Smoked by their own marketing

Microsoft's Smoked by Windows challenge is being undermined by their reaction to their first in-store loss, as well as the release of a training guide showing the extent of the trickery behind the challenge...
This is a discussion for a news article. To read the whole news, click here

64 Comments

22. hepresearch unregistered

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

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

dalvik is specific to linux, which is what android is based off of.

41. hepresearch unregistered

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

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

whats funny is you guys act like microsoft is the first to do this samsung did it with the note

17. Scott_H

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

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

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

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

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

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

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

14 an hour?! where do i sign up!!

14. NOKIA.8800.ARTE

Posts: 100; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

Thats why android is best... live widgets

25. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Symbian, er, Nokia, has live widgets...

43. NOKIA.8800.ARTE

Posts: 100; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

T®R®U® but not windows....

15. CellieCell

Posts: 151; Member since: Apr 14, 2010

I'm sorry to say but, PA sure has a lot of typos!!!

19. sinple

Posts: 132; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

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

Posts: 63; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

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

Posts: 17365; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

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.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

See as nobody already buys windows phones this is be not be saddening news for much people

39. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

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

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

you hit the ball out of the park my friend. o:

56. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

si! .

44. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

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

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

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

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

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

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

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

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

sniggs, 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

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

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

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

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

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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 https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.