One #SmokedByWindowsPhone participant claims Microsoft cheats

One #SmokedByWindowsPhone participant claims Microsoft cheats
Yesterday we told you that #SmokedByWindowsPhone was hitting all Microsoft retail stores with an upped ante – a new Windows Phone with no contract and the chance to win a brand new HP laptop valued over a grand.

One participant at the Santa Clara Microsoft Store is claiming they won, but Microsoft cheated them out of a prize. Sahas Katta from Skattertech attempted the challenge with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus running the latest version of Android on Verizon Wireless.  Sahas recalled the event by stating:

“The Microsoft Store employee I was up against then explained the selected challenge. Her exact words were the following: “bring up the weather of two different cities.” The one who could do that first would win. I felt like I struck gold since I knew I already had two weather widgets on my home screen: one for my current location (San Jose, CA) and another for Berkeley, CA.”

Even though he was able to get to his home screen a split-second quicker (because his lock screen was disabled), Microsoft denied him the win. First he was told that the Windows Phone won because “it displays the weather right there.” After he pointed out that his device did the same, followed by additional discussion with a manager, he was told that he needed to display the weather of different cities in different states.

While we think the Smoked By Windows Phone challenge is an innovative and fun marketing tool, if Sahas’ claims are true, Microsoft needs to exercise its due diligence in being clear about the rules and crowning winners when they win.

source: SkatterTech via WMPowerUser



1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yeah, that figures. Windows phone is basically a bunch of widgets; if you have the widgets there yourself then it comes down to how quick your phone responds and how quick you are. I believe the guy and, considering how disingenuous Microsoft has been in its marketing I wouldn't put it past them to do this.

2. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i agree… tsk tsk microsoft… but as for the widgets thing, i found the live tiles to not be that useful… i practically never used them for anything except to see how many messages i have and for shortcuts… i wish microsoft would adopt a "swipe right" gesture or something for a big overview instead of forcing the live tiles… sorry-- i kinda just realized this when u said that

3. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Nothing to be sorry about, and you're right-some choice would be nice with the operating system. I mean, I do like the idea behind windows phone and the execution of the OS is good so far but it's really not all that quicker to use than Android, especially if you're big on widgets.

4. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i guess… im not really a widget person so maybe thats why i didnt find a huge use of live tiles… but having used all 3 main oses, wp is the most fluid between apps for me… like i just go from one thing to the next without normally going to the homescreen… its just a completely different way of doing it… but i do like having the structure of ios and android… plus there is way more to do when u jailbreak/root it… changing the colors got boring after a while...

5. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i'm actually pretty fond of the tiles. they're more eye candy than anything but like you said the notifications are useful and then i like the Spotify Tile and the "Me" Tile that shows recent notifications and the Calendar Tile, i also like how it shows your Facebook events on your lockscreen when they're happening soon.. o:

8. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

what u said just made me realize all they need to do is beef up that "me" tile and make some proprietary way to access it… cause it just needs a few left/right swiping menus for various notifications and then it would be a great notification center...

9. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

@Lucas777 I've used iOS, droids, and WP. I 'prefer' droids and I don't really use widgets (mainly cause I don't like the way they eat up my battery) but yeah, the "ME" tile could be a very well rounded notification center with a little optimization. And you're also right in saying that WP is by far the most fluid (in between apps). I'm actually torn now. I don't know what to wait for. The three major OSes are producing top notch units now. I definitely am not gonna get an iPhone (no hate here just preference), BUT I'm torn between droids and WP!!!

10. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

personally i would wait off on wp… i am… i have an iphone mainly because i love macs and its just easier… androids are also great-- but too much clutter for me… which is why i like wp the best, but the app selection is simply to measly… as soon as wp gets a close app portfolio to ios then i will switch back… but the lumia 900 looks so darn alluring

11. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

yeah, app selection and power is what's going to keep me away from WP. keeping me away will be harder when Apollo devices come out but ultimately they'll be less useful than my Razr if they don't get more app support and also the lack of free things is an unappealing thing to think about as well.

12. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

At the rate apps development are going now though I can see WP apps to reach just around 150k by end of this year, maximum of 200k probably. Good enough, but of course it's a turn off compared to iOS and droids. Another thing that's luring me towards droids is the Android-Ubuntu project. The thought of it is making me salivate for a quadcore droid.

21. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

thats a bit high. id say probably 90-120k apps at the most by 2013. its all a guess though. Either way WP7 is making great strides. The slow n steady route is going to pay off soon. I am totally waiting for WP8 tablets to see how desktop compatibility actually works. If its flawless, ill be plopping money down for it. I still have this HD7 that I won that I customized and gave to my daughter as a media player, so i might get bored and move back over to it for a few days. If you guys havent rooted your WP7 devices and got the dev app store on there, you are missing a lot of features. Its a lot like cydia but for WP7. It adds a lot of missing features. nokia maps on my HD7? yea i got em. and a whole lot more. :)

28. HockeyDood

Posts: 80; Member since: May 14, 2010

Just so everybody knows, the person in question is going to the store to pick up is prize today. No idea when that is supposed to happen, but friends who work there have told me he is picking up his prize today.

6. GeekMovement unregistered

That is stupid. Two different cities in two different states? They should have mentioned that before the challenge, not after. Since the noob already stated "bring up the weather of two different cities," Samsung Galaxy Nexus wins.

7. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

See, told you, all Android users had to do to win this was place widgets specifically to beat the Windows Phone...Easy, but obviously, Microsoft wouldn't give him the win, wouldn't want people to know Android can do what they've been promoting in a WPhone do they? Faster too...

14. Henrik

Posts: 141; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

Dude, the Android guy had his lock-screen turned off. He didn't even touch his screen once, he just pushed the power button and the widgets was right there. Not really an everyday thing to not have a lock-screen, right? It's all in the source article. "Two cities in two different states" was pretty much a lie though, and I blame that sales rep personally for that.

16. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Actually, it's a feature in stock Android ICS. Still well within the rules.

19. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

that's the thing, the android guy decided not to have the lock screen because he wants a faster access.. i did that with my phone as well.. turned off the lock screen completely and went with applock instead.. so i have faster access.. and that's a feature, why not flaunt it? there is no rule saying the phone should have lock screen, and there is no rule saying that the two cities must be from different states.. well, i have three cities from two different COUNTRIES, and i can access that in one power button press, one screen touch, and two swipes, all in under 3 seconds..

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

MS was just mad that someone came prepared to fight. :)

29. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Yeah. MS designed the contest so that they can beat other OSes in their weakest points. No glory in that. If they can beat the Widgets of droids then that's something. Beat others in their own games, that's how you become a champ.

13. Henrik

Posts: 141; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

BIASED ARTICLE :-) What Phone Arena did Not write was that this sorry ass dude came well-prepared for whatever scenario possible by having his lock-screen TURNED OFF. What is not quoted in this article is where he says: "I had disabled the lock screen entirely, which is a rather awesome out-of-the-box feature of Android that takes you straight to the home screen with a single push of the power button. I didn’t even need to touch the screen, since the two weather widgets were already there." So is that a normal situation, too? Having no lock-screen? Cheating goes both way, I see.

15. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

It wasn't cheating. It was well within the parameters of the rules, and something a stock Android phone is capable of having as a setting. Furthermore, the Microsoft people have their phones pre set up which the random customers don't really have the luxury of doing because they don't know what challenge will be issued.

17. Henrik

Posts: 141; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

First of all, it's a fun marketing campaign - not the olympics. Second of all, I'm not saying he lost - I would actually say he won - but, no, I wouldn't call it a normal situation either. So the mud slinging goes both way on this one, but I also think the sales rep twisted the truth and wasn't being honest (or clear) about what just happened or Should have happened. They shouldn't have put up those high prices, feelings get way to tensy.

25. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

they'll probably tell you it's all in good fun but in the end when they win they'll want everyone to know it and completely rub it into the ground. i wouldn't be surprised if they had a megaphone on hand to announce their wins. Microsoft is definitely out for blood. they're like a wild animal trapped in the corner at this point.

24. Obviously

Posts: 29; Member since: Feb 29, 2012

You're an idiot.

27. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

I would say that all of the people using Windows Phone are also well prepared for those scenarios that they probably knew ahead of time. Phones can be customised to do whatever you need to do quickly and regularly. The more prepared you are, the more likely you are going to win. I would say that the MS reps are more prepared than anyone else most of the time. It just so happens they ran into the wrong guy who happened to be prepared as well and tried to cheat him out of a prize.

18. longhairbilly

Posts: 66; Member since: Aug 23, 2010

I bet Angry Birds Space launches quicker on my Droid X.

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

by months! lolz

26. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

it's possible. things take painfully long to open on my Trophy.

20. alekso9

Posts: 40; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

Those type of moves are the ones that keep you at the bottom of the food chain MS.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless