Smoked by their own marketing

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
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.

source: The Verge



1. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

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

Posts: 100; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

O NO sad news for drahma and windows users and fan$

2. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

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

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

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

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

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

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

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

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

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

Posts: 682; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

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

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Ha! The next challenge is, "How fast can an Android phone vs. a Windows phone change their background?" Zing!

4. Roomaku

Posts: 278; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

LOL. Why would they jump from 100$ to a Laptop? That's just begging for people to cheat

29. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

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

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

"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

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

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

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i wish i knew where a Microsoft store was so i could go get me a spare Laptop...


Posts: 16; Member since: Jan 18, 2012

couldn't hurt to have some extra cash also

6. strikercho

Posts: 156; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

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.

12. NOKIA.8800.ARTE

Posts: 100; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

Dear strikercho y u read this article?

13. JeffdaBeat unregistered

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

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

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

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

wow, virtual high five for that super pimp hand there Jeff.. lolz. i had the exact same image park. ha!

46. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

No one makes me bleed my own blood......

21. hepresearch unregistered

Apparently, strikercho is a "graduated journalist"? I'm still trying to figure out on which planet, though...

40. NOKIA.8800.ARTE

Posts: 100; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

I think zoombie planet or lala land?

28. redrooster13

Posts: 110; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

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

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

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

Posts: 100; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

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

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

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

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

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

Posts: 100; Member since: Mar 26, 2012


20. shadez10

Posts: 427; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

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...

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