Low sales, stagnation, a formidable app gap and lack of popular features. These are just some of the accusations levied against Windows Phone but Microsoft may have at least one thing going for it in the mobile department: security.
That's according to hacker and security expert of 15 years, Steve Lord. When asked to rate the three most popular OSes in the market by security, he called Windows Phone the 'toughest nut to crack':
All have benefits and drawbacks. Currently Windows Phone seems to be the hardest nut to crack. Blackberry has a long history of being very security-focused. If I have physical access to the device, I find Android’s usually the easiest target. Then comes iPhone, then older versions of BlackBerry. If it’s over a network or I have to attack via email or message, Android’s usually the softest target.
While Windows 10 Mobile is, of course, considered by Microsoft to be its safest product yet, Lord also had nothing but praise for older versions of Microsoft's mobile OS:
Older smartphones tend be considered less secure as they’re usually affected by known weaknesses. If you’re using an older phone you’re better off with a classic dumb phone. If you have to have an older smartphone, use an older BB10-based Blackberry, or a Windows Phone running Windows Phone 8 or newer.
This must all be considered in the context of Windows Phone's meager marketshare, of course. Windows users have often made the argument that Apple's wares are more secure due to their limited financial appeal to hackers: why try to exploit OS X when you can spend the same amount of time on Windows and have 7-8 times larger an audience for your exploit?
Similarly, given Windows Phone's scanty marketshare of just 3%, it is also quite likely that Microsoft enjoys added security due to the lack of known exploits - and hackers' lack of enthusiasm in finding more.
When all is said and done, though, Windows Phone does seem to prove a formidable challenge for anyone wishing to tamper with your device and, given Microsoft's current misfortune in the mobile play, it certainly needs all the good news it can get.