Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone advertising campaign, “Smoked by Windows Phone“, is an interesting little idea. Some Microsoft marketing guy will give you a task to perform on your smartphone. The adman will perform the same operation on his Windows Phone. Both of you then simultaneously try to achieve this arbitrary goal while being recorded for what will eventually be a YouTube video. If you finish first, you get money. If the propagandist finishes first, you have to look into Microsoft’s cameras and admit defeat. Yesterday evening, Sahas Katta, a student at the University of California Davis majoring in Computer Engineering, headed down to his local Microsoft Store because he heard that if he could win Microsoft’s “Smoked by Windows Phone” challenge then he’ll get to go home with a $1,000 laptop. The task presented to him was to see what the weather was in two different cities. Sahas uses a Galaxy Nexus, so he easily configured it to display two weather widgets on his home screen. He also disabled the lock screen on his device so that all he’d have to do to see said weather data was hit the power button. You can’t disable the lock screen on a Windows Phone, so you need to perform two gestures to see the weather.
So Sahas won … but according to Microsoft he didn’t. The reason? “Just because,” said an employee at the Microsoft Store. Microsoft created a game, set the rules, and Sahas won according to the rules, but then Microsoft said that his weather widgets should have displayed the weather in two different states as opposed to two different cities. Know who else changes the rules so that they never have to admit they’re wrong?
Opinions about Windows Phone versus Android aside, what Microsoft did was just plain shady. And the best part of all this was Microsoft’s response. Ben Rudolph, the Microsoft guy who started this whole “Smoked by Windows Phone” thing, told Sahas via Twitter to swing by the Microsoft Store again for a rematch.
[Via: The Verge]
Update: Ben Rudolph has apparently had a change of heart. Sahas doesn’t need to come back to the store for a rematch. Instead he’ll get the $1,000 laptop he won in the first place, plus a new phone. It’s a happy ending, that’s for sure, but this drama should have never happened in the first place.