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Microsoft's latest slam of Android forgets one little thing ...

Google Play Services presentation
Google Play Services presentation (Image credit: Android Central / Phil Nickinson)

From Microsoft's "Windows Update for Business" blog post, lauding all the security features it's put in place for Windows 10:

This level of commitment and support is far different than Android, for example, where Google refuses to take responsibility for updating their customers' devices, leaving end-users and business increasingly exposed every day they use the device.

Some things have changed at Microsoft. And some things, apparently, haven't.

Google Play Services has become one of the most important parts of any Google-friendly — that is, one that uses Google services — Android phone. But for some reason Microsoft forgot that in its blog post. And the fact that as of a year ago (and as announced at Google I/O last year) some 93 percent of devices were on the current version of Google Play Services, which is updated every six weeks.

Is the OS update rate anywhere good as we'd like it to be? Nope. Manufacturers, carriers and Google all have room to improve. But neither is the situation as dire — or ignored — as Microsoft might have you believe here. That's why Google Play Services is used — to offload some of that burden.

More: A security Q&A with Google's Adrian Ludwig

157 Comments
  • Not to mention their clam on how WP devices will be able to run Android apps they conveniently forgot to mention that a majority of them won't work at least correctly without play services something google will never provide them.
  • No, the android & iOS apps code are complied to Windows.....and the services are replaced by MS services. Its not just running android apps, but rather allowing devs to use the same bas code to make universal apps for windows that will scale depending on the device used.
  • yup, exactly, and so that eliminates the need of play services. coz the apps will be their native apps.
  • That won't help with Google Maps, Hangouts, Google Voice, or any other native Google app. Windows Phone users won't have any of those apps. Posted via the Android Central App
  • And Google doesn't have Siri or Apple maps. Somehow I get the feeling that those aren't the kind of apps that Microsoft is trying to promise Windows Phone users that they'll be able to use. The point is to bridge the gap in major apps that either aren't on Windows Phone or have very old iterations that have been forgotten because of a lack of interest.
  • "And Google doesn't have Siri or Apple maps" You say that like it's a bad thing.
  • I'm probably one of the few, but to be honest I prefer Siri and Apple Maps to Google's offerings. A lot of times Siri will give me an answer to a question, while Google Now only does Google searches. Apple Maps also gives me quicker directions whereas Google Maps has taken me out of the way to get to the same place. I've even got incorrect directions more from Google than Apple.
  • I have to say while I wouldn't like using Apple Maps, considering how Apple itself have suggested their users use Google Maps, I have seen WP's version of a 'voice assistant', Cortana in action. as a coworker of mine has a Windows phone and he showed me some of the things it can do. I have to admit, I was impressed. If ever I became dissatisfied with my Note 4 and didn't like other options, I'd seriously consider checking out a WP Device. Main reason I don't already is I LOVE my Note 4. I couldn't possibly return to a smaller screen after getting used to a screen I didn't have to squint on! :)
  • I moved from WP to android 6 months ago and I still missing some features from WP, but I can compensate those few features with a lot other better on Android, I agree with you, Cortana is one of those things that I miss...
  • you're right. that's why You'll use Bing Maps and Skype on Windows 10 Mobile instead of google maps and hangouts Microsoft doesn't want to put google maps on Windows 10 on Phones. They want to get the hundreds of thousands of 3rd party apps that are currently missing. The tools are meant to make that easier, not just bring Google Maps to Windows 10 on phones
  • The point is to attract developers, not Google. And Google maps is available on Windows... just not from Google. But I never use it because I find Google isn't as up to date in Canada as Cortana/Bing. But I can understand why some people would need Google maps in other countries.
  • Google Maps not up to date? We probably live in different parts of the country, but I've so far never found Google Maps to be out-of-date. No, I don't travel to the newest subdivisions too often, but I have had no complaints with Google's mapping app.
  • "I find Google isn't as up to date in Canada as Cortana/Bing" major words there I FIND.
  • Don't forget you replace "Google now" or Voice with that extremely cool Cortana which will also be running on your Windows 10 powered PC.
  • Yeah, that extremely "cool" Cortana that doesn't return accurate results.
    And Bing... So good, MS has to pay you to use it.
    Junk.
  • Don't forget in last few predictions done by Cortana, Google Now and SIri shows Cortana has been more accurate.
    We do not pay for Bing. Nor MS. It is just a reward program. What's wrong in that? Don't you get rewards by using your credit card?
  • That's because Google is terrified of the least bit of competition.
  • which is a shame... google makes its services available to Apple. Why boycott Windows? At this point Apple is more of a threat than WP8 or 10. sometimes it seems Google has an irrational approach to MS products. (I have used WPs and Androids, currently on a Sony Xperia and love it)
  • and hangouts? really? does anybody use it?
  • lol..you seem to be ignorant of the facts.. windows will not create emulator like blackberry, they will rather create windows apps, changing few codes of android and ios apps.
  • MSFT has its own snap in version of Google Play Services that runs on their rails. They'd just have to change a URL in the line of code that points to the Google Play stuff over to MSFT's stuff. I saw it in action, and as long as the API functionality matches, it won't be hard to pull off. Remember, MSFT already has the best Android emulator already.
  • Already?
  • Cool idea but wrong. Amazon app store is a great example of not having Google approve stuff and still get Android apps :-p Meanwhile.. at the Hall of Justice!
  • Typical Microsoft, their 'Scroogled' campaign was utterly pathetic.
  • Yup. This type of juvenile crap is why Google tells MS to suck it when they ask for real Google Maps, Gmail, etc. I like Windows, but the mobile sucks flaming hemrhoidal dog sphincter.
  • MS is referring to OS updates here - not service platforms like what Google Play Services is. On that basis, they're right on the money. Even my old ASUS TF201 (which is unfortunately dead) got stuck on Android 4.1.1 - which is vulnerable to Heartbleed.
  • Exactly...your "OLD" device (which is in your own admission is dead)...what? 4 years old?? NO device will ever be able to forever keep up with OS updates. Sorry boutya, that's just how tech works....old hardware can't keep up with new software. At least Google Play Services keeps your apps as much up to date as possible without a full OS upgrade.
  • The overall point I was trying to make is that security patches to fix holes in the OS shouldn't be left up to OEMs to apply.
  • You sir have it on point. Posted via the Sailfish iMore app
  • OEMs change the software. There is no guarantee Google's patches won't break OEM code for added features, etc. This is why it is left to OEMs they all want it that wy. Carriers should have zero say however..
  • I'm on the Microsoft path here. Arguing "security updates might break the device functionality" is as bad as an excuse can get. Android needs to change the fundamentals of the Open Handset Alliance, to allow/make Google handle security updates of Android and not just system apps. As it is now, you're both left with having to wait for the manufacturer being done with their customisations and then your local network provider to be done with their boot screen "updates" until you get your system updates, which is unacceptable.
  • Considering how many systems worldwide still run XP (and I have a desktop unit also), their claim of Google's lack of support is laughable! Now who's refusing to take responsibility and leaving millions of systems vulnerable? Posted via the Android Central App on N7 '13
  • Didn't MS support XP for like 10+ years?
  • You kind of have to when there's a huge infrastructure of systems worldwide out there that run XP. And they're still out there, only now unsupported. Windows 7 is decent, but there is/was no reason for those XP systems to upgrade to anything else on a wide scale, like XP achieved. Posted via the Android Central App on N7 '13
  • And then at a certain point you have to say "enough is enough." XP can only go so far. They supported it WAY past reasonable, and still have released a few pretty serious patches. They very much led by example in this regard. But eventually, after over 10 years, you have to move on and force your customers to as well. Not 1 year or 6 months like some Android OEMs.
  • Oh I completely agree, and I think the support timeframe they gave XP was great, but that's only because it took off so well and the millions/billions of systems that still ran it were not going to be upgraded quickly. It was a necessary evil because businesses were not going to make major infrastructure investment, like they did with XP, every year, or even every 5 years. I think XP was an anomaly really in terms of support, adoption, and upgrade rates. That and the lack of an easy, cheap, and good solid upgrade choice. Posted via the Android Central App on N7 '13
  • Then I guess I don't understand your initial comment. Microsoft went above and beyond and provided the gold standard in long-term support for vulnerabilities, making their claim of Google's lack of support anything but laughable. It makes them a pretty reasonable authority.
  • I suppose it's because considering the article is targeting business security, in particular, I'd say there are still way more business machines running older (now unsupported) operating systems, like XP, than businesses running pre-KitKat devices with potential security issues. I guess it's like they're insinuating there are more businesses out there worried about their Ice Cream Sandwich or Jellybean devices that are unsecure/vulnerable, than XP machines.
  • Except it's not Microsoft's fault that people are still using XP. One could argue that it is Google's fault (well, they're arguing it) that there are people running versions of Android, arguably most people, that aren't current because of their setup. Again, huge Android fan. But the structure does make it impossible for Google, directly, to patch core OS vulnerabilities, which Microsoft can, and does, do. Also, there's a big difference in attitude between someone who decided they can't afford/refuse to upgrade their 10+ year old computers and someone who just bought a phone a mere six months ago that still hasn't been patched. Apples and oranges.
  • Google is not the problem, the OEM's (and to some extent the carriers) are. MSFT only has something like a 3% share of the mobile market, partly because of this. OEM's making WP phones are, well, few. Phones with Android? Well, just about everyone and their neighbor's dog is making 'em, each with their own demands on being able to change things on their pace. After that, the carriers have their own set of demands (usually somewhat draconian). Google is three layers away from the end user. MSFT has failed miserably to adapt to this, and then blames Google who, arguably, has adapted quite well, for not doing what they do. Problem is, what MSFT is doing about OS/core updates is a losing strategy as far as mobile is concerned. I will say I am finally happy to see MSFT start making attempts at putting their apps on multiple platforms for a change. Hopefully it's not a Trojan Horse maneuver like they tried in the past with so many other things (Java, standards, etc. - remember the Halloween Memo?). If it is an honest attempt to get their apps on as many screens as possible, then good on them in that regard.
  • Actually, Microsoft has a documented 10 year support cycle for every main version of Windows. Windows Vista is still supported and will be until either late 2006 or early 2007, I can't remember if Microsoft uses RTM or General Availability to determine the date. Windows 7 will be supported until 2019. Windows 8.0 until 2022, 8.1 until 2023. They didn't just decide to support Windows XP because of marketshare. If that were the case it would still be under free support. They supported it for 10 years because that is their SLA/contract for existing Windows products.
  • Support is only for a specified time......and MS supported XP way longer than it typically should have. Hell, they still support it for companies that depend on it, for a cost.
  • 25% of users run XP.
    Over half of Android users are stuck with a vulnerability because Google only moved WebView to the Play Store in Kit Kat. Which is worse?
  • Obama
  • +1
  • Right, but the windows blog is specifically targeting the business side of security and how windows is kept more up to date for security. I'd wager there are many more business machines out there still running XP, than there are businesses running Android phones with pre-KitKat operating systems. XP, despite being at 25% or so, is still the second largest installed base of all computer operating systems out there, by a large margin. Posted via the Android Central App on N7 '13
  • Well, yeah, not many businesses are using Android compared to Windows.
  • Let's be honest XP, 7, and 8 are way more vulnerable than any version of stock Android.
  • How?
  • That number is now down to 15% thank God, but still, your point remains.
  • Android fixed webview. The manufacturers didn't.
  • Google created this messed up system where it comes to updates. Let's not pretend they're not part of the reason it happened.
  • Who's pretending? Read that last graf I wrote.
  • Mia culpa. I guess reading is fundamental.
  • "Mea" ;)
  • Hi, it's not just webview anymore for older device's. HTC did patchy quite a few things on my Evo 4g LTE, but most of the newer vulnerabilities have to do with java script. Older phones are all still vulnerable to "freak attack" except for using Chrome,Firefox,and Opera,because they now use Blink for their browser engines too. Opera mini is good too,because it runs everything thru their servers when compressing the feed. I have taken to viewing or interacting web content strictly in the browsers. I also got rid of all apps with ad banners too,because of the separate connections the ad SDK's make to serve up their content. I'll be upgraded early next year,so until then I take precautions. But as far as performance,I don't feel I'm lacking anything. I attribute that to Google play services,and all the Google apps I use. But still,I look forward to my next phone having lollipop. Just for the piece of mind. Posted via the Android Central App, HTC Evo 4g LTE ,on Sprint
  • I think both stats are terrible. But in reality Microsoft didn't force anyone to stay on XP and patched the operating system for nearly 14 years offering numerous incentives for both consumers and enterprises to upgrade.
  • That's a terrible comparison. Google isn't responsible for HTC not updating their phones.
  • Google made the system the way it is. Apple is able to get it, and Microsoft is with Windows 10.
  • Apple has like 3 phones per generation, Google had few nexuses and they keep them updated for years. If there's any fault it's on oems and carriers.
    Also price difference. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The number of phones isn't the problem. Google let this system happen to get the carriers to push their phones.
  • Fuck percentages, give us raw numbers.
  • Yeah! It's ridiculous!
    I had the same problem with Ford when the cheeky little bastards dropped support for my Ford Model T!
  • You know Ford never took responsibility for the bed bug bites from using Spanish moss in their seat cushions. They later switched to cotton eventually but by then the damage was done.
  • Actually they drop support on modern cars before any other major manufacturer. It has nothing to do with this article, but you cannot get parts for a 2001 Ford Taurus. Period. If it breaks, it's junkyard time. However, you CAN walk into a Volkswagen dealer and order parts for your car produced half a century ago. MS did support XP long after other upgrades were available, but there were a lot of people who saw no need to upgrade. My PC was rebuilt a couple years ago, and I replaced everything but the OS hard drive. It was a screamer and handled all my video processing needs. Then one of the three hard drives died, and of course it was the original C drive. I could not re-install XP and had to go to Win 7 with the new SSD, which is OK, but when it's over, it's over. Phones are a bit different, even when you compare win phones to android phones. MS has far less work than Google, who must do the update, turn it over to the OEM's, and wait for the likes of HTC and Samsung to massage it to work with their tweaks and skins. My windows phone seemed like it was just the raw release with no OEM changes, so it was kind of like a Google Play edition. Like Phil said, there's room for improvement, but it's not as dire as MS is trying to make you believe.
  • Windows XP was supported for nearly a decade and a half. How long has Google been supporting Android devices that were manufactured less than three years ago? Can someone explain how Play Services has anything to do with operating system vulnerabilities? Just curious.
  • I won't say that it was a tasteful move for Microsoft. I also won't say that Google Play Services isn't important; the latest update actually fixed a few of the issues that made me so frustrated with Lollipop. But as it stands Microsoft has a point. I shouldn't have to restart my Moto X ( Pure Edition on 5.0) and Nexus 9 (5.0.2) every day just to keep my apps from crashing. I would much rather have waited a few more months for a more stable version of Lollipop out of the gate, but at least I know that my devices should be updated sometime soon to 5.1 or later to help with the bugs. That said, I feel bad for phones that aren't going to have that luxury. Carriers have incentive to upgrade older phones to 5.0 because saying that it comes with the newest flavor of Android is a good selling point, but then when older phones are running a buggy OS, carriers may feel incentivized to leave the phones there and instead encourage users to just buy newer, faster phones instead of supporting multiple old devices.
  • totally agree Posted via the Android Central App
  • Companies exchanging these types of things back and forth is good for consumers just as long as they don't cross the line... which Google did a while back when they revealed operating system vulnerabilities within Windows to the world when Google could have done the right thing...
  • How many people who could have upgraded from Win7 to 8 have done so? That'd be interesting to see.......I guarantee you it's not 93%.
  • Yep, it's probably 93% that want to switch from Windows 8 back to Windows 7.
  • I can't use 7 anymore. Far too limiting after getting used to 8.1.
  • Agreed. Posted via Android Central App
  • But Windows 7 is still getting security updates, unlike Android 4.x (kitkat might still be?). Microsoft has a legitimate point. I've always wondered, at least somewhat, why Google can't patch the core of at least parts of android, regardless of the OEM. Obviously an OEM puts their own skin and even firmware on it, but there have to be parts of android on every phone that google can still patch. Of many of the things Microsoft has done wrong, support for their devices is not one of them. Google could definitely look to Windows for improving here.
  • But if windows phone 7.5 - or 8 - had actually caught on in a big way with OEMs, there'd be tons of orphaned winphones out there too. Turns out phones are very different animals than desktops - which support automatic hardware detection and driver configuration. Don't know how many existing win phone 8 devices are going to get win10 either. But odds are they're all ms/Nokia's. Kind of like google nexus devices - most of which are up to date.
  • Every WP8 device will get W10 although some lower end phones may lack features.
  • Unless the carriers fail to provide updates. T-Mobile abandoned the 810. It never got WP8.1. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh yes, US carrier exclusives. As an EU citizen I keep forgetting about this. Really, guys, you need to change this. Carrier exclusives sound like the worst idea ever. I see no reason why you couldn't buy a handset and use it with any carrier you like. If you stop buying the exclusives carriers will stop offering them.
  • Yes, it is a bit of a mess here across the pond, and I would change a few things if I could. It is mostly (I believe) to keep you hostage to your carrier. However, some carriers have features that other's do not, and their phones are configured for those features. One example is when I almost switched 6 months ago; we had the paperwork all filled out to move to a different carrier, which included five new phones, and it was only waiting for our signature. Then I found out that they were "working on" simultaneous voice and data. That is a feature I've used for years on our present carrier, and is a necessity for my line of work as a network engineer for remote locations. Often the remote location's network will be broken, and I will need to be online tethered through my phone, yet still have the ability to call out or host a conference call. Not having it was a deal breaker, and fortunately my present carrier listened and nearly match the deal from the other carrier.
  • That thing about phones configured to certain features is also just a smoke screen. Those things are standardised and if a phone supports certain standard it can be used with whichever carrier supports it. So it made sense for you to stay with your carrier because of support for simultaneous voice and data but it makes no sense for carrier to "lock" these features to certain phones (I assume it's the VoLTE feature). But carriers here in UK also try to lock people to contracts with subsidized phones and discounts. I'm happy with my contract - no subsidy and I pay only for the minutes and messages that I actually use. As I am a conservative caller my bill is sometimes as low as 6 EUR (little over 6 USD). That means 3 EUR worth of calls and texts and 3 EUR data (100MB of data per month, quite enough for my needs and it only gets throttled after I burn them all up).
  • "But Windows 7 is still getting security updates" and you think the Google Play Services updates that almost every version of Android out in the wild is still getting are what? They are all still getting "security updates" just as much as Windows 7 is....
  • I didn't say google play services wasn't a good thing. It definitely is, and it does a lot right. But thinking that there are no problems with how Android handles updates is a bit short-sighted. Google play services is great, but they need to keep rolling stuff into it to take back control of the core OS.
  • Only problem with that is that, the more Google rolls into GPS, the less of Android that is open source.  It's not really fair to compare updating Windows with updating Android (or any other mobile device).  With Windows, they fill it full of every driver for every device they think might be used at any given time.  With a mobile device, it all has to be hept "streamlined" to use as little space as possible.  And with everyone craving these things to work near-instantly, they can't have a bunch of "extra" code laying around to support every possible hardware component like Windows does. It is, unfortunately, messy by necessity.  Apple gets away with it because they only have to support 4 devices, and most of those have a lot of the same hardware.  Not sure how they managed to strong-arm the carriers into bypassing carrier testing and putting bloatware on there, though.  That is something I wish Google would figure out how to do. There have been times I am certain that a specific device didn't get an update simply because the carrier "sat" on it.  When I had my Galaxy Tab 2, literally every other version on the planet got the 4.3 update, except for my Sprint LTE model.  I can't blame that on anyone other than Sprint.
  • Google Play Services suck they made my galaxy mini useless
  • That's the fault of Google?!! Or Samsung? :D Repercussions of the mighty Touchwiz, maybe? ;)
  • touchwiz didnt take 100mb space
  • "TouchWiz" likely takes up far more than 100mB of space but, since it's changes to a lot of the underlying Android code, it's really hard to quantify exactly how much space. How did GPS make your Galaxy Mini useless?
  • I don't care. Picking up my Surface 3 tomorrow at the Microsoft Store in the Time Warner Building tomorrow.
  • How many windows phone users are there, in total? My guess is the percentage of android users running lollipop, low as it may currently be, is still more than windows phone has in total. People who live in glass houses should masturbate in the basement. Posted via the Android Central App
  • 2.7% of the mobile market is running a version of Windows Phone. I'll leave the rest of the Maths to you as I always disliked Maths.
  • I'm guessing you don't keep up to date with Windows or MS news so I'll give you a quick run down. Windows 10 will be the OS that runs on computers, tablets, phones and small devices like Raspberry Pi later this year. It's will be the same OS for all devices. Since W10 will be a free upgrade to those on W7 and up it's likely that the number of people using W10 will be very large. Since it will be one OS and one app Store for all devices you can see why they said what they said. Now whether enterprise picks up W10 is another story all together.
  • That's nice...
  • The question was how many Windows phone users, not how many devices have the potential to run Win 10.
    The latest market breakdown is 76.6% Android, of which 10% is on Lollipop, giving a market share of smartphones running Lollipop at 7.6%, or 2.8 times the number of WP users. I've owned Windows phones, and it ran nice and had very good battery standby times. However, it was limited in it's flexibility, and although users don't live in the extreme walled garden that is iOS, it still left me with the impression that it was Microsoft's version of a walled garden, although with lower walls (and without the barbed wire atop Apple's "wall"). Yes, I know Android is "sandboxed", but I've never felt the same limitations of Win or the handcuffs of iOS. However, I'm glad the MS is moving to Win10, and we'll have to see how that works out. I have a couple devices with Win8, and the tile user interface on a non-touchscreen device is just... stupid.
  • And all of this ignores the fact that you probably don't *want* the Lolipop update right now, judging from all the problems and complaints I'm hearing reported.  I really think OEM's are holding off on the update because of how many people are reporting massive battery and WiFi issues with 5.0.x. With software, it's better to wait until it's ready, rather than demanding to have it now.  It's a problem I face all the time as a software developer.  My current project, the customer is demanding it be done by mid-June, despite having just given us a list of 300+ things they want changed (not because they were wrong, but just because the customer changed their mind about how they want it to work). Trying to convince them to set a reasonable deadline for the requested amount of work has been a nightmare.  And, because of it, they're going to end up with a version of the software with lots of little annoying aspects.  Lots of things we're having to "hack in" because we don't have time to redesign the system to support the new requirements. Be careful what you wish for (or demand).
  • Okay, I'm an Android user and lover here, but... I think this article is just as dishonest. Does updating Google Play Services resolve all the security holes that get found in versions of Android? Because I quite regularly read articles about those, and having to wait for OEMs to release updated builds that patch them. And that's EXACTLY what Microsoft is referring to in this comment.
  • Microsoft didn't actually refer to anything of substance. Show me what you're referring to, though, and I'll gladly take a look. (And chances are I'll stop ya as soon as the article says "the exploit requires root access.")
  • Watch the keynote. Terry was demonstrating the new Windows Update enhancements. It was about critical updates.
  • You mean beyond just the most recent WebView issues alone? Again, Android fan. But I buy Nexus phones for a reason: first (relatively) to be updated. All the other OEMs will sit on major security fixes for months, if they patch them at all.
  • "dishonest" ?!! R u kidding? Google made Google play services to make a platform for android apps & other services. There are also a heck lot of other reasons too. But what should matter is it provided safety against the all other apks that users can find in the open market, courtesy of piracy & similar free and illegal stuffs! Ya it may have issues with security, which it is continuously monitoring & fixing as we speak, but you just can't deny the fact Google cares about its android users.
  • You either failed to read or understand my comment.
  • Microsoft bashing Google is like Rossy O'Donnell bashing someone for being fat. Posted via Android Central App
  • I just came into the Android ecosystem - but doesn't Microsoft have a point? I love my S6 Edge, but now am leery as to what sort of support I'm going to get for it in the future. It already has some awful memory leak or something. The phone battery drains pretty bad when multiple apps are open. I'm constantly having to force close Maps and the Camera. Say what you will about iOS and Windows Phone, but on both of those platforms I never had to do that. A shame too - because this is by far the best phone I've owned!
  • Yeah, they definitely have a point but it was more about security than stability. Although Terry did mention that users could now subscribe to slow and fast rings for updates. Give your device time. Updates for apps and some patches will likely be released in the next 6-12 months to fix those issues. Windows Phone users also experience stability issues on some handsets. Stability is one of the reasons I switched to Windows from iOS. I'm an Android fan but when it comes to security it's hard to side with Google. I think I remember an article not too long ago that stated there were more maleware infected Android devices than there was XP devices... That's not a good stat but who knows how skewed that article was... But still, the malicious activity on Android devices is alarming.
  • If you look at carrier data, less than .001% have malware issues. Most malware issues on android come from people who change default security settings, and then side load non official apps from 3rd party stores. Those who stay in the official ecosystem virtually have no issues. Most of those articles screaming malware are using statements issued from 3rd party antivirus companies trying to up sell their apps. And those companies make sure to leave out that the majority of malware isnt coming from those who stay in the ecosystem, but rather download shady apps from outside sources.
  • Yep, sideloading is what opens the door for malware, and on Android you have to go into the security setting to intentionally allow it.. Any application that comes through legitimate sources is confirmed by Google. I have over 100 third party apps loaded on my phone, and there are dozens more that I've tried. Never had a problem.
  • The leaks and standby battery drain are specific to the S6, and like Cormango states, they will be addressed. I run Lollopop on a non-S6 device, and have no problems with memory leaks or battery life. My average screen-on time per charge is 6 hours 41 minutes, and I'm not a stranger to going two and a half days without charging.
  • You're right.  Those two issues are also not Google's fault.  They make the base code, but Samsung makes a *lot* of modifications to that code for their devices.  Any bugs that Samsung introduces shouldn't be held against Google. That said, the S6 is brand new.  Samsung will likely have a patch out to address those issues within the next few weeks.  Most new devices have a few bugs in some models when they first come out that get patched a few weeks later.
  • how many users use lollipop? even those that were promised immediate updates, the updates took long time. and maximum people were on jelly bean/kitkat..still are.. not defending microsoft, but, you cant claim last year's percentage today!
  • This has nothing to do with what version of Android anyone is running.  The only way you don't have the latest version of Google Play Services is either 1) you've got a device that's still running 2.3 or older (in which case it's totally time to upgrade) or 2) your device does not have an internet connection, which pretty much alleviates the security concerns in and of itself. How many users on lolipop is irrelevant to the discussion.  Us tech nerds that read sites like this are often *dying* to get our hands on the latest version of Android to play with the new features, but your average consumer doesn't even know Android 5.0 is a thing.  They're just happily using their device oblivious that there's anything else.  Many of them actually don't like the updates when they get them, because then they have to get used to the UI changes.  When Apple made their huge UI changes in IO 7, they barely had half of their users update, because many people didn't want the new UI.
  • it's REALLY funny to me how Phil can make posts like this yet if Rene makes a similar post you people start foaming from the mouths. I'm simply here to point out your hypocrisy and laugh.
  • Make posts like what? Pointing out how Microsoft is blatantly ignoring facts?
  • I think this article's comparison is more skewed than Terry's statement about Google not supporting their products.
  • Rene would never make a similar post. Rene and Phil style's are no where near the same. Posted via Android Central App
  • Google Play Services, the gift and the curse.
  • I actually tend to agree with MSFT on this one, and think Phil has it wrong ... tacky to present it the way they did, but they're kinda stating the obvious Posted via the Android Central App
  • Please explain how I have it wrong.
  • Is Google supporting all their devices and their operating systems including the distribution of critical security updates in a reasonable time frame which reduces the chances of being infected with malicious code? The answer is "No" and I'm certain the majority of Android users agree. Google needs to address the massive fragmented security mess that is Android. I'm not saying that the latest versions will have the same historical failures.
  • "But neither is the situation as dire — or ignored — as Microsoft might have you believe here" ... Perhaps not as dire, as you stated, but I don't think msft is wrong for insinuating that it's sometimes ignored. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Google always releases updates but it's on the OEMs to release patches as well. I think people seem to forget that majority of Android phones and devices are OEM pushes. Meaning they are running customized versions of Android and therefore not entirely Googles responsibility. Besides the real issues only occur once people start side loading from risky sources or root their devices. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Quoted from Cormango above: "Is Google supporting all their devices and their operating systems including the distribution of critical security updates in a reasonable time frame which reduces the chances of being infected with malicious code?" Yes, actually they are, considering that the only devices that are "Google's" are the Nexus line, which do generally get updated pretty immediately (with the exception of the carrier "special" models which are, again, out of Google's control). Google often patches the AOSP code (Android Open Source Project, not to be confused with the "Android" OS that's on your device) and makes it available for *everyone* in the world to download.  If an OEM decides not to update a device, that's not on Google. And there have been problems, past and present, with OEM's not updating devices.  And Google has pushed *hard* to fix that.  They've made it part of the OHA (Open Handset Alliance) that OEM's have to promise to support devices for at least 18 months, and they have rolled a *lot* of the underlying Android framework into the Google Play Services which get updated silently in the background of (almost) every Android device on the planet every few weeks.  And, even with all that, there are still times when the carriers themselves create roadblocks for devices getting updates. It's one thing to not like the situation, but let's put the blame where it's due.  With the exception of the Nexus line, Google doesn't make the actual operating firmware for any device on the planet.  The provide the code to allow other manufacturers to quickly build their own firmware. Getting mad at Google because your device didn't get updated is like finding a bruised tomato at the grocery store and blaming the farmer.
  • Both are correct in a way. Microsoft does a better job of releasing OS patches and updates for longer periods of time (longer support window). Google has removed (most) of the need for OS patching by moving critical functionality into Google Play services. The main point Phil is trying to make - correct me if I'm wrong - is that Windows updates and Android updates are not congruous. I would further the point by saying that Microsoft doesn't have nearly as much control over system updates as it thinks it does. The patches may be out there and available but that's not the same as being installed - especially in the enterprise space. I'd also say that's not 100% fair to compare Android OS updates to Google Play but that's nether here nor there - the company that best controls updates is Oracle. You can't go ten minutes without getting an update notice from Java... thank goodness for that!
  • good point Posted via the Android Central App
  • if Google took responsibility for updating Android devices, that would mean the loss of Android ROMs, each with different skins. These differentiate devices from one another, and it's the reason why hardware isn't everything in the Android world.
  • That's not true. The roms still rely on Android. Although some roms are probably more secure than others.
  • So what did xp stand for.... Posted via the Android Central App
  • eXPerience from what I recall... it was a long time ago :)
  • "This level of commitment and support is far different than Windows Phone, for example, where Microsoft refuses to take responsibility for updating their customers' devices, leaving end-users and business increasingly exposed every day they use the device." Said every Windows Phone 7, 7.5, 7.8, 8.0 and 8.1 user everywhere... Not to beat WP to death here, but MS has abandoned two versions in the time that Google is still offering major support for 3 versions of Android... That's not to mention the part of that 7% that just plain refuse to update because their devices work just fine.
  • Didn't MS say that everyone who's on Windows Phone 8.1 would get Windows 10 on their phone?
  • You can't really compare desktop operating systems to phone OS. Part of the confusion is that Windows 10 is the name for both the upcoming desktop and phone OS. Clearly the article is written about MS desktop OS (for Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise devices) so they're comparing Androids to oranges.
    It would be a more apt comparison to compare Windows to Linux or to OSX, except that Windows wouldn't fare as well in the comparison. For instance, Linux has done a far better job of supporting legacy hardware than Microsoft, including, but not limited to the big reason many folks didn't make to transition from 7 to 8, the near requirement of a multi-touch input device to work the basic interface. (You can do it without a touch screen or track-pad, but it's laborious and tedious.)
    The problem with comparing a desktop OS with a phone OS is that a desktop OS only supports the basic hardware with drivers for specific types and even specific units of hardware filling in the blanks/. Phone OSes on the other hand, have the drivers and other hardware-specific details installed by the OEM, which of course means that updating that part of the OS also falls to the OEM. That's a tad shy of "being abandoned" as Microsoft words it. (Also, if Microsoft wants to talk abandonment, they might have to consider how many Windows Mobile devices made the transition to Windows Phone. I think it's less than 1.
    So, all-in-all, Microsoft is engaging in an inept comparison and, even then, brushing over the details that might make the comparison somewhat more helpful (but less complimentary for Microsoft).
  • You have made the most sense all day and I completely agree. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I made the jump from Win7 to Win8 on a non touchscreen desktop and run it no problem with a trackball and keyboard.
    I also run an android "box" on a 60" non touch flat panel with a BT keyboard/trackpad.
    Yes, I prefer my touchscreen Windows or Android tablets, but the boxes are not cumbersome to control. Posted via Android Central App
  • It's all smoke and mirrors.. Microsoft mind set for their mobile phone users loves to slam anything else except their own os. Microsoft is just feeding this. While there is a lot to look forward to with Windows 10 they are really going to have to pull a rabbit out of their hat to make any worthwhile advancement in the phone division. Thanks for the article Phil Posted via the Android Central App from my HTC m8
  • I suppose they forgot how great those upgrades were to those carrying a Windows Phone 7 device.....
  • I prefer Windows Phone to Android, but the lack of apps. Hopefully Windows 10 fixes that. Posted via the Android Central App
  • it's not something Windows 10 can just automatically do. this past week they made it easier for devs, but ultimately MSFT will have to either pay android for their services (like what BlackBerry did) or devs need to make WP apps ... the recent agreement BT MSFT and Android made that more realistic. ultimately WP will have to have a similar selection to Apple and Android cause as of know they occupy less than 3% of the market. Posted via the Android Central App
  • One thing I've historically hated about Android is the fragmented mess of OS versions in use. It's also annoying to have to ask OEMs when/if they're going to bring a new version of Android to a particular device.
  • But you have a choice to buy a unbranded phone without the carriers getting in the way if this really is a issue Posted via the Android Central App
  • I said nothing about carriers but they're also a nuisance that shouldn't even need to be dealt with IMO.
  • I dont get it
  • Haha Microsoft is slamming Google for updating old devices. When it's not on Google to provide the updates. Google only provides the code base. But let's see how much more flexible android and the manufacturers have. You can build a phone with Intel socs, Qualcomm, exynos, nvidia, as apposed to just Qualcomm socs. With android you can build a device with QHD displays and up, doubt we will see that on windows phone 10 anytime soon. Oh and let's not forget how much more you can do with the software like multi window, active display etc. I just wish Microsoft would compare apples to apples and realize that the only advantage they have is dictating what an oem can implement on their devices.
  • IMO, it's that openness that is causing the update fragmentation issues that Android constantly has. That's not even counting the number of different Android skins that OEMs put on their devices.
  • Updating a service system is not the same as updating an OS which Microsoft is referring to as they allow their users to bypass carriers and update to the latest OS at their leisure.
  • So much this. Sure Google Play Services is an important part of Android but it's not the part of Android that MS is referring to. It's the OS updates themselves (Jellybean, Kitkat, Lollipop, etc) that tend to contain security vulnerabilities that don't get patched (Android 4.1.1 is vulnerable to Heartbleed yet there are some devices - including the ASUS TF201 (which I had for a good 2-3 years) - that are stuck on that vulnerable version of Android.
  • Yep, you said it.
    And Google Play Services do not fix these serious threats. It's awesome that one can have the latest Google Play services since on iOS and on Windows, you need the next update to update the stock applications while Google does it in its services and without the need of updating the system, but does not fix the vulnerabilities that older versions of Android still have like the mentioned bug, Heartbleed Posted via the Sailfish iMore app
  • That openness does slow down the update progress. With most of the android phones you get now. Android is only the core and the variations can be widely different. But that's the beauty of android. Choice I can choose my screen size resolution feature set etc. while some people may hate the openness I love it. To me the slower updates are well worth it. Come on let's look the three flagship devices from lg Samsung and htc. Each of these phones vary widely when it comes to hardware and software. The update fragmentation of you will call it that is overblown and not googles fault in the least.
  • MS is quickly becoming a joke. That's just stupid and irresponsible of them to make a statement like that. I've been using Android for some time now and (knocks on wood) never once have I had a serious problem. I can't say the same about Microsoft and the dreaded blue screens of death. Google+ All Day Everyday
  • The lack of support for devices... isn't that up to the manufacturer? Google can't exactly go out of their way, and force HTC to update the One Mini... or did I miss something. Also... While MS is on their high horse. Could they see to updating my Lumia 810? I seem to be stuck on an older OS/firmware, and I'm not getting any support from Microsoft. y'know... while we're all bashing Google for not updating their stuff.
  • As much as Microsoft is wrong in targeting Google like this, this article is that much wrong in comparing Google Play Service updates with OS updates
  • And Apple is eating popcorn while laughing at the whole mess.
  • Unlike with iOS, on Android we don't need to update to the next OS like KitKat to Lollipop to get the newest version of stock applications which in my opinion is preferable since Lollipop and iOS 8 have their major bugs like iOS 8 8.0.1. Yes sucked badly for those with their new iPhone turned iPods and Lollipop's memory leak issues if we want to go to recent updates to the specific operating systems. But the same general principle still applies. I don't need to upgrade to Lollipop if I have KitKat on my S5 to get the new Lollipop and Material design of the Google Stock applications and the new features they encompass and contain while with iOS you have to do a entire OS upgrade which in my opinion is very tedious and pathetic. Idk why iBooks for one was including in stock and not able to being deleted while iOS 8.1.2 borough the stupid iWatch application that a majority of users won't need that takes up space and is useless once again to most of its users like News stands. That's a major fault in iOS and Apple. Posted via the Sailfish iMore app
  • It's good to have the stock applications updated without the need to upgrade to the next operating system update unlike iOS and presumably Windows, but it doesn't fix the vulnerabilities that the operating system in question of a device with new Google Play Services has. Like being on 4.3 Jellybean or older and being exposed to many privacy concerns like Heartbleed. Posted via the Sailfish iMore app
  • Microsoft must have forgotten like they screwed people with wp7, promising update to 8 and never delivering..? Posted via the Android Central App
  • It is pretty hypocritical of MS to talk about Google's support when their record with Win Mobile/Phone is pretty patchy at best, and that is with a much smaller user base than Android. That said, I think that Google need to take responsibility for the mess we have when it comes to Android updates, especially when it comes to security patches. I think they should either give a longer commitment to supporting older versions of Android, or make the path for upgrading much easier. The Webview issue is a case in point. I bet most users won't know that their browser is out of date and that they need to change browsers. Also, I still wonder why the update process for oems is so long-winded. You can understand major version upgrades can be problematic if their are major kernel/driver changes (e.g. JB to Lollipop), but other than that minor updates should be much quicker and imo mandated by Google.
  • Um ... So everyone here can bitch about the shitty update rate of Android, but when MS brings it up... Oh hell no! Google Play Services? Really? You think that's enough? Down vote me but you know I'm right. --- This message brought to you via the sarcasm keyboard available for download at the Google Play Store.
    LG-G2 on Lollipop.
  • This article is just as much of a half truth as the MS jab.
    GMS provides the majority of the access to google services, which does get updated via the google play store. That in itself is a stop-gap to the fact that OEMs are hard press to do in-market upgrades (It's a lot of work for very little payoff), and the carriers try their best to block it to make people upgrade (we all know this). The more basic level stuff, which could include ssl, certiifcate verification, anything that's not upgraded via google play continues to be screwed. Bug in webkit that affects older 4.x Android will continue to be busted. Which is conveniently mentioned in this article: http://www.androidcentral.com/android-webview-security MS still has a point - there are middlemen that has very little interest in providing upgrades. MS took care of the OEM side by purchasing parts of Nokia, so that they're the OEM now. They won't be immune from the carrier problems, especially when they're out of the top 2 spots for smartphone. But history so far indicates that Google hasn't done any better being in the #1 / #2 spot either.
  • Phil, you totally missed Microsoft's point. Microsoft is talking about security and updates to older platforms and versions of the OS, not whether Android phones are running the newest version of Google Play. They're talking about support so that they're older versions of software are secure, and they're right that Google absolutely sucks at it.
  • Yes... Google refuses to fix age older version like what happened with JellyBean... Google themselves said "We won't be fixing older versions....."!
    But, MS din't too wanted to support XP... but due to high market share they had to support it (also many users din't got any reason to move to Vista or 7, same is happening with Lolipop as well! ).. Even chrome is yet supporting XP! So why couldn't they support JellyBean knowing all the trouble! Now Google Play Services.. I never liked it... especially when on my HTC Explorer which barely had space took up 30 - 40 MB space.... now it takes even more! But ya It allowed updating most of apps! Good, but it only updated apps? OS and its vulnerabilities are still not fixed!
    They need to get these things fixed till its too late!