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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: Idiotic challenge, idiotic outcome
By Mitch101 on 3/26/2012 10:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is people read sites like this and go on to think there is something wrong or missing with the Windows Phone. They don't understand that a single CPU phone with a well optimized OS can beat a dual/quad core phone. Microsoft is trying to dispel the myth and the FUD that is generated by every fanbois out there who never used a Windows Phone who is talking out their arse with a dose of reality.

Nokia is also selling Windows Phones really well and Windows Phone sales are growing. The problem is smartphone sales increased above the pace of the Windows Phones sales so Microsoft shows a share decline in the smartphone market despite increased sales. Very similar to Apple trying to hide the Android growth by stating IOS sales lumping in iPod and tablet sales to keep it looking like IOS wasnt in danger of being overtaken by Android sales.

This is a single incident case its not the only instance and why is this article worthy? Heck lets have a race and Ill start in the car with it running and you have to take the keys out of your pocket get in the car, start it and then go. The guy bypassed a step "Katta had disabled the lock screen" its not a direct comparison. Game over not lets make this news.

By ChronoReverse on 3/26/2012 10:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
Eh, I can even have the weather widgets right on my lockscreen so it's not like it's impossible to beat the stacked odds.

By theapparition on 3/26/2012 10:45:43 AM , Rating: 3
The guy bypassed a step "Katta had disabled the lock screen" its not a direct comparison. Game over not lets make this news.

Was that a criteria? Most likely not. Sounds a lot more like playing backyard football with pre-teens who start claiming you're out of bounds because the branch next to the tree stump is really the bounds marker, not the tree stump.

The store had the responsibility to make sure the conditions of the test were met before accepting the challenge. They challenged him and lost. Now pay up like a man and not whine about it.

Katta should've challenged them to a game of Angry Birds: Space. You know, the one that's available on almost every platform except Windows Phone.

RE: Idiotic challenge, idiotic outcome
By bug77 on 3/26/2012 11:02:46 AM , Rating: 1
The problem is people read sites like this and go on to think there is something wrong or missing with the Windows Phone.

The employers seem to have been instructed to cry foul and M$ doesn't seems to be on the customer's side either. Does that spell "our product is clearly better than the competition" to you?

Plus, if WP7 is doing so great, why do they need this campaign in the first place?

By StanO360 on 3/26/2012 11:18:39 AM , Rating: 2
Marketing. Truthfully, they need to market the carriers more than the public. Costco had one Windows Phone and that was T-Mobile, playing with it for a few minutes it is impressive. But, no one will buy it while it's sitting there like the lonely step child. And not with the carriers that most people use.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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