Yesterday, Facebook announced Home, a custom Android skin that replaces the default Android experience with one that’s entirely based around Facebook. As part of the presentation, Mark Zuckerberg lamented the current state of app-centric phones, and said that Home would finally bring people to the forefront of the mobile experience.
The mission statement of Home seems to have caught the ire of Microsoft as the company’s VP or corporate communications, Frank Shaw, took to the company blog today to say that Facebook is late to the party. Shaw says that Windows Phone 7.5, which was introduced in 2011, was in fact the first phone based around people instead of apps.
You could argue whether or not Shaw’s claim is true, but the company was marketing Windows Phone 7.5 as a people-first phone back in 2011. It’s understandable that the company would be a little upset over Facebook essentially stealing its nonexistent thunder.
Shaw ends his mini-rant with the suggestion that Windows Phone is superior to Home because Home is just an Android skin. Besides, Home takes away some features from Android while Windows Phone offers all the features of Home and then some without sacrificing any core features.
What makes this even sadder is that Home isn’t even out yet. It’s entirely unproven, and yet Microsoft is already on the offensive. As TechCrunch rightly points out, Microsoft’s readiness to attack Facebook Home shows just how sensitive it is over how nobody cared about its people-first device in the first place.
All this leads us to the million dollar question – will people care about Facebook Home when they clearly didn’t care about Windows Phone? Facebook certainly seems to think so, but the tepid reaction to Windows Phone shows that the majority of mobile device users are probably pretty happy with their app-centric devices.
Besides, I’m sure most Android users would prefer a better Facebook app over Home anyway.