'Smoked by Windows Phone' winner swindled out of prize

By on March 26, 2012, 11:30 AM

Microsoft is in the hot seat today after allegedly refusing to award a prize to a contestant in the 'Smoked by Windows Phone' marketing campaign. Sahas Katta, CEO and founder of Skattertech claims he won the contest fair and square but employees at the Santa Clara Microsoft Store refused to hand over the special edition HP Folio Ultrabook.

As per Katta’s blog post, he signed a waiver agreeing to let Microsoft use his photo in an ad campaign and waited in line for his turn. When he got to the front of the line, he was required to power cycle his phone in front of a store employee to prove there were no apps preloaded.

The Microsoft staffer then said the challenge was to “bring up the weather of two different cities.” Katta said he felt as if he struck gold because he already had weather widgets for two cities on his home screen; one for San Jose and another for Berkeley. Furthermore, he had disabled the lock screen on his Galaxy Nexus so after the countdown to start, Katta simply pressed the power button and said “DONE!” out loud.

The store employee finished shortly after, only because she had to swipe to unlock the phone, revealing two weather tiles on her home screen. According to Katta’s account, he was told that he lost. The reason was because Windows Phone “displays the weather right there.” After pressing the matter further, he was told “just because.” Another employee came over and said that he had to show the weather in two different cities in two different states and his phone couldn’t do that. Katta says this was never once mentioned to him nor was it in the rules.

Ben Rudolph from Microsoft has since tweeted that he wants to make things right and is offering Katta the Ultrabook, a Windows Phone and an apology.




User Comments: 11

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Guest said:

whats the point of giving him a windows phone? when it was the one that lost the contest..

RH00D RH00D said:

Funny how a little publicity can always make things right.

Guest said:

he altered the default normal parameters of the phone to win, that's not winning. If the windows phone was made to do the same thing, it would have won.

The idea behing the "smoke" promotion is to showcase that windows is faster out-of-the-box.

psycros psycros said:

"My big selling point..<i>homescreen gadgets!</i>" - WP7

"Um, yeah..we've had those for a while now, and ours do more and are actually nice to look at. Oh, and easier to access if the user wants them to be." - Android

psycros psycros said:

Guest said:

he altered the default normal parameters of the phone to win, that's not winning. If the windows phone was made to do the same thing, it would have won.

The idea behing the "smoke" promotion is to showcase that windows is faster out-of-the-box.

Is that another of those rules that weren't in the rules, like the "different cities" one? As for the "normal parameters", Androids' openness is one of its biggest features, so..you fail on all counts

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

So basically this was a contest to see how fast you can wake up a phone. Meh.

MilwaukeeMike said:

hahahanoobs said:

So basically this was a contest to see how fast you can wake up a phone. Meh.

Exactly... this whole thing reminds me of kids arguing. 'Yes I did!' 'No you didn't!' 'Yes I did!' blah blah blah...

Even if he unlocked his phone without his hack and won. Who cares?. If the Windows phone is the fastest phone to ever be unlocked.... who cares?

yRaz yRaz said:

psycros said:

"My big selling point..<i>homescreen gadgets!</i>" - WP7

"Um, yeah..we've had those for a while now, and ours do more and are actually nice to look at. Oh, and easier to access if the user wants them to be." - Android

Actually WP7's selling points are uniformity across manufactures(MS gives guide lines as to certain things that each phone has to have). Carriers also aren't aloud to preload apps onto it, the absolute main selling point of WP7 for me. You don't need battery killing hardware for it to have "tolerable" speeds. The only delay I see on my phone is that of the physical limits set by touch screens in general. Last, but certainly not least, It doesn't restart on it's own multiple times a day.

My windows phone with it's 800MHZ single core blows my friends droid 3 out of the water and it has a 1ghz dual core!

Ultraman1966 said:

Who's phone restarts several times a day? I might need an restart of my old SGS after 200 hours of us but that's not really an issue.

yRaz yRaz said:

Who's phone restarts several times a day? I might need an restart of my old SGS after 200 hours of us but that's not really an issue.

Congrats, but a simple google search turns up plenty of results. Most of the time it's just an unstable app. That shouldn't be a problem for most people, but the majority of consumers are not aware of this problem or how to fix it.

I've never seen this problem with windows phone. Much like Apple, MS has their app market locked down. Their apps are heavily vetted and that is also part of the reason of having to pay $100 to develop for windows phone. It prevents every script kiddy from making unstable apps and uploading them.

I have a feeling that Windows Phone is going to sky rocket in popularity once it catches on. I know a lot of people who switch from Andriod to the iPhone for most of the reasons stated. Most of the time they aren't aware of WP7's strengths over Andriod. I'm tired of hearing the "open source, do what you want" battle cry. It's greatest strength is also it's greatest weakness. Do you know how many people I've seen brick their device because they wanted to root it? Andriod apps can also have virus's, trojans and malware in them. People think they're cool when they say "but I have an anti-virus on my phone." That's all well and good, but you're killing your battery with that app and slowing down the rest of the device. Which sucks, because it's already coded poorly and inefficiently.

Guest said:

I went to the "Smoked by Windows Phone Challenge" in Houston Galleria, I was told to find directions to the closest 4* restaurant. Sales rep didn't find directions he just found locations of closest restaurant, at the same time I found directions. When I showed it sales rep, he told me that I was trying to cheat and offered me redo, when I found closest restaurants faster then him he again told me again that I was cheating. I don't understand how Microsoft wants to get back on the Market when they are clearly not follow rules. And how they want to compete with somebody who's customer service trained way better then them.

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