Microsoft's DroidRage Twitter campaign goes painfully wrong

Microsoft's DroidRage Twitter campaign goes painfully wrong

Summary: Someone in Microsoft public relations seem to think that encouraging Android FUD on Twitter would be a great way to win friends and influence others. Wrong!

Microsoft's #Droidrage Twitter marketing campaign quickly turned into Windows rage.

Trash-talking, whether it's on the basketball court or on online forums, has a bad habit of blowing up when you can't back it up. So when Microsoft decided to launch a win a free Windows Phone Twitter campaign with "Do you have an Android malware horror story?  Reply with #DroidRage with your best/worst story and we may have a get-well present for you" on Twitter and Chris DiBona, Google's Director of Open Source, fired back, "Wanna see what Flop Sweat looks like? Follow:@windowsphone" I knew this wasn't going to end well for Microsoft.

True, Android malware is a real problem. True, Google needs to do more about blocking malware applications from ever reaching users in the first place via the Google Play Store. But, there's also a lot of Android malware FUD and Android now has over 75% of the smartphone market--Windows Phone 8 doesn't even show up as noise in mobile marketshare--and, what's far more important for a public relations campaign, a passionate fan-base . So, what do you think happened?

Thanks for a site that monitors Twitter hashtag usage and Twitter's built-in search function, we now know from tweets like these:

Whoops. Just activated another million devices today. Sorry bout that, @windowsphone.#DroidRage

I wish my Android phone crashed more often like Windows. #DroidRage

You cant write proper software for @windowsphone, how can malware be written for it ??#DroidRage

that people were more ticked at Microsoft then they were enraged at Android. That sample gives you a fair idea of the mass reaction to this campaign. And, of course, just as the sun must rise in the morning, #windowsrage followed #androidrage on to Twitter and we soon saw tweets such as:

who on gods green earth would want Windoze on a phone, or tablet??! #idiots#windowsrage

Trojan 10 Minutes after installation #WindowsRage

windowsrage while we're talking about Malware on #androidrage, I wonder how the statistics look for the Windows OS...

And on and on. Since Microsoft doesn't seem interested in the hobbyists and enthusiasts for Windows Phone 8 , this should have come as no surprise. For people to want to tweet in favor or against a technology you need people who are passionate about that technology. While there are people who like Windows Phone 8, there aren't nearly as many who are ardently in love with it in the way that some Android and iPhone fans are with their devices.

Oddly enough this is the second time that the Droidrage campaign has appeared. Microsoft tried it in 2011 and it didn't do that well then either. Adam Winiecki, ironically enough an iPhone developer may have put it best, "Marketing guru who came up with #droidrageactually secretly works for Google. You've all been had." 

Perhaps Microsoft would be better served if they listened to Richard Knol, a Dutch software developer, who tweeted, "Dont try to be trendy, dont try to manipulate opinion, just make good products #AndroidRage." I think he might be on to something there.

Related Stories: 

Topics: Android, Windows 8, Social Enterprise, Smartphones, Mobile OS, Microsoft, Malware, iPhone, Google, Windows Phone

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  • Who needs malware FUD when you have Android fragmentation-gate?

    75% market share? LOL. How many of them are still Android 2.0? How many of them are not even on a data plan? The biggest market share it takes are those low end pre-paid phones that only makes profit for the carriers.
    • Who cares?

      Even if you only count the number of current Android devices, I'm pretty sure you'll wind up with a number higher than Windows Phone devices. Let alone Windows 8 devices.
    • 75% market share

      I see it makes you angry.
    • I haven't actually seen a 2.0 'droid

      And I traded in my Gingerbread phone a couple of months ago for one running Jelly Bean (4.1).
      John L. Ries
    • Re: Who needs malware FUD when you have Android fragmentation-gate?

      When the very latest version of Android, "Jelly Bean", has already achieved greater market share on its own in the last 6 months than Microsoft's entire mobile efforts over the previous two years, it's pretty clear which platform is the one suffering from "fragmentation" problems.
      • Your comment makes little sense with the Logic.

        Windows 8 has surpassed Mac OSX in market share already. Does that mean that Mac has fragmentation problems? No. Bigger user base means more people update. Its pure logic.
        • actually

          Windows 8 is %1.08 osx moutain lion is higher at 2.14 , linux is higher with %1.25
          Anthony E
          • Linux numbers

            An interesting aside to the Linux numbers. Most numbers are gleaned from SALES figures, so the "conversions" after the sale don't get counted. Most of us could agree, most people TRY Linux on OLD MACHINES (or dual boot new ones) so sales figures are ALWAYS SLANTED toward Microsoft.
          • Actually...

            Personally, I just grab various linux isos off the net and then install them. Sometimes I upgrade my Ubuntu to the latest version without using an iso. So I wouldn't really know of a good way to track statistics like that. I do prefer to buy my own hardware though, without an OS purchase being involved in the process.
            Daniel Harvison
          • Of course sales figures are MS-slanted..

            When's the last time you saw a PC with Linux for sale in a store? People just download the .iso and install it. Joe Consumer just buys whatever the store has, either a Mac or a Win box, and has no idea that there are alternatives.
            Steve I.
    • Not upgrading outdated hardware is not fragmentation

      Putting old devices "out to pasture" is NOT fragmentation. Apple does not support upgrades of their old iPhones to IOS6, Microsoft certainly doesn't upgrade the OS on devices, even 1 year old devices, so what the heck are you talking about? My 2 year old Android phone is running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0), but I suspect it will never be upgraded to Jellybean. It's simply too old.
    • You list biggest advantage Android have as its weaknes....

      Andi can run on (almost) anything.

      This is ALWAYS better than no good OS.

      Andi 2.0 have less than 2% of Google Play market btw...
    • Actually, its not the gathering of info that can be the bad thing...

      For the most part, who cares if someone is simply "asking" for information/stories pertaining to troubles with Android, Windows or Apple devices. That in itself is not such a big deal. There always seem to be plenty of people out there who have their "stories".

      More the problem arises when various people or entities choose how they are going to try and use these kinds of stories or information. Thats the point where things usually start getting ridiculous. Exaggerations and overblown importance frequently get foisted on relatively inconsequential events and fairly sparse or minor incidents. Predictions of absurd proportion’s often follow. Its one thing to say "tell us your stories about the problems you have experienced", then its quite another to start saying those stories stand for something or mean something that they actually do not.

      Given the frequency that these kinds of stories get made out to be standing for or representative of something they are not, just collecting this kind of information typically becomes highly suspect for good reason. Windows users should be well aware of these kinds of pitfalls for good reason. The main argument put forward against Windows, for what seemed like forever was, that Windows was so rife with malware it was an unusable OS. This of course was always absurd, and millions of Windows users around the world knew this as they went on uninterrupted for years by malware, but that didn’t stop the “story spinners” from making the situation sound so much worse than it actually was. This has historically been the way of things in the IT world ever since. Take a little bit of a problem and make it sound like the end of the world.

      Make something sound like crap just because its quite apparent its not perfect and without flaw. One would think that common sense would make these kinds of arguments without merit, particularly in a field where you deal with well-educated people. But, alas, such is not the case. Over and over again we see one group of people or another group of people, who are well prepared to turn their nose up at such ludicrous arguments about their products of ‘choice’ but are more than ready to make the same ludicrous arguments of exaggeration about products they do not like.

      So, as I started off saying, its not so much the gathering of this kind of information that’s the problem, the real problem is how such information is analyzed and then put to use; therein is where we all too often find the sin.
  • Whoever authorized this campaign is dumb.

    Cheap shots at the competition - is this what promotion at MS has come to?

    I like the Windows Phone OS, but cannot stand amateur attempts at marketing it such as this.

    • MS didnt take any cheap shots, nor did they ask for any.

      They asked for real stories from real people who have issues with android. Naturally the immature android fanbois leap into action with "Windoze" etc. showing the level of tech savvy we've all seen from them since their year of Linux days. I'm sure neither MS nor anyone else is surprised to see that.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Well..

        If I ask people to tell real stories about the last times they slept with your mom, is that a cheap shot? No, right? I'm just asking for stories, you know, for research.

        If anything it's the Microsoft fanboys/employees (yes there's 80k+ of them) that are borderline crazy and can't tolerate any competition. It's the Microsoft (under Ballmer) way afterall.
        • Is it a cheap shot?

          it might well be. Particularly if asking about real stories about the last time someone slept with someone’s mom has no relevance to issues at hand. There are numerous instances, like for example, like at a trial, it may be quite relevant as to what happened the last time someone slept with someones mother.

          Just because your comment sounds quite insulting and inflammatory it doesn’t mean its simply a wrong thing to do. It may well be a very wrong thing to do in improper circumstances, on the other hand it may be a very important and relevant issue in particular circumstances.

          In this case, we are dealing with software and its potential glitches, not the morality habits of another human being. Im sure, given the way you attempted to make a twisted point, that you already know that asking about the nature of romantic relationships with someone’s mother is generally much different thing than someone’s experiences regarding specific software. Point being, your attempt to draw a rather obvious red herring into the argument is a fail on all levels given that in the correct context, even asking about the sexual habits of someone’s mother may well be important and significant even though its distasteful to those with a VESTED interest in the answers.

          And that brings us to the next point, an important point I made elsewhere in these posts. And that is that its not so much the gathering of information that’s the sin, particularly when your not dealing with another human beings personal privacy, but when your dealing with the problems some people may be experiencing with a particular software. The real problem is as to how that information is evaluated and disseminated and then how its used afterwards. There in, particularly around ZDNet and the IT world in general, lies the typical problem that arises. Far far too often information like this is improperly used and is subjected to outrageous exaggeration and overblown extrapolations about what it means.

          Relatively minor problems, or problems that only come up once in a little while are made to sound like they are running rampant and are creating a situation that’s rendering the particular software in question as practically useless, which is for the most part usually an outright lie. Problems arise when millions buy a product, or are using a product that has shown to have a minor number of users experience some form of problem that the vast majority never see. That’s a case where the problem simply needs to be fixed so that nobody runs into it, its not at all a situation that proves a particular piece of software is a nightmare of unusable glitch filled code. Reality dictates software that’s that bad dosnt need a “special” complaints department, if its anything even close to that bad the news about the horrible problem quickly spreads across the internet without any special encouragement at all. Indeed, even most relatively minor problems get plenty of notice without having to hunt new problems down.

          So, don’t think the whole “whos your mom sleeping with” commentary helps make a point of any kind, beyond the simple reality that even that distasteful question can have important issues attached to it that really do matter in very important ways in life. And thusly, it does less than ZERO to prove in any way that gathering information about various kinds of software problems is inherently a bad thing on its own.
      • We will pay you to trash our competition

        Prizes for trash-talk = sponsored libel. Libel for hire.

        Maybe Legal should look this one over.
        • Ya. Sure. Highly unlikely.

          You dont like it. We get that.

          The problem is that just because you dont like something it dosnt make it illegal.

          Come back with a similar point when you find a company, Microsoft or any company that implies something thats an easily proved lie.

          Like for example, if you imply that because malware does exist for a particular popular OS that that particular OS, even though multiple millions are using it, that the malware problems are so severe and rampant that the OS is subject to never ending lock-ups, shut downs and is for all intents and purposes an unusable OS because malware is so bad.

          That would be a very dumb and completely retarded move for any company to imply such a thing about any popular OS because we inherently know any OS that has multiple millions of copies in use cannot possibly be anywhere that bad or multiple millions would simply not be able to use it. Its just common sense.

          Now mind you, by time the “Apple Guy/PC Guy” commercials from Apple were ending, they were implying that very thing about Windows, and literally hundreds of millions of Windows users around the world knew that was in no way accurate. And nobody went and got “Legal to take a look at it” at least that we know of, even for those blatant LIES.

          But, now when something not even yet close to that has put the shoe on the other foot, its time to call in the legals?

          Ha! Good luck.
    • Looks like the twitters were SJVN's loyal troops

      Same old boring windoze and similar comments.

      Truth is Google is guilty of stealing other vendor's IP, mines your PI for their gain and is the most vulnerable platform for exposing the same PI to theft.