There also has been some people on Microsofts FB page that have accessed Them of cheating!
Take your unwanted smartphone to your local Microsoft retail location and challenge them. I had no desire to win anyway, but they let anybody who loses a chance to exchange their phone for free. No contract or any obligation required. So if you have friends or relatives that are unhappy with their smartphone, they can trade it in for certain Windows Phones for free. Offer looks to end March 29, but of course it is best to do it as soon as possible in case MS pulls the offer early.
There also has been some people on Microsofts FB page that have accessed Them of cheating!
There have also been people that have been trading in phones that are not in the best in quality or condition. I think according to the rules, your phone should be able to finish the challenge. However, it seems like they do not care. Frankly, it did not matter to me what their challenge rules are. I just wanted to exchange my old Android.
Typical Microsoft eh.You may have heard about the Smoked by Windows Phone competition by now. In these events, a Windows Phone device is pitted against any other smartphone and both are made to do a simple task, with the winner being the one who completes it first. The task is usually something as simple as taking a picture and uploading it to Facebook or finding directions to a place. But as it turns out, this challenge is not as fair as Microsoft makes it out to be, as Sahas Katta of Skatter Tech found out the hard way.
Katta was in a Microsoft store where he wanted to take part in the competition. He was armed with his new Galaxy Nexus. The challenge given to him was to bring up the weather of two different cities as quickly as possible.
Luckily for Katta, he had set up the weather for two cities on his homescreens using widgets and he had also disabled the lockscreen on his phone, a feature found on Android 4.0. Because of this, he could get to his homescreen from sleep mode with just one click of the power button. As you can tell, he was going to win even before the competition started, because no matter how quick Windows Phone is, you’d require at least two interactions (press power button, slide lock screen) to get to the homescreen.
That’s basically what happened when the competition started, with Katta managing to finish before his opponent, who also happened to have the weather for two cities on the homescreen (more on this later). But as it turns out, the winner was actually declared to be the Windows Phone? Why? “Just because”.
That’s just one of the vague replies that Katta got when he asked the people in the Microsoft store for answers. Eventually he had to leave because clearly no one there was in a mood to declare him the winner and give him the prize, a $1,000 special edition laptop.
As you can see, these competitions may not be as clean as the Microsoft’s official videos make them out to be. Other than the fact that the people in the store refused to acknowledge Katta as the winner, they also played dirty by having the weather widgets of the two cities right on the homescreen even before the competition started. That’s not how Windows Phone comes out of the box. Microsoft had set up their phone to a favorable state before the competition, which is basically cheating. Had Katta not had the weather widgets on his phone (which is fine because he actually uses that phone and wasn’t aware of the challenge until he was told about it), he would have taken much longer to bring the weather up. Not that it matters because they declared him the loser anyway.
Of course, this is not to say that all the Smoked by Windows Phone competitions are bogus or that Windows Phone isn’t good at doing some tasks faster than its rivals (it is). But this example here proves that we need to take these things with a heavy dose of Sodium Chloride.
Update: Ben Rudolph, the person who usually takes part in these competitions on behalf of Microsoft, has apologized for what happened to Katta and offered to do a rematch on a random challenge. To be honest, the better thing to do would be just give the guy the prize he won fair and square.
So Windows Phone with two cities in the Weather app was not "out of the box," but the Android user's lock screen was disabled?
Six of one, half dozen of another. Then again, I wouldn't expect anything less from GSMArena...
And there's such a thing as a contest set up by a company that they win the vast majority of the time? Tell me more!
Update to the update:
Ben (the "PC Guy") Rudolph has publicly addressed the disappointment of Sahas Katta, who felt slighted when the Microsoft employee he beat in the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge refused to accept defeat and provide him with his prize - a limited edition laptop worth $1,000.
Rudolph has apologised to Katta via Twitter and has stated he has a Windows Phone and the laptop prize for him. As well as offering a phone, the laptop and a public apology on behalf of the Microsoft Store involved, Rudolph also tweeted the following:
It's positive to see Microsoft at least attempt to set things right should reports pop up that their highly marketed challenges could well be staged. We'll never be 100% sure as to what actually happened, and have to take Katta's word for it, but shouldn't we expect some issues to arise when multiple employees are hosting a marketing stunt?"I stand behind #smokedbywindowsphone wins (and losses) 100%...even when I'm not the one doing the challenges. And always will!"
Last edited by ryan s; 03-26-2012 at 11:33 AM.
The difference is that the Android/other OS user isn't aware of what the challenge will be, whilest the MS employee who picks the challenge is and so can plan ahead, clearly the MS employee was sour when he lost a challenge he had already planned for.
Nothing wrong with what GSMArena wrote, im glad its brought to light just how unfair the Smoked by Windows Phone challenges are, anyone who believed they were was deluded.
How do we know they're unfair? How do we know MS is cheating? Have you heard the phrase: "There's three sides to every story--yours, mine, and the truth"?
So far, we've heard one guy's side of one tale. I can't remember which trade show it was, but at that event alone, MS went something like 300-3-6 in the challenge. This is the first accusation of cheating I've heard...
If you watched those trade show videos you'll see what i mean. The WP handsets are preset for the challenges and the guy from MS is the one who determines the challenge, that alone should ring alarm bells.
If MS had that much confiedence in Smoked by Windows Phone they would've got a regular WP user and Other OS user, both not knowing the challenge will be, if other OSs get smoked there that would TRUELY be Smoked by Windows Phone.
Most of the stores are probably out of stock now. Some stores say "only while supplies lasts" although others might say "they will contact & give you the phone when it is restocked." I am sure people in this forum have lots of unused smartphones lying around. So if you can, hurry up and take advantage of the offer to exchange it and get a new WP phone for free.
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http://www.phonearena.com/news/Smoke...keting_id28441It turns out that Microsoft may not have been prepared to lose; they had constructed the challenge in such a way that employees with the proper training could avoid losing altogether. They circulated a training guide with detailed instructions on how to conduct the challenges - a guide that fell into the hands of writers at The Verge.
Given the steep price and high embarrassment of a loss, it’s not really surprising that Microsoft would have guidelines on how to conduct the Smoked by Windows challenge. What may surprise you, however, is how bluntly the guide admits that Windows can be smoked by other phones, and how it teaches their employees to "select a challenge appropriate to your customer" so they won’t lose.
The weather challenge, for example, is not recommended for use against Android devices. The guide warns explicitly that “Android users have access to Widgets that can, if properly configured, display the weather and other information in real time.” Apparently they should have spent more time on that aspect of the training. Owners of Apple’s iPhone, on the other hand, do not have access to homepage widgets and as such are perfect candidates for the weather challenge.
A better challenge for a Galaxy Nexus would be the “Pocket to Picture to Post” challenge, which tests who can take a picture and post it to Facebook faster. Windows Phone's Facebook integration lets them upload a photo to Facebook in fewer steps than Android handsets. On the other hand, employees were warned that this isn’t a good challenge to pit against the iPhone 4S, because it has similar Facebook integration and a faster camera. To show you the extend to which Microsoft stacks the deck in their favor, they even warn against pitting this challenge against the mid-range HTC Status (the HTC “Facebook phone”) because the fast camera and auto-posting Facebook button would lead to a lot of free laptops.
Not only are the challenges rigged to be in their favor, but Mircosoft actually supplies a list of phones that you have to pick specific challenges for. How does an employee know what challenge to use? The guide encourages employees to spend time talking to challengers before hand, to ferret out what type of phone they have so they can pick a winning challenge.
This raises the question of whether in-store challenges are a good idea as conceived. With a $1,000 prize on the line and a much larger pool of potential challengers, Microsoft should have realized that sooner or later someone would figure out how to beat the system - especially since success depends on floor representatives memorizing a list of challenges and the correct phones to use them against. Human error was going to lead to a victory sooner or later. Microsoft also decided to take a picture of the "losers" of the in-store challenges; this makes for good theater, but if a customer like Sahas Katta feels cheated this type of public embarrassment will only encourage them come forward with their story.
On top of the potential for embarassment, it's no longer clear what exactly is being tested. In the original $100 CES challenge it was to lose once in a while - no one really thinks that Windows Phone is the best at everything, but by winning the majority of the time Microsoft's mobile OS came out looking good, and the challenge felt legitimate. With loses no longer really an option with $1,000 laptops on the line, Microsoft steered the challenge too far astray - if you have to exclude the HTC Status from some of your challenges, you aren't testing all-around speed and utility.
We all knew that the Smoked by Windows challenges were designed to show off the benefits of Live Tiles and other Windows Phone features (we wouldn’t expect them to create a challenge they would normally lose), but we think this part of the marketing campaign was poorly conceived. The high price of a loss required Microsoft to rig the challenges too much. Requiring employees to chat up a challenger ahead of time to discover his or her phone model so you can draw from a memorized list of the "right" challenges is bound to go wrong eventually - and even when it doesn't it smacks more of a parlor magician playing tricks on an audience than an actual comparison between phones.
I popped over to the MS store near me only because I wanted to trade in my N1. Needless to say, they stack the competition in their favor, like the weather challenge. They said they'll call me in about 4 weeks when the phone comes in. We will see if I ever receive the phone.
Condoms, Rose! Condoms! Condoms! Condoms! - Dorothy Zbornak
It is amazing that Microsoft stores are still doing this as of Tuesday. Clearly, all the stores have run out of stock. The backorders probably number in the hundreds for each outlet. Hopefully, everybody gets a phone otherwise there will be lots of complaining. The whole challenge has been pretty casual as there have been reports of stores allowing devices that are not even working properly, non-smartphones, and phones that cannot even complete the testing tasks. Today it was common for people waiting in line for hours. Wonder if Microsoft is prepared to go the 2 more days. By then, stores will have had waiting lists in the thousands.
Microsoft retail stores are still taking down names, and it looks like the promotion will run the full course until the end of Thursday. Hope they are good at managing all the people's information and giving eveybody a phone. My guess is that Microsoft hopes that all these WP7 phones end up in new WP7 end-user hands rather than just put for auction.