Controversy Doesn't Mar "Smoked by Windows Phone" Successes

For the past few months, Microsoft has been holding impromptu "Smoked by Windows Phone" competitions at industry events and its retail stores, challenging users of other smartphones to take on the efficiency of Windows Phone. It's been an amazingly successful campaign for Microsoft for a simple reason: Windows Phone really is faster at day-to-day tasks. But now some are claiming that in a single challenge out of the hundreds that Microsoft has so far held, the software giant cheated.

Here's what really happened.

Hearing about a local "Smoked by Windows Phone" challenge, a tech blogger visited a Microsoft Store to compete. If he won—that is, was able to complete a random task with his own smartphone faster than Microsoft could on Windows Phone—he'd snag a $1,000 laptop as his reward.

According to his account, the task he randomly received was to "bring up the weather of two different cities." He coincidentally had two weather widgets preconfigured on his Android device's home screen, and had furthermore  preconfigured his device to skip the time-consuming but secure lock screen. So when he turned on his device, the home screen popped right up with the two weather widgets. “DONE!” he screamed, winning.

Or did he? Even according to his own account, the blogger only narrowly defeated Windows Phone despite having preconfigured his phone in a very unusual and insecure way that just happened to meet the needs of the task. Microsoft employees at the store argued—pretty poorly, to be fair—that he didn't meet the requirements of the contest, and then even asked him to be photographed as yet another loser in the long-running competition. Talk about adding insult to injury.

OK, so that was handled badly. But it's a bit of stretch to use this event to argue that Windows Phone had, in fact, been "smoked" by Android. What really happened is that an improperly configured Android device allowed a single person to narrowly beat Windows Phone in one event. This doesn't alter the growing mountain of evidence in which Windows Phone has been proven, again and again, to be more efficient than the iPhone or Android. 

Microsoft, to its credit, is doing the right thing. Ben Rudolph, the mastermind behind the "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign, contacted the tech blogger via Twitter and wrote, "I want to make things right. So I've got a laptop and phone (and apology) for you. Email me!"

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