Smoked by their own marketing
And that's where Microsoft may have tried too hard. We understand that with stakes of this magnitude Microsoft doesn't want to lose, so we expect them to stack the deck in their favor. Still, as long as they were showing off the some of the world-beating features of Windows Phone, who could blame them? Alas, new information has come forth that casts the in-store version of the challenge in a less favorable light.
Earlier today we reported on a small brouhaha that arose when Sahas Kattaa beat the “Smoked by Windows” challenge with his Galaxy Nexus. An employee at his local Microsoft store challenged Katta to see who could more quickly display the temperature in two different cities. Mr. Katta had two weather widgets already configured to do so, and had further turned off the lock-screen, allowing him to win the challenge with the push of his power button. The store employees, apparently caught off guard, claimed his victory “didn’t count” because the two temperatures had to come from different states, even though that wasn't a previously stated part of the challenge.
It 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.
1. parkwaydr posted on 26 Mar 2012, 17:24 1 0
didn’t count” because the two temperatures gad to come from different........
I believe the word you were looking for is had.
42. NOKIA.8800.ARTE posted on 26 Mar 2012, 22:05 2 11
O NO sad news for drahma and windows users and fan$
2. protozeloz posted on 26 Mar 2012, 17:25 3 1
Backfired.... it was bound to happen, even when its staged... fandroid and ifans should set up their devices for all possible challenges and score a laptop or two for their teams.
also I knew this was meant for them to call attention of costumers, so its well staged. MS is selling an eye to make WP popular again, Having their CEO Stephen Elop talk bad about android in every possible way and claim WP was a OS of equal opportunity to attract manufacturers
Having an upper hand to create a buzz is so much like MS. so I wont get mad if you happen to set you phone up tl counter every challenge.
26. Lucas777 posted on 26 Mar 2012, 20:21 0 0
i think u meant steve ballmer as microsft ceo.. elop is nokia… and ya microsft needed to be more mature about this.. they should have left it as a booth at major trade venus that would draw media attention to see that the next challenge would be… it would become more specialized, and therefor more coveted… its just way to general of a marketing scheme now
34. protozeloz posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:32 1 0
I know he is from Nokia, I was being sarcastic, that guy talks Android and windows as if he works for MS, i think he had talked even more than MS CEO about this matter also I do not agree with Nokia not building at least one good Android device, you must swim in all waters and I believe it could have drawn attention from Android fans that like Nokia hardware. So, to me he is kinda like just another MS CEO, busy in driving both public and manufacturers (its competition that offers the same services as them when it comes to MS) away from Google and Android. To me its not something I should hear from a hardware company CEO.
The campaign is good at events, there the environment is controlled and the number of tests is limited. Escalate it was a mistake. Because illusions only look good on the hands of a Illusionist,if you understand what I mean
37. Lucas777 posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:49 0 0
i dont think nokia has the funds for another device… look it how long it took them to get a wp thing going… and meego took forever too… they also dont have the ability to seize a market with android… maybe in the distant future they could broaden their horizons, but they do not have the money right now
55. ayephoner posted on 27 Mar 2012, 06:15 0 0
you could go in with a few phones and almost certainly get a laptop. maybe just a high end android and an iphone would cover it.
3. theBankRobber posted on 26 Mar 2012, 17:26 5 1
Haha I read this on another site, so f'ing funny. Its even more sad it was a Galaxy Nexus. They didn't get beat by just any Android phone, they got smoked by Thee Android phone of them all.
27. sprockkets posted on 26 Mar 2012, 20:32 2 0
Ha! The next challenge is, "How fast can an Android phone vs. a Windows phone change their background?"
4. Roomaku posted on 26 Mar 2012, 17:28 7 0
LOL. Why would they jump from 100$ to a Laptop? That's just begging for people to cheat
29. remixfa posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:19 5 3
how did the guy cheat exactly? by looking at the competition before entering and setting up his phone accordingly? he used tricks that are available in the stock ICS set up. You think the WP7 device isnt set up for quick access and those guys dont spend all day practicing? lolz
i think someone is just mad the iphone has yet to win.
61. iHateCrapple posted on 27 Mar 2012, 18:36 2 0
"how did the guy cheat exactly? by looking at the competition before entering and setting up his phone accordingly?"
Thats some logic...According to you then a kid can look at the answers to his mid-term before he takes it and its not cheating? lol
63. KingKurogiii posted on 27 Mar 2012, 19:16 1 1
it's not a test it's a competition. the opponent uses information learned before-hand to gain the upper hand so why couldn't he?
5. KingKurogiii posted on 26 Mar 2012, 17:30 7 1
i wish i knew where a Microsoft store was so i could go get me a spare Laptop...
6. strikercho posted on 26 Mar 2012, 17:41 1 21
Dear phonearena, as I previously said, please do not copy or try to put out some brain in you articles. It's pointles. This is not New York Times, and you are not Larry King, okay? It's hilarious when you post such articles, concerning marketing and etc. I bet that 80% of the people in your team are not even graduated journalists(what you actually should be). Take this piece of advice and take it easy on such matter. Stick to what you do best - showing phones without many comments. Peace.
13. JeffdaBeat posted on 26 Mar 2012, 18:10 16 1
Oh no you di'n't!
First off, Phone Arena is a proper noun. Be sure to capitalize it whenever using it in a sentence. Also, it should be "The New York Times." In addition, you don't have to use a comma before the conjunction "and." In fact, try not to use commas when they aren't needed like when you said, "It's hilarious when you post such articles, concerning marketing and etc." Oh, a big thing about journalism is fact checking. Do you have sources saying that 80% of the people on the Phone Arena (see, proper noun) team don't have journalism degrees? (I won't even comment on the "graduated journalist" part.)
Take this advice...don't comment on a site's journalistic merit when you don't grasp even the basics of American English (another proper noun) grammar. Also, Phone Arena never admits to being a hard news source. They post news topics, reviews, and rumors (I used commas because I was creating a list of things). If you are looking for hard news only, Phone Scoop is a great site.
16. parkwaydr posted on 26 Mar 2012, 18:32 7 0
The whole time I was reading this comment I couldn't help but picture Ben Stiller from dodge ball,
Now let me hit you with some knowledge!!!!
30. remixfa posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:21 3 1
wow, virtual high five for that super pimp hand there Jeff.. lolz.
i had the exact same image park. ha!
46. snowgator posted on 27 Mar 2012, 00:41 1 0
No one makes me bleed my own blood......
21. hepresearch (unregistered) posted on 26 Mar 2012, 19:38 4 0
Apparently, strikercho is a "graduated journalist"? I'm still trying to figure out on which planet, though...
28. redrooster13 posted on 26 Mar 2012, 20:59 1 0
Does it cost you anything to use this site? I didn't think so. Some of us (me included) would like to read this article.
7. buggerrer posted on 26 Mar 2012, 17:41 7 2
let be honest, WP is fast as hell, and would smoke any phone in "some" tasks
still i love android and its my choice ^_^
11. NOKIA.8800.ARTE posted on 26 Mar 2012, 18:07 3 7
Obviously it would cause its not a full OS
like android, which has loads ov data logs to read and render resource, and ram hungry...
18. buggerrer posted on 26 Mar 2012, 19:08 3 0
consumer wouldn't care about what you just wrote
he wants a phone can do many thing in a fast way and smooth as butter.
and actually there is no big differences now between phones, they all can do the same, maybe 1or 2 seconds faster or slower.
consumers follows the media and the hype!
31. remixfa posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:22 2 0
which is why apple is so popular. the only "pc like" OS right now is android. Everything else is full of curated and controlled devices. Some like openness, some like curated. They both exist because people like both.
That said, WP7 is not as nearly as controlled as apple, but its no where near as willy nilly as android.. its slightly off centered (in apples favor) between the 2.
36. NOKIA.8800.ARTE posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:49 0 1
20. shadez10 posted on 26 Mar 2012, 19:19 5 0
WP not a full OS you mean?..
how could a phone run if the OS is not full or complete...
even calculators has OS to make them work...
get your facts right... its just WP devices are well optimised to their hardwares... unlike android devices...
22. hepresearch (unregistered) posted on 26 Mar 2012, 19:45 1 0
It's called a "dalvik" as I recall... the OS is actually complete... its just not run entirely from the phone ROM. It relies on "the Cloud" for important elements of the OS to operate properly... which is not a problem for most people since it is getting exceedingly difficult these days to escape from the combination of mobile network coverage AND WiFi hotspots. Just about all smartphones these days are constantly connected, even without any user activity, to the internet anyway, so why split hairs on this tiny detail?
32. remixfa posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:23 1 0
dalvik is specific to linux, which is what android is based off of.
41. hepresearch (unregistered) posted on 26 Mar 2012, 22:04 1 0
Yeah remix, you're right. I had to look it up, refresh my memory. My point is that there are equivalents in terms of "Cloud sourcing" the operation of a mobile OS through constant connectivity for every major smartphone OS now. BlackBerry did it first... way early on like in 2006 and 2007, and then iOS and Android followed soon thereafter (Android with its "dalvik", of course) when they emerged. Since then, Symbian^3+, webOS, Maemo/MeeGo (through "Alien Dalvik"), and Windows Phone all do similarly in their own ways... some more reliant on it than others.
9. tward291 posted on 26 Mar 2012, 17:56 1 1
whats funny is you guys act like microsoft is the first to do this samsung did it with the note
17. Scott_H posted on 26 Mar 2012, 19:08 3 2
The Galaxy Note advertisements did indeed do the same thing as the Smoked by Windows commercials - but note that we aren't criticizing either - all TV commercials are staged. We're questioning the wisdom of setting up live in-store challenges for a big prize, while relying on your poor retail reps to work customers over like a conman works on a mark, trying to elicit background information on what phone they are up against so they can pick the "right" challenge to ensure victory.
33. remixfa posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:26 0 0
of course. All the games in a casino are tilted heavily against the player and towards the house. If you were meant to win, they wouldnt set it up. Why would any corporation set out to lose?
The only thing that makes this article worth national eletronix attention is the fact that the stupid WP7 reps tried to screw the guy out of a well earned prize with fake rules. There was a follow up article, where not only did the guy get a formal apology, but he got the laptop, phone, money and other things as a make up attempt.
58. Scott_H posted on 27 Mar 2012, 09:41 0 0
Yeah, I mentioned that in the article - the larger point was that the in-store challenge itself is poorly thought out. They should left it at a $100 gift card to a Microsoft Store for winning - that way the occasional loss isn't a big deal, especially since the big goal is to get WP7 phones in peoples hands.
But with this "memorize the right challenge strategy" asked of $14 an hour floor reps it was going to go wrong sooner or later, and with a grand at stake it was inevitable that employees worried about making their numbers were going to try and fudge the results (they know they aren't supposed to lose).
It's just a bad idea. We aren't saying it couldn't be done well (the CES demo was great, and the tV ads are....TV ads), but this needs to be rethought.
60. remixfa posted on 27 Mar 2012, 10:31 0 0
14 an hour?! where do i sign up!!
14. NOKIA.8800.ARTE posted on 26 Mar 2012, 18:13 2 2
Thats why android is best... live widgets
15. CellieCell posted on 26 Mar 2012, 18:16 0 3
I'm sorry to say but, PA sure has a lot of typos!!!
19. sinple posted on 26 Mar 2012, 19:15 0 1
can we choose to compete windows phone in other area? Eg, transferring songs from computer etc?
I rmb there was a challenge on taking photo. Can ppl just use some widget screen locker and activate the camera?
I think microsoft is being a lousy by competing against the stock android coz they cant customise
23. MickDM posted on 26 Mar 2012, 19:49 0 0
really...is something that has been done since "comparison marketing" began worth attempting to create such a negative view of wp7...oh wait...this IS pa after all...ijs...
35. tedkord posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:46 1 0
Nobody is trying to create a negative impression of WP. Microsoft is creating a negative impression of itself, by setting up rigged competitions, then cheating when they lose. We're just commenting on it.
59. Scott_H posted on 27 Mar 2012, 09:44 0 0
Exactly, tedkord. The original idea was good (at CES), and the ad campaign is fine. But Microsoft is undercutting its success and generating their own bad PR with this poorly designed in-store challenge.
No one at PA wants Windows Phone to fail - more competition and more choice is always good for the consumer.
24. andro. posted on 26 Mar 2012, 19:55 2 0
See as nobody already buys windows phones this is be not be saddening news for much people
39. Sniggly posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:57 2 0
While Ben Rudolph himself is all right, and in fact was the one who directly made things right with Sahas, the whole campaign sunk of a rigged contest, like a casino. The odds against winning seemed artificially high, and lo and behold, i was right. I love how the guide unabashedly has strategies for rigging the contests.
49. snowgator posted on 27 Mar 2012, 01:11 2 0
It is in a Microsoft store.... pumping up a Microsoft product... and everyone is surprised and offended that it was a Microsoft slanted test?
Really, Sniggs, ya know I love ya, but no company is setting up a blind challenge on their products and just crossing their fingers. I am not even pretending this was a fair challenge. My point is.... so what? Any consumer over the age of 12 that has ever watched an informercial on late night TV knew it wasn't going to be. This challenge serves one purpose: to get Windows Phones in the headlines, and introduce it's strengths and some of it's advantages. It is a unique angle. The only problem is that when the sales reps screwed up and lost, the store big wigs got stupid and tried to screw the winner out of the prize. Microsoft does get bashed for this, as they should. But it this "I am so indignant due to MS not allowing an open challenge and allowing iPhone and Android users to set the rules" idea is just silly. There isn't one large corporation that has the high moral ground when it comes to promoting their products. They all stack the deck, fib, exaggerate, distort, and some outright lie. That is why Consumer Reports, JD Powers, and sites like this exist. Buyers need to beware.
50. KingKurogiii posted on 27 Mar 2012, 01:59 1 0
you hit the ball out of the park my friend. o:
44. vvelez5 posted on 26 Mar 2012, 22:25 0 0
The guy beat Microsoft. Was it fair? Probably not, but there were no stipulations prior to the competition. Now I bet Microsoft will lay down some ground rules such as you cant set your phone up prior to competition. The guy took advantage of a loophole and capitalized on it. Microsoft messed up.
45. Sniggly posted on 26 Mar 2012, 22:55 0 0
Actually, apart from disabling the lock screen (a legitimate stock option) he won because of blind luck. He happened to have those widgets set up before ever walking in the store.
54. haseebzahid posted on 27 Mar 2012, 02:43 0 0
it was actually the salesman fault if he knows what challenge he has to conduct for android still he goes for that and then doublecross the chllenger by not giving his reward how come it is MS fault here that guys should be thown out of job since MS has lost challenges before and no one said thats cheat they give away the 100$ i think its fault of that saleman who probably took it personal or was a Anti MS
62. vvelez5 posted on 27 Mar 2012, 19:12 0 0
I'm not disagreeing but if you look at the youtube video that definitely was one of the challenges in many of the vids also who knows if that was the only challenge they were doing at that specific store. Purely speculation but I think we are agreeing that Microsoft lost regardless if it was luck or if the customer knew what the challenge was and was able to capitalize on that.
47. snowgator posted on 27 Mar 2012, 00:54 1 0
Okay- no excuses from me on this one. Microsoft lost some of the challenges at CES (mentioned in the story) and paid up (also mentioned in the story). They got a little cocky, found a couple of ways to make their product look good from those experiences, and thought they had an unbeatable system. But, someone screwed up and they got beat by a good product. The store manager tried to weasel out of it, and now they look bad. Big wigs step in, pay off the winner, Microsoft eats a little crow.
But, can we please not take one incident, in one store, by one set of people and harp on it forever? This is the second "feature article" on this. If it happens again, I will be happy to join the chorus of people booing them. But, if Microsoft corrects the procedure and instructs their stores to pay up if they lose, even of the test is done wrong, then can we please move on? I think this store was more worried about looking bad to corporate than their potential customers and made a bad decision.
Get your shots in, give Microsoft the crap they have earned, and let's get back to some good gossip on Apollo, ICS updates, and the next iPhone.
Move along. Nothing else to see here.......
48. Sniggly posted on 27 Mar 2012, 01:08 0 0
The big problem is that Microsoft is deliberately doing their best to rig the contests in their favor, which ends up being pretty misleading to the general public.
57. remixfa posted on 27 Mar 2012, 06:24 1 0
can you tell me what promotional contest ISNT rigged against the player?
There is no problem with setting up the contest in favor of the company, they ALL are. The only problem is that the douches running it tried to cheat.
MS has lost these contests before. Theyve shown them on the site. Up until now the person running it has always graciously given away the prize.
Im sure these fools got an ear full for all the negative publicity
51. frydaexiii posted on 27 Mar 2012, 02:04 0 1
The only reason they won most of the challengers at CES was because close to none of them came prepared for their challenge while their own Windows phone was all ready configured to do these challenges. Now that those "Smoked by a Windows Phone" are on Youtube, anyone who wants to win just has to configure their Androids to beat it. And to top it off there are only so many challenges Microsoft can give, WP can't do much.
1) Check Weather in 2 places
2) Look for 4 star restaurant
3) Take a picture and upload to facebook and tag yourself
4) Post a status to all social networks
5) Track a song
and that's pretty much it. Thanks to their own effing up, now we can see WP is not only worst than Android, it's worst than iOS too. Android has customisability, iOS has apps, What does WP have? WP has a long long way to go...starting with something simple like changing the wallpaper :D
52. haseebzahid posted on 27 Mar 2012, 02:29 0 0
What ever the news on smoked advertisment is its lame thing but the WP7 is great unlike their markiting retards the OS itself is promising and making up for its flaws just like any other OS would makeup in time. Windows Phone FTW