Mar 26 AT 9:35 AM Anthony Domanico 75 Comments

Windows Phone smoked by Galaxy Nexus, Microsoft initially denies prize then makes it right

windows store Image via: Directions on Microsoft

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.

The Challenge

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.

The Denial

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.

Via: The Verge

Source: Skatter Tech

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • spazby

    great story!!!

    • Jeff Pan

      Off late Microsoft has been targeting Google more than Apple. I would love to have a Nokia device run on Android.

      Go Nexus!

      • Eric Rossman

        This is because Microsoft is aware of that Google is the real competition in the smartphone arena.

      • nosense

        You can…

        Buy a N9 and install ICS.

        A charming combo

    • ALcapitalist

      It sounds like the same folks who are in charge of marketing at Microsoft have struck again. You know MSFT was not even paying manufacturer bonuses to cell phone sales employees like Apple and Android manufacturers until recently? I am a loyal Android guy with a Galaxy Nexus (will stay loyal if Google decides to update their devices with zeal) but recognize that three dynamic OS’s are better than 2 to push innovation and development. MSFT definitely has the check book to fund development if they so choose.

      BTW Blackberry decided four years ago to not be a dynamic developer, so hopefully MSFT will decide to get in the game.

    • Paul Jamieson

      Does anyone even visit these MS stores ??
      Apple stores on the other hand are packed with people .. it’s
      hard to even get a chance to sample there stuff …

      I wish Google would open some stores … they could have
      development people on staff and show google TV, Phones ..
      ChromeBooks ..and training classes … and some one dressed up
      as an IceCream Sandwich … lol

      Now that would be sweet !!

  • redraider133

    Good way to make up for it. It could have turned into really bad press if they would have denied him after he fairly won the challenge. Congrats to him and his nexus on smoking that windows phone.

    • Lucian Armasu

      It already did. That’s why they are doing this now.

      • delinear

        Exactly, the damage is already done. They’re now firefighting, nothing more. I can’t see the “Smoked by Windows Phone” campaign having much credibility after this little SNAFU. They should just have played fair in the first place, better to lose a few challenges and take it in good humour than to try and weasel out of it only to be forced to back down in the face of the PR storm.

        • server181

          yup, has to be rebranded.. some ideas:

          Smoked by Windows Phone (except the Nexus)
          Smoked by Nexus
          Windows is better! Just because!
          Whatever, its Microsoft all right?
          We are still ignorant. Buy a Windows phone

          • Burnd

            We’re very sorry. Buy our phone!

          • Paul Jamieson

            OR .. we cannot sell this piece of crap .. here just take 1 ,,, lol

  • Stella

    Good for Mr. Katta and I hope he enjoys his new laptop. I also want to give it Mr. Rudolph and Microsoft for doing the right thing. Often times, companies still don’t do what’s honorable even when in the wrong. It’s unfortunate for Microsoft that they got this bad press but good news for the Android community with users like Mr. Katta.

    • NegativeOne13

      From other stories I read, it sounds like Microsoft is taking some low blows to gain notoriety. Only when they get called out is when they respectfully respond. Microsoft is still trying to fight their way up to Android and iOS level in sales and users. They are trying to make themselves look better. But, nonetheless I’m glad that Mr. Katta was compensated for his troubles.

  • Silentmelodies

    I put weathers on my lockscreen, isn’t that just as fast? :/
    What’s funny is that even stock HTC’s Sense has weather in the lockeen. I can be ultimately sure that almost everything -if not anything- in android can be easily customized. Heck, making it look like WP7 is also possible.

    • dpleus

      I too have an HTC, but the lockscreen only shows the weather for one location, and you needed to show it for two locations in order to win the challenge. But with widgets and the modding community, you are right, almost anything in Android OS can be customized.

      • Silentmelodies

        My bad. Never used Sense myself.
        But yeah, putting two weather widgets with any lockscreen replacement app can do that just as easy.

  • Nathan D.

    Wow, those employees are stupid well at least the guy still got his limited edition laptop so it all good. but i would smack the crap out those employees just for that.

  • ranwanimator

    “All in all” is one of my biggest pet peeves. And it seems to be becoming more widespread. like a grammar plague.

    #SideNote #Correction

    • Anthony Domanico

      What’s funny is that the website you linked to said “All in all” is fine usage, it’s all AND all that’s a no-no.

      • ranwanimator

        And if you continue reading it says “All in all is an emphatically redundant variant of in all.”
        In all is the preferred form.

        Like I said. It’s a pet peeve. I just seem to see it everywhere now and it’s one of the things my English teachers beat out of me with a stick.

        • Anthony Domanico

          yeah, but i hate when people correct a perfectly good usage of something with something that’s even gooder ;)

        • steveanderson1357

          Apparently the stick is still there. As your own dictionary spells out, it is the EMPHATICALLY REDUNDANT VARIANT, meaning it is acceptable. You also put “preferred form” outside the quotes, implying that that is your interpretation.

        • DJm25

          nothing worse then a grammar nazi

    • Max.Steel

      One thing I hate is grammar police. Another thing I hate even more is grammar police who are wrong.

    • bob

      “all in all” is correct, sounds fine and should be used to the end of time

      all AND all is obviously 1/3 completely different to the prior saying…

      u are weird. voicing your pet peeve which is actually wrong and does not make any sense.

      more people will see YOU as their pet peeve, forcing your opinion onto others stubbornly without a second thought to how wrong and stupid you are

  • Brian

    What a stupid story and even more ridiculous competition. It should have been task based rather than “look at my Widgets!” Guess it’s a win for him as his Galaxy Nexus didn’t reboot and cause him to loose.

    Fact of the matter (I own a shitty DROID RAZR ) WindowsPhone is much, much more pleasing and responsive than Android even currently is. If WindowsPhone had the app catalog of that of Android or iOS, I’d be sold.

    • Robert

      if we want to make two phones compete against each other, should not the phones come with the same processor speed? and same number of cores?

      And there are a lot more things than just “how quickly my phone can let me look at the weather” that I put into consideration when I choose a phone. I recently purchased Galaxy S2X with Android. 1.5Ghz, dual-core.

      The additional things I give into consideration are

      - of course, the apps available to the phone’s platform (sorry Redmond, but this is the reality at the moment)
      - the quality of the display (this creates a competition even among Android phones.)
      - stability (does the phone ramdomly shut down or require me to reset the phone once a month or so? this is a part where MS has never managed properly in the company history)
      - design of the hardware (S2X is just so beautiful)

      Whether my phone takes maybe 0.2 seconds more to let me look at the weather actually matters less than the factors. It is fine if my phone takes maybe 0.2~5 seconds more to let me look at the weather than other phones. I am not a tiny bit interested in a phone that has very few apps, has less than beautiful display, requires me to reset the phone once a month and randomly shuts itself off, has unreasonable looking hardware, but manages to let me view the weather 0.2 seconds later than other phones.

      • JJ

        Thats why im leaving android for ios in oct. android glitches galore, terrible custserv, Google known issues & a phone that freezes & has tobe reset daily

        • Kyle334

          Fook me what phone did u have! Even with my crappy HTC Desire i never had problems that often :s

    • Max.Steel

      Both of you sound stupid.

  • dpleus

    Props to Mr. Rudolph for making things right, and to Mr. Katta for outwitting Microsoft. I was never a fan of my BlackJack II’s Win6 phone OS. But the Win7 OS isn’t all in all terrible.

  • fletchtb

    Congrats to Mr. Katta on the win!

  • jj14

    I use an EVO 3D, and must admit that from a cold boot (not the fastboot option), there is absolutely no way on earth that my EVO 3D can even get to lock screen (let alone fully loaded SENSE home screen) in less time than a Lumia 800 (yes, I have a Lumia for work).

    The Lumia boots up (fully loaded home screen ready to launch apps) in 20-22 seconds – timed it right now. EVO 3D (unrooted – Stock ROM)? Closer to a minute before I can launch an app.

    Will I switch from EVO to Lumia for my primary use?? Umm… no…. Not yet at least – maybe after their marketplace matures, I’ll reconsider. I must admit though – the WP interface is pretty snappy!

    • professandobey

      I don’t think they were racing boot times, but rather they rebooted to start from a clean slate. They probably gave it plenty of time to wake up.

  • Joel

    Wow….Those guys in the store are pathetic and should be ashamed. A simple widget race is hardly a test of speed/power.
    Theyre lucky they didnt test multi tasking, browser speed, display, RAM/Processor, and all the other stuff that im sure the GNexus would have excelled at.

    • jj14

      Well, they are the sponsors, and will obviously pick the battles that they think they can win :)

      • delinear

        Of course, if you’re going to pick your own battle and -still- lose, the last thing you should do is refuse to honour the deal. Anyone could have told them that’s going to result in a ton of negative PR (particularly now it’s trivial with FB/Twitter/etc to get these messages out).

        • jj14

          Very true.

          Let’s face it, it was one store employee who made a bad decision. Looks like Microsoft has already corrected that mistake (Ben Rudolph has apologized and has already offered the prize to Katta). So kudos to Microsoft for making it right – so quickly!

  • h0ruza

    Haha Brilliant!!!! Microsoft… your face!

  • SED

    What a horribly ham-fisted handling by Microsoft.

    Fact is, they should have seen this one coming as it is very, very easy to do on virtually any Android phone. They should have just left this challenge out of the picture altogether.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Glad everything worked out in the end. Android will always rule over windows devices.

    • Max.Steel

      I remember you used to say “Evo will always rule over other phones” then it was “Sprint will always rule over carriers”. Now you use a Galaxy Nexus and are on Verizon. Tomorrow, you will be using a Windows phone and on AT&T.

    • squiddy20

      “Android will always rule over windows devices” Says the moron who seriously stated that his “legendary” Evo 3D would be “Sprint’s flagship device well into 2012″ and pretty much the same thing of Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus, without even realizing that it was never meant to be a “flagship” phone. What a f*cking joke.

      • squiddy20

        By the way, the very same Evo 3D has been reduced in price (again) now to $0.00 with a new 2 year contract, while the Evo 4G is still $99. Still think the Evo 3D is Sprint’s flagship phone?

    • Steam

      If the iPhone came out on Sprint first, you’d be saying the same thing about Android in general.
      Even your androidandme page says “Love Technology and have been a Evo 4g owner on sprint since June 4th 2010. This device is the Granddaddy of all 4g android devices and I now know I can place my evo 4g in retirement because 2 new members have been added to the evo family. I will be purchasing my Evo 3d on June 24th 2011 and just might be able to get it on June 21st 3 days early due to bein a sprint premiere customer..”.
      It doesn’t matter what you own or who your carrier of the day is. Whatever it currently is, it’s “boss”, “pimp-slapping” and anything else that you find in your alphabet soup and everything else is “useless”.

  • nivekkev

    If they would have just honored the victory in the first place, nobody would have every known that they lost. Now everybody knows.

  • itguy426

    You have to love the competition of Android. They are always trying to get a leg up on them and make it like their stuff is the best. I know in this case it was against every other competitor. But looking at the challenge they stack the deck in their favor. They had a phone set up for the challenge or a challenge that is showing off a feature they phone can do and most don’t have set up on their phone. As it has been said in the past the big reason Android is such a big fast moving train rolling over the competition is because of innovation and choice. So if the other companies want to get noticed come out with something to get the consumer excited and give them a reason to buy your product.

  • honourbound68

    good example of what happens when a company doesn’t know what their competition is capable of.

    • tN0

      Even if the Android user won, it shows that Windows Phone has a very similar approach to show information on the home screens. Milliseconds don’t really matter here.

      • SED

        It shows that Microsoft isn’t even prepared for their own contest. Shows lack of forethought, laziness, shoddy marketing and management. It definitely didn’t give me a warm fuzzy for sending my money to Redmond.

      • inviolable

        That’s besides the point.

  • Angel

    With Mr. Katta’s luck that free laptop is probably running vista….

    Bet Microsoft is now putting “disable the lock screen” option on the top of their to do list….

    • inviolable

      Haha the 32 bit version

  • surg3d

    Stupidest challenge ever. Android customization FTW.

  • cthonctic

    I can totally see how the conversation after the ‘match’ must have gone:
    “No, you didn’t win.” – “Why? You just saw me win.” . “No, you didn’t win, because you cannot win, because this challenge is designed by us to be impossible to win. That’s why!”

    This whole campaign is a sham, so it’s even more impressive that this guy managed to win against all odds.

  • bigrob029

    if you are going to rig a race… A- cover all the loopholes. B- don’t be a sore loser when you lose.

  • cwjones4

    wait…you mean microsoft had to cheat in order to try and win its own challenge? shocker…

  • WlfHart

    So as a prize for beating a windows phone phone, they gave the guy a windows phone phone… anybody else see a problem with that?

    • MrQuestion

      The prize was supposed to be just the laptop, but since they denied him the prize in the first place, the phone is an “extra”.

      Maybe they hope he’s going to use the windows phone (it’s a trap!).

  • inviolable

    Pathetic isn’t even the word

  • aranea

    The funny thing is that they also gave him a windows phone. I guess that’s also “just because”.

    On another note when will Nvidia demand a formal apology from apple claiming that their gps is 4x faster than the one in tegra3?

  • Dirge

    Was the Nexus bone stock? Otherwise, this competition doesn’t have a winner yet. A fair face off would be between two stock devices.

    If it was, then that’s sweet. :)

  • Marcus

    I read the original post yesterday. This pretty much sums it up. I didn’t know that Microsoft finnaly admitted that he won though. That’s awesome!

  • Raptor

    LMAO Everything in this story from start to end was an absurd…HAHAHAH Contest made by mentally challenged for technical illiterates. @#$%% degradants.

  • apo

    My Galaxy nexus and I are laughing after having read this . Best post period

  • JhonnyQ

    And that’s what you get when your publicity campaign is specifically aimed to discredit the competition (“My Android was Smoked by Windows Phone”?… come on…).

  • Q

    I have to disagree with this post and what it implies. The implications are about software/platform that performs a task faster. So, the lock screen should never be part of the equation since you are not getting to the task till after deactivating it. The challenge should have been to perform a task picked out of a box of tasks, perform it and yes use stock devices !

    You cannot determine which platform is faster if the competition is already predetermined and the phone tuned for it.

    On a side note, I have used windows 8, android and iOS. I was very impressed by the smoothness of the windows operating system and its originality. Lets face it iOS and Windows 8 are original, not android. and no I do not have a windows 8 phone because I am too heavily invested in the iOS devices (too much purchased music and apps)

  • Rikin Shah

    You have to realize that the whole campaign isn’t just about proving that its better but also to increase marketshare, if they have to give away a few thousand phones to the “losers” they gain a lot of market share, as 1.5 million = 1% marketshare. so giving out smartphones is the best way for them to gain marketshare quickly, once they have a WP its hard for them to get out of the ecosystem just like Apple and Google. This is just more appealing that saying we’ll give you a free phone if you give us your old one. This turns it into a competition.

  • richard

    So after their employees acting like children, all that was required for MS to own up to it’s OWN challenge, was for the victim to go home, write up the whole encounter, and for the story to get picked up several major publications! Well they SURE did the RIGHT thing. Now pay him for his time, trouble, and distress.

  • Ray

    fk Windows Phone.

  • Konstantin

    I went to the “Smoked by Windows Phone Challenge” in Houston Galleria, I was told to find directions to the closest 4* restaurant. Sales rep didn’t find directions he just found locations of closest restaurant, at the same time I found directions. When I showed it sales rep, he told me that I was trying to cheat and offered me redo, when I found closest restaurants faster then him he again told me again that I was cheating. I don’t understand how Microsoft wants to get back on the Market when they are clearly not follow rules. And how they want to compete with somebody who’s customer service trained way better then them.

  • smisa27

    I just got back from my local Microsoft store and I smoked them with my HTC G2. Shows them how even a near 2 year old phone can still smoke a brand new Windows phone if optimized correctly!

    Android FTW! =)

    Thanks Microsoft for holding this contest and letting me win a brand new laptop! =)

    • Maryam

      Haha, I also smoked them with my HTC G2. It’s less than a year old though. But still! They were shocked and making excuses that their phone was acting weird at the moment, but they didn’t give me any trouble while awarding me with the laptop :)

  • dutrak

    To be expected