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...or not
Microsoft has since apologized for the hassle, but won't give the customer his prize

An Android user recently took the Windows Phone challenge at a California store and won, but Microsoft employees told him he didn't "just because."

Sahas Katta took his Android-based Samsung Galaxy Nexus to the Santa Clara Microsoft store yesterday morning for the Windows Phone challenge. The challenge asks those who use phones other than a Windows Phone to come into the store and complete a task faster than a Microsoft employee, who is using a Windows Phone. If the customer can beat the employee, they can win a $1,000 Special Edition Laptop. But if they lose, they have the option of trading in their current smartphone for a Windows Phone.

Upon entering the challenge, Katta followed all procedures the store asked him to complete before facing off with the Microsoft employee. He powered down his device in front of an employee to show that he wasn't launching any apps in advance, and listened carefully to his challenge: he was to bring up the weather of two different cities.

Katta accepted the challenge, and after the three-second countdown, he simply hit the power button on his Galaxy Nexus and said "Done!" Katta had disabled the lock screen (a feature that is built-in to Android and not a third-party add-on) on his phone prior to the challenge and already had two weather widgets right on his home screen. They displayed the weather for San Jose, California and Berkeley, California.

The Microsoft employee finished a second later. She had to power on the Windows Phone and swipe away the lock screen before revealing her two weather widgets.

"However, I was quickly told that I lost. I asked for a reason and was told Windows Phone won,” said Katta. “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.'"

Another employee informed Katta that he lost because you need two different cities in different states in order to win. Katta said he was never told that this was the case, but gave up on trying to reason with the employees since it was clear they weren't backing down.

Katta posted about the incident on Skatter Tech, where it received quite a bit of attention -- even from Microsoft. Ben Rudolph, senior manager at Microsoft, tweeted Katta on Twitter with an apology.

"Just saw this," said Rudolph's tweet, referring to Katta's incident. "Sorry for the hassle...come back for a rematch on a random challenge!"

Sure, Katta received an apology, but no compensation for the lost challenge. Many Twitter users responded to Rudolph's tweet saying that Katta should receive the prize he was promised, but Microsoft has yet to respond.

Sources: Skatter Tech, Twitter



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RE: >.<
By Motoman on 3/26/2012 10:19:47 AM , Rating: -1
Just seems legit. No, I don't have any more proof than you do...but the whole story seems utterly probable to me. And it's being reported on multiple websites today, FWIW.


RE: >.<
By Mitch101 on 3/26/2012 10:39:57 AM , Rating: 2
"Katta had disabled the lock screen" - Lets disable the lock screen on a Windows Phone and rerun the race. Simple enough.


RE: >.<
By Goty on 3/26/2012 10:52:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think the implication is that the ability to disable the lock screen is not implemented in WP7.


RE: >.<
By Mitch101 on 3/26/2012 2:13:42 PM , Rating: 3
Settings -> Lock + Wallpaper -> password off.

You still have to do the slide which is nice because you don't want to be accidentally hitting tiles.


RE: >.<
By ChronoReverse on 3/26/2012 2:31:54 PM , Rating: 2
That's not the same thing. You can disable the password (or grid password) lock but you'll still have the slide to unlock. This can also be disabled if you so choose (presumably because your usage of the phone isn't affected by the lack of lockscreen).


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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