Microsoft apologizes for ‘Smoked By Windows Phone’ contest controversy

Tori Floyd
The Right ClickMarch 26, 2012

An effort to prove how fast the new Windows Phone can perform has backfired on Microsoft after a blogger claimed the company wouldn't give him his prize when he beat their challenge.

Sahas Katta visited his local Microsoft store, BGR reports, in order to participate in the latest Windows Phone Challenge. The premise is simple: if your non-Windows phone can perform a series of challenges faster than a Microsoft store employee on a Windows phone, then you can win a limited edition Hunger Games PC, worth over $1,000.

When Katta took the challenge with his Galaxy Nexus, the blogger says that he easily won the challenge. His challenge was to bring up the weather for two different cities: much to Katta's luck, he had widgets for two California cities on the home screen of his Android-based phone. When the race started, all Katta had to do was start up his phone, and yell "DONE!" in victory. The Microsoft store employee finished a split-second later, as she has to unlock her phone after startup, something that Katta had disabled before the challenge.

Katta was then told that no, he hadn't won. At first Katta says he was told the Windows Phone won because "it displays the weather right there." When Katta explained that his phone did exactly the same thing, he was told the Windows Phone has won "just because."

Disgruntled, Katta blogged about his unfortunate experience, and that caught the attention of Ben "the PC Guy" Rudolph, a representative from Microsoft. Rudolph tweeted Katta, insisting that he wanted to make things right by giving him the laptop and a Windows phone. Katta replied positively to Rudolph's olive branch, and as of this writing, says he'll be issuing a statement shortly in response to the controversy.

The 'Smoked by Windows Phone' contest has been running since CES in January. Those who take the challenge agree to be part of Microsoft's marketing campaign, having their pictures taken at the end of their 'race' under the caption "My Android was smoked by Windows Phone."