page from Redmond's playbook.

      I have both a Playbook and a Surface RT.

      The Playbook is a kids toy in comparison to the Surface. I can't offhand think of a single thing I prefer on the Playbook than the Surface.

  3. The_Regulator

    Stupid but true

    If MSFT could market its way out of a wet paperbag people might take notice of the fact that the fb integration on WP actually is very good.....Unfortunately I don't see that happening in the near future.

    To the author, I know we live in a capitalist society but to a consumer sales numbers are not everything.....

    1. MacroRodent

      Re: Stupid but true

      Agreed - and totally useless when one does NOT use Facebook (yes, Microsoft, such people do exist!). So my Lumia phone has this square tile in the corner with empty sub-squares turning over.... Would like to remove the "People hub" tile, except it is also the main entry point to the address book functionality.

      1. King Dave

        Re: Stupid but true

        So just shrink it down to 1x1... viola, no empty spinning tiles.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stupid but true

        "and totally useless when one does NOT use Facebook "

        Well it's not Microsoft's fault if you have no friends....

        The same integration functionality is also provided to Linked-in, Twitter, Skype, MSN, and any email accounts that you link.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stupid but true @ac 7/4/13 8:34

          Lack of facebook friends != lack of actual friends.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stupid but true

          > Well it's not Microsoft's fault if you have no friends....

          But it sure as hell is Microsoft's fault that they have no friends!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stupid but true

            (Hint: codependency is not friendship)

      3. tsimeone

        Re: Stupid but true

        Well, if you have any knowledge, you don't have to link your facebook account.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stupid but true

      Facebook integration in WP might be very good but everybody I know who uses WP just runs the Facebook app when they want to do Facebook things, so operating system "integration" seems pretty irrelevant.

      1. tsimeone
        Thumb Up

        Re: Stupid but true

        I disagree, I hate the facebook app for windows phone, use the integrated means, *what's new* etc.

        Also, accessing the mobile web browser version of FB i much prefer.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I believe 'em

    There does seem to be a strong similarity in concept between Facebook Home and Windows Phone.

    Not that I give a shit really - I'll not be entertaining either implementation of the concept any time soon, barring an inexplicable depletion in my quota of brain cells.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I believe 'em

      Well, Microsoft do own shares in Facebook so maybe they share ideas behind the scenes.

  5. Paul Shirley

    'people' is not what I want from my phone

    Long, long ago, I actually tried a small pile of apps/skins designed to aggregate communications and make contacts the centre of my Android phone. Hated them all. Disordered information overload getting in the way of using the stuff I want.

    Today the Jelly Bean notification bar gets it about where I'm happy, by telling me there's all sorts of crap waiting, even putting them all in one place but crucially only bothering me with them when I choose to look. Then it fires up my chosen handler for each type instead of pretending one interface handles them all.

    I know I'm at an extreme but I'm convinced the few that love the MS way are equally rare. Facebook are treading a dangerous path, 'people' is just one of the things smartphones do. In some cases one of the minor features ;)

  6. McBeese
    Thumb Down

    Shut up and execute

    Microsoft should shut up and execute. Until they are a serious player in the mobile and/or social space, I'm not really interested in anything they have to say.

    1. GBL Initialiser

      You want them to become a serious player without saying anything? Another gem from the legion of flawless logic.

      1. solidsoup

        No, Mr GBL. I want them to die.

        1. GBL Initialiser


          I think I need to change my handle. Fully it's a Terry Pratchett/Discworld reference to Hex but folk keep using just the 'GBL' part which makes me sound overly proud of my manhood.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Do you pull the GBL often?

            Sorry, couldn't resist...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shut up and execute

      "Microsoft should shut up and execute."

      Well they seem to be quite successfully killing off Blackberry....Windows Phone already took the 3rd OS sales spot in most of the world now....

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Trademark dispute?

    Unless I missed something, this article seems to give the impression that either FaceB0rk or Microsoft have invented/trademarked the idea of "putting people first". This article debates heavily on which party did this first, so I'm going to have to check my planet's name. On my planet, every company on it has tried those words on me in one way or has never worked. On a side note, I'm sorry that your planet now too has to endure this type of marketing.

    Quantum shifting in 3...2...1 }{

  8. Robert Forsyth

    Or Microsoft copied...

    Duncan Cragg from 2008

  9. Tristan Young

    Put people first. Is that what Microsoft was thinking when they made Windows 8 so crappy for desktop and laptop users?

    How about declaring that the new XBox will require a full-time internet connection?

    Personally, I don't want a phone that puts people first. I want a phone that puts the many apps I enjoy using first.

    When I really want to socialize with people, I'll call up an app to do it.

    If the only choices in phones were between a WinPhone, or a Facebook phone, I would chose whichever phone had the best system specs, then I'd wipe out the Windows or Facebook (Android) OS and install Android.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    'Facebook Home just copies Windows Phone'

    Yep, both attract plebs that don't have a fucking clue.

  11. Eddy Ito


    "phones should be designed around you and the people you care about"

    If that were true then all "smart" phones wouldn't be designed around the company sucking every ounce of data from the users of their phones. I suppose "put people first" has a ring of truth to it but only insofar as he means put the product first where "you and the people you care about" happen to be the product.

    It's an interesting twist that in the past one often had to spend more to get a quality product and now a quality product is determined by how much he or she spends.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bullshit

      Microsoft has been going on and on about how Windows Phone was so *awesome* for years.

      It even had the audacity to throw a mock funeral for iPhone when WP7 went RTM.

      On hindsight, the funeral was a good idea but it should have been for Windows phone. And Microsoft.

      Microsoft is dying. The market share is dwindling, the cash reserves are depleting and the share price is flat. The term 'post-PC' is a misnomer. PCs will still be around. It should be called the 'post-Microsoft' world.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Bullshit

        "Microsoft is dying."

        Does Netcraft confirm this?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bullshit

        "It even had the audacity to throw a mock funeral for iPhone when WP7 went RTM."

        Analyst forecasts are still that this will come to pass eventually and that Microsoft will overtake IOS market share.

        Certainly they have a better OS in WP8. They just need some sexy hardware. The Lumias are a good first attempt, but not as nice as the iphone 5 in size and form - but Nokia do have better technology in some aspects - a better screen / touch panel / microphones / camera / nav / maps so the future may be interesting...

        The Lumia camera in the 920, also still outperforms the 13MP camera in the latest Samsung 4 handsets according to the reviews!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bullshit

          The analyst forecasts are all sufficiently far in the future that they will have plenty of excuses about changes in the industry and the market by the time they are obviously backing the wrong horse. That's how analysts work.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bullshit

        "Microsoft is dying. The market share is dwindling, the cash reserves are depleting and the share price is flat. The term 'post-PC' is a misnomer. PCs will still be around. It should be called the 'post-Microsoft' world."

        In which alternative universe is this? In this one Microsoft server market share increased, Xbox made money and Office and Windows Revenue increased and reserves grew!

        From Jan 2013 - "Microsoft said that its Windows division reported revenue of $5.88 billion, up 24% from a year ago, on strong acceptance of Windows 8, which was officially released on Oct. 26. Microsoft said that to date it has sold more than 60 million licenses for Windows 8."

        "Among Microsoft’s business groups, its Server and Tools division reported revenue of $5.19 billion, up 9% from a year ago, and Online Services sales climbed 11% to $869 million."

  12. Spoddyhalfwit

    Some rather dubious logic from the usual suspect here.

    Windows phone assumed to be bad due to low sales figures compared to android. But windows installs dwarf Linux on desktop so new logic applied.

    I have a lumia 920 and I really quite like it, though the concept of it being people-based is largely marketing bollocks... My experience is still based around apps... On the rare occasions I use Facebook I use a dedicated third party app.

  13. Fihart


    As in "Your" M&S (Marks & Spencer stores are clearly not mine or I would be relaxing on a yacht in Monaco).

    'Put Profits First' seems more consistent with MS history, though recent track record suggests they are burning through past profits at quite a rate.

    As for FaceBorg, I spent a happy 10 minutes hiding ads on my home page, including (disgracefully) one inviting me to convert my pension to pay off a debt. A sure recipe for disaster as these firms steal much of any yield in "fees" and then the taxman canes you, leaving little or nothing to pay off debt. And no pension when you retire. That's People for you.

  14. Stephen Channell

    Windows People tile is the only facebook reader i use

    I only use the Facebook for distant family & friends, preferring LinkedIn for work, twitter for travel updates and Skype for person-2-person messaging so I really like the people tile because it pulls all the updates together, and with a flick I can see all their comments, and flick again to phone them, or send a private text or Skype message.

    I've got the {Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, Skype} apps but rarely use them.

    I went for a Windows phone 'cus I'm old enough to use HoTMaiL, and took the view that "a smart phone is one you can read an email on with a Word attachment".. But stayed because my cheap Dell-phone has a slightly curved glass that never crack when I drop it, and despite being 3 years old, its had two major OS updates (7.5 & 7.8).

    I guess that makes me a fan, but no, I'm just cheap.. that's why I don't have a MS Surface.. but I did type this on the phone's slide-out keyboard

  15. wolfetone Silver badge

    Microsoft are right, for once

    I was the proud owner of a Samsung Omnia 7, after having a crappy 3 month fling with a Samsung Galaxy S2. What Microsoft are saying is complete truth: Windows Phone 7 does exactly what the new Facebook OS says it will do. I could go on someones account on my phone, and see everything they had posted quite easily.

    The only reason I'm not using a Windows Phone now is that I just can't stand touchscreen devices, so I'm using a BlackBerry instead. But if you're going to slag off the Windows Phone OS, do it on a point of usability instead of units sold. Remember Betamax was far superior to VHS, but no one brought one. Just think about it.

  16. P. Lee

    Putting people first?

    No, I want to do things.

    I don't want to know what's on my friends' minds and they don't want to know what I'm up to.

    I might want to call (operation) a friend (object), but I don't browse a list of people and then decide what to do with them.

    That's facebook's model (designed for a large PC screen) and if its MS' phone's model too they can keep their phone.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Putting people first?

      Before I got married that's all I used my phone for. Going through a list of people and deciding what I was going to do with them. Now I just do dishes & walk the dogs.

  17. plrndl

    Be Prepared

    He probably had half a dozen potential replies prepared for him, and this one just seemed to fit best.

    The idea that anyone would copy MS's eighth failed attempt at a phone OS is frankly absurd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Be Prepared

      "The idea that anyone would copy MS's eighth failed attempt at a phone OS is frankly absurd."

      Don't forget that Windows Mobile had over 50% market share of Smartphones at one point.

      Microsoft eventually succeed in most things that they do...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Be Prepared -Microsoft eventually succeed in most things that they do..

        I can't think of an occasion before where they got up to 50% of market share only to see it slip away to almost nothing.

  18. adnim

    I just wish I could...

    care less.

    I wouldn't have read the article in the first place.

  19. W. Anderson

    Who copied who?

    Since Microsoft and Facebook have cooperative agreements on several technology fronts, there is no reason to think that Microsoft could not have taken it's "Put People First" mantra from concept presented by Facebook personnel during their joint internal discussions and planning sessions. After all, it is Microsoft that has the "world's record" for copying and using ideas and even (absconding with?) technology from everybody else.

    About the only thing the company has not seconded is providing clients and the public with factual and honest technical performance results of it's products and services, relative to those of competitors. That honor lies elsewhere.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Microsoft...

    You can start mewing about 'putting people first' when Windows phones' market share becomes statistically significant.

    Facebook Home is free, it's optional and maybe handy for FB junkies on Android phones. For those of us who don't have/want a Facebook account, we don't have to put up with a People Hub shoved down our throat.

    It's called choice. Something you Microsoft can't offer users. For example, we have to use Internet Explorer in your world. If we want a walled garden, we'd choose Apple. That walled garden is prettier and richer than yours.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Dear Microsoft...

      You had me until the last part. I'm an iOS user. It's like living in an old stately home. Sure, it's nice enough, quite safe and secure, but it's a little old fashioned and in need of a facelift.

      The Windows Phone is prettier and in many ways better designed - it doesn't look nearly as dated though. As for whether the Apple environment is richer, well a stately home has lots of pointless decorations and oddities (like stuffed animals and large statues etc) that probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Thousands of fart and wallpaper apps don't really convince people much these days either...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Microsoft...

      "You can start mewing about 'putting people first' when Windows phones' market share becomes statistically significant."

      I would say that has already happened - Windows Phone already took 3rd place from Blackberry in most markets globally, and hit over 10% market share in a number of countries...

  21. MJA
    Thumb Down


    I honestly don't know anybody with a Windows phone. I guess James Corden has one but from what I've seen on the adverts, they are trying to sell it by saying 'it has a calendar, alarm clock and an email app'.

    At least MS does provide an Operating System though. Facebook WAS a social networking site but is now just a marketing tool, spewing out tons of mostly irrelevant and useless information for 'with it' companies that have no substance so therefore can make use of the data from thousands of fake accounts.

    I'm assuming Zuckerberg is making a big deal of the new Android Wrap because he's most likely figured a way to plague the mobile element of FB with ads.

  22. henrydddd

    I wonder

    MS is saying that Facebook phones are an exact copy their phone. That sounds like Apple claiming that Samsung phones are an exact copy of their crap. In claiming that Facebook phones are an exact copy of MS phones sounds like an 'Apple vs Samsung' lawsuit is going be coming down the pike.

  23. Shane Kent

    Lol, MS is right...

    I do recall them and their crappy people centric idea. Too bad they have it wrong and Apple has it right. Facebook should be people centric, but they should have been CONTENT CENTRIC like iTunes. As near as I can tell MS has done very little to beat iTunes (a huge fail, in fact EPIC FAIL would be better to say). Media Center was promising, but they let it fizzle, now it is far too late for Media Center.

    Lol, we gotta beat google ads, lol, we gotta beat facebook, lol you suck MS, you should have focused on beating Apple, now Apple is eating your cake and I give them an ingredient every time I buy an iTune card. I have spent hundred of dollars on iTunes cards and not one nickel on a Media Center card, what an epic fail seeing I am and always was a Windows kinda guy.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People centric, as if that's a good thing

    Microsoft wasn't doing anything intelligent with WP, they were just chasing the last tech fad, "Web 2.0" social networking nonsense, and it was already on the way out when they were sitting down to design Windows Phone. Once again a blatant demonstration of how out-of-touch and inept they are.

    I know a couple people with Windows Phones and when they want to use Facebook they just run the app. Operating system integration means eff-all to them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: People centric, as if that's a good thing

      "I know a couple people with Windows Phones and when they want to use Facebook they just run the app. Operating system integration means eff-all to them."

      I think you will find that they use the Facebook app for specific things. The integration gives them an integrated contact list, status updates, messaging and photo stream that they likely use too....

  25. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    The only way

    I'll consider a M$ phone(or faceborg phone or any one of a number of phones ) is by looking at the price

    All I want is a simple phone I can make phone calls with, and maybe send abusive text messages to friends/workmates, and install my homebrew metal bashing calculator apps.

    The simpler and cheaper the better(with unlimited internet of course)

    An 18 quid a month Sumsang S2 fills to spot nicely, when the contract is up, then its look... but thats 14 months away

  26. strangelybrown

    I'm in the mobile industry, and I've got a 920, a 5, and a Z10 sat here on the desk. The Lumia is my preferred device, and was in 900 WP7.5 flavour too.

    Windows Phone is brilliant - arguably the best - at the social/people hub thing. For example, my top right tile is my main customer. From that tile I can email or text all 40 of the contacts, see who's updated linkedin, twitter, or facebook. It syncs perfectly with Outlook, Word, Excel, Lync, Office 365, and everything else you might reasonably expect to find in a typical Enterprise.

    If I call a customer (or anyone else for that matter) and I want to see the last email sent or received between us, it's there on their entry in the contact book. There's a myriad of other little things which make it a very slick bit of kit in the business environment. The iPhone isn't even close on this score. The Z10 is, but I find the GUI unnecessarily complicated - for example, use a Z10 to ring someone when you're walking down the road, then try to find the calculator whilst on the call.

    There's three problems though;

    Firstly, you need to spend a while with WP8 to really appreciate it. From a consumer perspective, 20 minutes of some spotty oik in a phone shop isn't going to change your mind - not to mention that 90% of people go into a phone shop already decided what they're going to buy. No consumer take up these days, you may as well pack up shop.

    Secondly, it's actually best suited to Enterprise types like myself for whom the phone is used primarily as a device for contacting people. Tellingly, the only non-MS app I've installed is the local train company. If you're after a phone which has endless versions of bubbleblitz type games, then WP isn't for you.

    Thirdly - and this is the real dirty great stinking psychotic elephant in the room - for businesses, Microsoft just don't get it. I sat through a presentation given by one of their best WP people to a bank a couple of weeks back. Mostly they wittered on about the camera, speech to text, and social feeds. No demo of how groups can be made, managed, or the seamless integration with the Office suite.

    They're obsessed with beating the iPhone, which is a stupid idea. What they should have done, and there was enough of us in the industry telling them this, was take RIM apart during Q3/4 last year. Trusted Enterprise provider, captive market, great contact at very high level in massive enterprises... completely and utterly failed. RIM have finally shut that open door with BB10 - albeit with a vastly more complicated GUI. Somewhere along the line MS spaffed $1bn dollars on marketing the thing (or was that Win8 marketing, of which WP8 was included?) and managed to actually lose market share.

    The really sad thing in the whole sorry WP tale is that when I get a Lumia or Ativ in the hands of a CTO for a week the feedback is always "Blimey, this is very good... how come our Microsoft account manager has never mentioned it?"

    1. hplasm

      is it a fan? is it a boy?

      Sadly, both.

    2. Jess

      And fourthly

      Microsoft have a very bad record on pulling the plugs on phones.

      New OS and Old OS run different software. And upgrade of OS isn't possible.

      1. tabman

        Re: And fourthly

        Upgrade of OS isn't possible? In what context do you mean? WIn Phone 6, 7 and 8 all have been or are being upgraded over their lifetimes. Are you referring to upgrading 6 to 7 to 8 on the same hardware?

        I have had a WP in various guises since an Orange SPV running Win Phone 6.x. Admittedly the one bugbear I have had is not keeping apps as I have changed phones. I can not say though that I would have liked to run WP8 on that SPV or even my old TYTNII. The resolution and touch screen capabilities couldn't ever have matched what WP8 can deliver.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And fourthly

        "And upgrade of OS isn't possible."

        Not true - upgrade is OTA and works fine - my Lumia 920 received several updates already with no issues.

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