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Microsoft dismisses Facebook Home as Windows Phone copycat

Microsoft is not impressed with Facebook Home.

"The content of the [Facebook] presentation was remarkably similar to the launch event we did for Windows Phone two years ago," Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president of corporate communications at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.

Shaw posted a video (below) for Windows Phone 7.5, which included the tagline: "Put people first."

"Those three words were chosen around a pretty powerful but simple insight: People are more important than apps, so phones should be designed around you and the people you care about, not the apps you might use to reach them," Shaw wrote.

Facebook on Thursday unveiled Facebook Home, a new feature that's somewhere between an app and a mobile operating system. It brings your Facebook news feed and chat functionality front and centre, allowing for easier access to the social network. The offering is "a new way to turn your Android phone into a great, living, social phone," Facebook said.

Windows Phone embraces a similar approach, with live tiles on the home screen that update in real time.

"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," Shaw wrote. "So, we understand why Facebook would want to find a way to bring similar functionality to a platform that is sadly lacking it."

But, Shaw argued, Facebook Home just adds another layer to an operating system that he consider to be "complicated enough." Not surprisingly, he urged consumers to pick up a Windows Phone rather than add Facebook Home.

"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,'" he concluded.

Shaw is correct when he says that those who try out Windows Phone often end up loving it. But Microsoft has found it difficult to tear smartphone users away from their iPhones and Android devices, both of which currently dominate the scene.

Windows Phone has a slick interface, but it's still lacking in some of the apps that Android and iOS users might not want to give up.