While the world seems to have trained its eyes on Facebook Home and listened to Mark Zuckerberg wax eloquent about “putting people first”, the launch and the idea doesn’t seem to have gone down well with the guys over at the Microsoft headquarters.
Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft took to the Microsoft blog to express his disappointment over the launch of “people, not apps” centric Facebook Home. He jokingly writes in the post, “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.”
Shaw says that the content of the presentation made by Facebook chief Zuckerberg was “remarkably similar” to the one made by Microsoft at the launch of Windows Phone two years ago. Surely, people would notice how similar the idea of Facebook Home, that revolves around people and not apps is similar to the one Windows Phone is actually built on.
Windows Phone put "People First", claims Microsoft
Ever since Windows Phone 7 was launched a couple of years ago, its USP has remained its live tile functionality. This one feature centers around people, displaying personalised notifications vis-a-vis general bunched up ones in the notifications drawer by Android and iOS devices. This idea of “people first” is what Facebook has announced to be the base of Facebook Home.
And this is exactly what Shaw’s grouse is. Evidently, Microsoft feels the need to proclaim that most of the ideas that Facebook has painted to be innovative and ground-breaking have actually been done by it before.
Shaw also goes on to take a dig at Android, saying the platform is “complicated enough without adding another skin built around another metaphor, on top of what is already a custom variant of the OS.”
Shaw signs off saying, “So, 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, and simply upgrade to a Windows Phone.
When you get your Windows Phone, simply log into your Facebook account (along with Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn and Gmail) and pin your best friends and family to your start screen, and we promise you’ll be feeling even more at ‘home’.”
Facebook Home was launched amidst much fanfare on April 4, as a replacement for the Android UI. It is slated to be available on only flagship devices at first—HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung GALAXY S III and Samsung GALAXY Note II—and will be on Google Play from April 12. The tablet version of Facebook Home is still under development and will take some time to be launched.
On unlocking your device, you will be greeted by the cover feed that replaces the lock screen and home screen. It basically shows you your Facebook news feed and lets you comment on, or like posts right from there. You can swipe sideways to look at other stories in your feed.
Another major feature of Facebook Home are chat heads. These are tiny circles that let you access a chat from anywhere. You can pin people on your screen and chat with them whenever you want. It can be accessed from different apps, or even games. You can even move chat heads around and respond to messages. And since SMS is integrated into Facebook Messenger for Android, chat heads include Facebook messages as well as texts.
You’ll get notifications straight to your home screen, like when a friend posts on your timeline. You can just tap on the notification to check it out, and swipe them away to hide them.