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.
Clearly, this is a dick move. I’ve filed it under “evil corporations” on the web’s biggest dick moves site. Read it and vote it up here: http://dkmvs.com/posts/713
Everyone knows that MS and their WP7 suck, just they don’t want to admit it.
The Windows Phone Sucks!
This stupid publicity stunt wreaks of desperation on Microsoft’s part. The phone is not fast – just look at the lousy framerates of XNA games on Windows Phone Mango (classic comparison: Angry Birds on WP7.5 vs Android vs MeeGo vs. iPhone). WP7.5 is slow and jerky/stuttery when it comes to third party apps that extend beyond “informational apps” (mostly text). I know the 30FPS framerate cap is supposed to be lifted in Mango, I’ve just yet to see it in action.
Lame Microsoft. Get a life and learn to know when you were BEAT
They probably weren’t even allowed to give away the laptop because of store rules or some other stupid thing. If the way you tell your story is true, you definitely were in the right.
That challenge is pointless, especially as they were cheating by already having it set up.
Now if they were to have specificied that the challenge was to set up a weather app to show weather in two different cities in two diffferent countries/states fair enough….
Thats nuts I’d think Microsoft would be just giving away their junk smart (dumb)phones
And I’d like to see them try and beat my iPhone 4s .. Good luck !
Austin-“Microsoft and Intel are both lazy monopolies” MLN-“You can add Apple to that list also.” I don’t think you know what the word monopolies means. Microsoft and apple are competing companies. It’s very hard to have a monopoly over a market when you still have a competitor.
I would file a small claims lawsuit in your state for $1k for the laptop and then $2k for fraud. It will cost you probabyl $40-$50
Windows Phone is a post-iPhone OS, beats iOS and Android clones at usability in hundreds of tests. Recycling old iOS/Droids is a sweet deal. Suck it up.
Ben and Microsoft can’t control what ever employee does. The only thing they can do is make it right, which Ben is trying to do:
You need to contact him — he has a laptop for you.
Having said that, you did run the contest using a phone configuration that almost no one would use unless they actually enjoy “butt-dialing”. I strongly suspect that after you left you re-enabled your lock screen.
Since the contest is about how Windows Phone is faster at the tasks that people do every day, your win was not in the spirit of the competition. A win, yes. But not an honorable one.
Hey, I’m taking this comment and re posting it . Don’t making EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Actually, you don’t know that he would’ve lost even if he had his lock screen enabled, since he had the widgets on his home screen. It’d come down to who can swipe the fastest, maybe he would’ve been the faster swiper. I don’t think MS’s point was that it’s quicker to unlock the phone, but that it would be quicker to see the weather in two cities. They didn’t count on him having two widgets set up for that (I’ve got a coworker with a son stationed in Korea who has the same setup for home and Korea, it’s not unheard of).
Still, there are times I do disable my lockscreen, like if I have it in the dock in my car for a long-ish trip. Had I been driving around and decided to stop at this store and try the challenge, my lock screen would be disabled as well.
Windows gambled that their phone would win. They don’t like to lose their bet.
LOL … don’t **** with Android fanboys .. Android users are the true nerds who you don’t **** with
I would of said: Fair enough you can make decent phones, now learn to make decent Operating Systems.
What a fail for Microsoft, hope you’ll find peace when looking back in a few years and your Android still has all importaint Apps and Microsoft lost enough money with their Ego-Trip to force themself into the mobile business that they finally quit the mobile business.
They failed so far and they will keep failing, doesn’t matter if they buy further Nokia-esque-Companies, its just too late and they may made it work for their Games department but i just can’t see how they catch up in the Mobile sector.
I know one other way to beat Windows phone with any android, blackberry or iOS device: Market shares ;)
It’s sad how much attention something like this is getting. One it’s a very one-sided story..two this is a retail associate! I could undertstand of this was someone on the the of “Ben the PC Guy” but this is an hourly employee! With that said..get the hell over it! MS themselves or not responsible for this incident! Whoever is in charge is probably so low on the totem pole they can’t make the executive decision this situation requires! Pull your heads out of your a*$@@$ and move on!
Shame on M$!
That’s terrible but typical. The employees probably would have gotten in massive trouble had they agreed you were the winner.
So they have their phone setup to display something before they even turn it on and they do not give you the option to setup the same thing first?
HMMM. not a very fair fight.
So now that Ben has promised a laptop I suspect this post will disappear quietly…
All in good spirit of M$
Bad sport shown by MS. Windows phone won among MS employees, but lost in eyes of public !
I really was thinking the Windows phone is a good OS. But at this moment I just saw the greedy and stupid face of Microsoft employees. I still waiting to hear that you have received the prize, not just a re-match offer.
Microsoft ist just so epic fail. Just like a crappy Nokia Smartphone with WP7!