I headed down to the Santa Clara Microsoft Store this morning after hearing about the Windows Phone challenge last night. For those not familiar, anyone who completes a task faster than a Windows Phone on their own smart phone can win a $1000 Special Edition Laptop assuming they meet some standard terms and conditions. Those who “get smoked” by a Windows Phone, have the opportunity to trade in their existing device for Windows Phone.
After signing a waiver agreeing to let Microsoft use a photo of me in their advertising, I got in line for the challenge. I was using a Samsung Galaxy Nexus which runs the latest Android operating system on the Verizon Wireless network. As requested, I shut down my phone and powered it on in front of an employee when it was my turn. (I’m assuming they don’t want anyone pre-launching any apps in advance.)
The Microsoft Store employee I was up against then explained the selected challenge. Her exact words were the following: “bring up the weather of two different cities.” The one who could do that first would win. I felt like I struck gold since I knew I already had two weather widgets on my home screen: one for my current location (San Jose, CA) and another for Berkeley, CA.
After a three-second count down, I hit the power button on my phone and said “DONE!” out loud. I had disabled the lock screen entirely, which is a rather awesome out-of-the-box feature of Android that takes you straight to the home screen with a single push of the power button. I didn’t even need to touch the screen, since the two weather widgets were already there.
My opponent finished a split-second later. She had two live tiles on her home screen displaying the weather of two different cities as well. Why does it take longer on Windows Phone? She had to perform two actions. First, she hit the power button to turn on the screen. Second, she had to swipe away the lock screen. That’s pretty much as fast as it gets on that platform. Windows Phone takes two interactions. Android takes just one.
I excitedly thought I won out of pure luck. However, I was quickly told that I lost. I asked for a reason and was told Windows Phone won because “it displays the weather right there.” That was rather unclear. I showed her my device which also was showing off the same information with two side-by-side weather widgets on the center home screen. After pressing for a better reason, I was told that Windows Phone won “just because.”
After trying to push for a real answer since I clearly won the contest by their rules, another Microsoft Store employee (possibly a manager) came by after noticing me asking more questions. Thinking on his feet, he quickly gave a ridiculous out-of-thin-air reason that I need to display the weather of different cities in different states and that “my phone could not do that”.
I calmly and politely tried pointing out that I was absolutely never told about having to show off two different states, but at this point I realized there was no point in even attempting to argue since the Microsoft Store employees clearly had no intention of even potentially discussing the possibility of considering me the winner.
I was then asked to snap a photo in front of a sign that read along the lines of “My Android was smoked by Windows Phone” before leaving the store.
I was quite excited to take the challenge, but left the Microsoft Store in distaste. I sure hope the purpose of this marketing ploy is to attract new customers by demonstrating the highlights of Windows Phone, not frustrating them instead. If anyone from Microsoft would like to have a rematch, I would be happy to smoke a Windows Phone with Android, again.
Update: I Got My Laptop & A Windows Phone. Both Are Up For Auction. 100% Of Proceeds Go To Charity.
I think you deserve to get the $1000 prize. If they don’t want to pay up they shouldn’t have such competitions.
why didn’t you call the police and then take them to small claims? and stood outside telling everyone “I won but they wouldn’t give me the laptop” and otherwise causing them enough problems that a $1000 laptop was worth it?
They bullied you and you accepted it. **** that nonsense, I would have made a giant scene. I hate bullies, whether they are wearing corporate logos or not.
Ha well MSFT gets more than $1000 worth of negative advertisements out of you now don’t they? I’ve never heard of this contest or this site before but still got linked here from reddit.
Microsoft won just because they said so, haha! (From the terms and condition)
“By entering this Contest you agree:
To abide by these Official Rules; and
That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Contest;”
While they can always be winners and make the rules inside the Microsoft Store, out in the real world it works a little differently. Which is why their market share is less than 5%.
This story ticks me off. Microsoft is such a freaking disgusting company. First selling the Xbox 360 when they knew the hardware was unreliable, and now this crud. I hope you raise awareness and their reputation gets tarnished.
In response to your comment http://skattertech.com/2012/03/i-won-the-windows-phone-challenge-but-lost-just-because/comment-page-1/#comment-86596
‘However, there are many things it can’t do just yet that Android excels with’
Can you please go into detail on what things Windows Phone can’t do that Android excels with?
Don’t want to have an argument, but will give you a few examples. Just to be fair, there are definitely TONS of things Windows Phone can do that Android can not. (Also, I could be wrong about several items on this list since I might not have kept up with new Windows Phone apps day-by-day.)
Some items include:
1) Skype Video Calls (or Google Talk video calls)
2) LogMeIn. I use that rather often for small tasks.
3) Dropbox, can’t live without that.
4) My banking app not yet available, mobile site doesn’t work properly.
5) NFC Mobile Payments (I love not having to carry a wallet at all times.)
6) Google Voice Integration (I have two numbers for work and personal)
7) Cobra iRadar
8) Rdio app could use some work
9) Google Music would be nice
10) App for my networked security camera doesn’t exist
11) Better LinkedIn Integration
12) Chome to Phone type functionality.
13) Bookmark / password / history sync with browser
14) Can’t live without Dropbox.
15) I use Google Docs heavily as well.
16) Square for mobile payments
17) Swiftkey or Swype type of keyboards.
P.S. Angry Birds Space too ;)
This is not the point of the thread, Microsoft got owned and the covered it up.
Do you have any facts? Any sources you’d like to share with us? If not then please keep your ignorant mind disconnected from your fingers.
Cool story bro. How do we know if you’re not lying? People need to stop being one-sided until we see some evidences. For all we know this guy decided to go on a butthurt mission because he lost.
So they want a rematch? Refuse – tell them you want the voucher. https://twitter.com/#!/BenThePCGuy/status/184123838949359616
Of course they want a rematch: it gives them a better chance to stack the deck. The right way to do this is to get Sahas to come back in, have him put his phone to the settings they were at for the contest and time how long it takes him to complete the task the way he did for the contest. If he’s close to the WP7 time – not under, but close enough – consider it verified, give him the lappy and watch the story change to “good guy MS”.
Its lucky they didn’t ask you to connect via bluetooth to another device. My Windows Phone can’t do that for the past few months ever since the update grrr.
Maybe transfer files onto or off your phone. Nope, can’t do that either! Come on MS – fix the bugs!
This is a case of poor customer service. I’m brand loyal to Apple, but MS hires smarter people than this. MSFT has unofficially heard you. Please let me know when they reach out.
You’re on Time Magazine’s website now! http://techland.time.com/2012/03/26/microsofts-smoked-by-windows-phone-gets-smoked/
You both should have lost for being cheaters. Their “test” was nonsense. In what possible scenario would someone go “quick! What’s the weather in Mexico city and Tokyo Japan?!!!”. How about testing something that actually matters like how quick I can call someone in my contact list or find a web page via the search engine?
That’s infuriating! They totally bullied you into losing. I think I’d have stood outside ranting to passers by what they had done, like a mad man.
“Of course, this is not to say that all the Smoked by Windows Phone competitions are bogus …”
Maybe not, but the truth doesn’t fall far from there.
Go back and check the videos; Ben Rudloph (@BenThePCGuy) pulled exactly the same stunt at CES. He had live weather tiles for two cities (Redmond; Las Vegas) set up on his phone, beforehand. To his credit or maybe because he realized how bad it looked, Ben confessed and awarded the ‘loser’ a free (HTC Radar?) WindowsPhone. And, believe me, it would have looked bad since the contestant was using an older, slower phone…a WebOS model, IIRC.
Meanwhile, let’s face it; pretty much all of the ‘Smoked By…’ contests are ‘this close’ to being rigged. When WP wins it’s not because of anything like true superiority of the OS. And it’s not even a matter of better build-quality or keypad accuracy. No, the WP handset wins for two reasons: (1) The WP user knows what contests are available, (2) which allows him to take advantage of specific shortcuts and convenience features coded into the apps he needs for that contest.
It’s all there in the CES videos. I’d bet you or I could easily set up some Android apps (and/or widgets) to meet or even beat the WP apps…but then again we couldn’t, because only Ben and his guys know what the contests will be. Like I said, it’s not really ‘cheating’ tho’ it sure comes awful close. It was appropriate to start the ‘Smoked By…’ campaign in Las Vegas, since it works like casino gambling. No matter what the game, the odds always favor the house.
You can always retry. Let it go and relax
Sahas! I read this when you posted it to facebook last night… was going to comment but refrained because I am now in the MS environment in Europe… :o(
But then I saw this as number 7 on hacker news and felt a need to come and congratulate you once again on a short concise and awesome article. MS has so much more work in order to drop their stigma… $%&” like this wont help… Frustrating as their devices are coming along.
So both you have your phones turned on, with the screen off… Not sure why you didn’t start with both phones completely powered off, any Android phone would instantly lose 100% of the time.
Because what’s the point in a test like that? People don’t walk around with their phones powered down, they carry them locked and ready to use.
Do you keep your phone turned off when you are on the go?
So when you are expecting a call or you want to make a call or check emails, you power on your phone just then and after tasks you power it off again.
Agreed..I currently have a windows phone (no cost) and I have to say the operating system is not so great..Android system is better in many ways; faster too..I’m beginning to wonder if free of charge is even worth it considering the limited options I have!!
You haven’t used an Android.
Holy shit, you sound like a pussy. If I were you I wouldn’t have left until the cops told me to leave.. and even then I would still be hesitant.
You had them. You had them.
Good idea posting this.
If what you write is the “entire truth”, the Microsoft employees at that particular store are a bunch of morons.
They should get fired immediately as they potentially cost Microsoft a lot of clients.
either you didn’t read the article or you are an asshat. OP says “I was using a Samsung Galaxy Nexus… …I had disabled the lock screen entirely, which is a rather awesome out-of-the-box feature of Android that takes you straight to the home screen with a single push of the power button.” No mention of any 3rd party application.
great marketing mircosoft
You were robbed.
The takeaway from this whole publicity excercise becomes
Microsoft phones are likely slower and Microsoft cheat and Lie about it.
Nice Fail Microsoft Store Manager.