Sahas Katta, a blogger for Skatter Tech, recently took his Galaxy Nexus into a Microsoft Store to partake in the “Smoked by Windows Phone” challenge. Smoked by Windows Phone is Microsoft’s marketing campaign launched at CES that claims Windows Phone can do many basic things faster than its iOS and Android counterparts. Microsoft is so sure it’s platform can best other platforms at the tasks it (carefully) selected for the challenge, it put up a $1,000 special edition laptop as a prize.
In order to lay claim to the $1,000 prize, Mr. Katta and his Galaxy Nexus would need to display the weather in two cities faster than it could be done on the Windows Phone device operated by a store employee. Most of us who run Android know about widgets, and this challenge task can easily be accomplished by placing two different weather widgets on the homescreen of your device, and targeting two different cities. All that stands in your way from immediate gratification is the pesky lockscreen.
But Mr. Katta was smart, and had used settings built into his Galaxy Nexus to disable the lockscreen altogether, and had completed the challenge as soon as he hit the power button on his smartphone, a few seconds faster than the Windows Phone device which had to be unlocked.
Mr. Katta won the challenge fair and square, though he was denied the prize by the Microsoft Store employees, who at one point claimed Windows Phone had won the challenge “just because.” I, too, have made the “just because” argument to win a fight or two, though outgrew that once I was out of diapers.
After realizing he couldn’t get a favorable response by anyone in the store (including the store’s managers), Mr. Katta decided to leave, though not before the store employees had the nerve to ask him to take a picture in front of the “My Android was Smoked by Windows Phone” display.
Microsoft Makes Things Right
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending for Mr. Katta.
Ben Rudolph works for Microsoft, and initially caught wind of his platform being smoked by Android late last night. Mr. Rudolph initially tweeted to Mr. Katta that he could come back to a Windows Store anytime he wanted for a rematch on a random challenge. As you can imagine, that response only infuriated Mr. Katta and an increasingly-angry tech community.
Just about 10 minutes ago, Mr. Rudolph went back to Twitter to announce that Microsoft was going to fully make things right, and are providing Mr. Katta with the special edition laptop, a Windows Phone device, and an apology.
All in all, it’s a good end to a potentially lousy story, and perhaps signals the end of the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign. Any Android user can simply disable their lock screen via settings to gain the competitive advantage and show once and for all that Android is faster than Windows Phone, even at Microsoft’s carefully-selected challenges.