Microsoft pulled no punches criticizing Facebook Home and the Android operating system, calling Home old, and saying that Android on top of which it sits is too complicated. Much better, the company says is using Facebook on a Windows Phone.
In the Official Microsoft Blog, Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft has this to say about Facebook Home:
"I tuned into the coverage of the Facebook Home event yesterday and actually had to check my calendar a few times.
"Not to see if it was still April Fools Day, but to see if it was somehow still 2011.
"Because the content of the presentation was remarkably similar to the launch event we did for Windows Phone two years ago."
Shaw went on to say that two years ago, Microsoft designed Windows Phone with a simple design philosophy: "Put People First," and built that into the core of the new phone OS. He then takes a pot shot at Android, on top of which Facebook Home sits:
"So, we understand why Facebook would want to find a way to bring similar functionality to a platform that is sadly lacking it.
"But as Android owners know, that platform is complicated enough without adding another skin built around another metaphor, on top of what is already a custom variant of the OS."
Is Shaw right about Android's complexity? To a certain extent, he is. It's certainly not as simple to use as Windows Phone or iOS. But it's also far more customizable, with far more options. And with each passing iteration, it has tended to get simpler, without losing any of its considerable power.
At least one researcher finds it ironic that Microsoft would call Android too complicated, because many people have said the same thing about Windows 8. Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, told Computerworld:
"It's definitely the pot calling the kettle black," he said. "This is all very much sour grapes."
It's understandable why Microsoft would target Facebook Home. As Shaw says, it does many of the things that Windows Phone does, and that's a serious problem for Microsoft. Windows Phone is better at grabbing information and showing people what they want and need without them taking action, than is iOS or Android. But as he says, Facebook Home does some of that as well. If Facebook can take some of Windows Phone's better features and layer them on top of Android, it could hurt Microsoft's ability to differentiate Windows Phone from Android.
So expect this to be just an opening shot from Microsoft at Facebook Home. The app could be a dangerous one for Microsoft.
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