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Microsoft: Facebook Home a People Hub Ripoff

After Facebook revealed its Facebook Home for Android smartphones on Thursday, Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, jumped on the Microsoft Blog and took a shot at Facebook's latest scheme. He said he was forced to check the calendar a few times to see if it was still 2011.

"The content of the presentation was remarkably similar to the launch event we did for Windows Phone two years ago," he said. "When we sat down with a blank sheet of paper and designed Windows Phone, we put three words on the wall to guide the team: 'Put People First.' Those three words were chosen around a pretty powerful but simple insight: People are more important than apps."

We already know the deal and have seen the results: Windows Phone 7 and 8. Like Windows 8, both use live tiles to put friends and family first. Everything the user needs to know each day is pushed to the main screen, whether it's a Facebook update, a text message from a spouse, an email from Mom and more. Microsoft made the experience "personal" rather than create another iOS-based sea of apps.

"Millions of Windows Phone owners have already discovered how great a phone can be when it’s designed this way, and they aren’t shy about telling their friends," he said. "Naturally, some of those friends have been pretty frustrated that they haven’t been able to get a 'People First' experience on their devices. So, we understand why Facebook would want to find a way to bring similar functionality to a platform that is sadly lacking it."

Naturally, Shaw starts taking shots at Android, which up until this week commanded the smartphone market. Android is already complicated enough as it is, or so he says, without adding "another skin built around another metaphor, on top of what is already a custom variant of the OS."

On Thursday, Facebook's rumored phone was basically revealed to be an Android Launcher that brings people to the forefront. Users can have social feeds pumped directly to the lock screen and chat with friends no matter what app they're using. It will be pre-installed on the HTC First smartphone, and offered as a free download for the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung GALAXY S III and Samsung GALAXY Note II.

"From the moment you turn on your phone, you see what friends are sharing," states one of many Facebook Home commercials. "Your latest messages, calls and updates are right up front. And you can keep chatting from any app. So no matter what you're doing, your friends are always right there with you."

Shaw thinks Facebook users are better off getting a Windows Phone. "While we applaud Facebook for working to give some Android owners a taste of what a 'people-centric' phone can be like, we’d humbly like to suggest that you get the real thing."

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