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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 Scrogneugneu on 3/26/2012 1:11:33 PM , Rating: 4
You're complaining that the guy might have known the challenge beforehand, therefore he had 2 weather widgets on his home screen?

And not a word on the MS employee, who did also have those 2 widgets (or tiles, whatever)?

That race was pretty useless. Other than proving "If my Windows Phone has 2 weather tiles up and you don't have 2 weather widgets up, I can check weather in 2 cities faster" it does very little. Even if the lockscreen was enabled, the time would have been the same.

And if you complain that nobody is checking the weather in 2 cities, well, why is there even a race to find out which phone can do it faster?


RE: >.<
By omnicronx on 3/26/2012 2:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not complaining, I was answering back the OP stating 'he probably didnt know what the test was'. The person who went to the store also made it out as though it was pure luck which I really doubt.(Clearly you had to have two weather panels ready to win this test, but there was no 'luck' involved here..)

Ton's of people have fairly won the challenge, the entire story (and this guy's facebook post) makes it out as though MS is flat not letting people win which is just not the case.

A very small percentage of users don't use the lockscreen, and to the poster above, you are kidding yourself if you don't think buttons can't be pushed in your pocket. (or do you just not use your pockets for anything)

MS seems to be in good faith here, they are honoring people whom actually defeat the test with a normal smartphone setup. I'm sure I can do a whole bunch of things to my android device to make the weather come up even faster than this guy.. Why even boot into the gui? Just boot to console and have a script that automatically updates the weather and displays it as text. I bet that works even faster!


RE: >.<
By av911 on 3/26/2012 2:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
I've disabled my lock screen for the past 2 years and NEVER have I once "accidentally" do something I don't want. And yes, my phone has the pocket all to itself. Why would I subject my phone to any other objects (in my pocket) to potentially scratch my screen?


RE: >.<
By twhittet on 3/26/2012 6:49:04 PM , Rating: 2
Same here - no problems with my pocket literally "pocket dialing" the screen, and having other things in my phone pocket would be pretty dumb. I have no screen protector (Droid 2) and the only scratch it has is 1/16" long.


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