This morning we learned that funny business was going on with the “Smoked by Windows Phone” campaign. Sahas Katta went to a Microsoft store and took the test with his Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Even though he won the challenge, “bring up the weather of two different cities” as quickly as possible, the store reps claimed he still lost. The story has been gaining momentum in the press, and now Microsoft employee Ben Rudolph has issued an apology.
Ben Rudolph (aka BenThePCGuy) took to Twitter to try and make things right with Katta. Not only does he want to apologize for the way Katta was treated at the store, he’ll also be offering up the prize laptop and a Windows Phone.
While it’s good that Microsoft have offered up an apology for the incident, the terms of the contest should be made clearer to those who participate. The full account from Skatter Tech means the Windows Store demonstrators were either vague or unfair:
I asked for a reason and was told Windows Phone won because “it displays the weather right there.” That was rather unclear. I showed her my device which also was showing off the same information with two side-by-side weather widgets on the center home screen. After pressing for a better reason, I was told that Windows Phone won “just because.”
In this case it sounds like the store reps failed to make the exact details of the contest clear rather than deliberately mislead Katta. It’s not like Windows Phone hasn’t lost to other devices before in the same campaign. Back at CES 2012, Windows Phone lost out to the iPhone 4S in posting a tweet, and the Motorola Atrix in a texting challenge.