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New Windows Phone Challenge ad squares the Lumia 920 against Galaxy S3, shows off Local Scout

Although some detractors have opined against Microsoft’s recent “Wedding” ad, which pokes fun out of the Apple v Samsung rivalry, noting that it forgot to highlight any Windows Phone features, those critics failed to mention the numerous “Challenge” ads that have been running.

A new one was just posted to the Windows Phone YouTube channel and this time the focus is on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Microsoft’s Local Scout feature, which at least in certain regions is a very effective way to find local shops, eateries and things to do in addition to reviews, directions and general information.

The charming Ben Rudolph again tests three volunteers to find some local places and of course, Windows Phone wins. In this video, the Nokia Lumia 920 once again is the preferred device for the demonstration and overall, we like the ad. While it’s not as memorable as the “Wedding” one, these are the kind of “focus on the features” commercials that Microsoft needs (and critics say they don’t do).

Source: YouTube

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Reader comments

New Windows Phone Challenge ad squares the Lumia 920 against Galaxy S3, shows off Local Scout

87 Comments

dear microsoft, if you wanna make comparisons, kindly compare with newer devices like galaxy s4 or htc one.
comparing with year-old devices won't help you much.

theresults would be the sameas my wife has an iphone 5. She often uses my Lumia 822 for finding businesses or places we're going to. also WP8 is simply faste an more efficient at tasks.......auto-fill/correcting, maps, social integration, productivity(office).....but as usual, im sure we will here about lack of apps and the biased media will simply not point out the true facts & who needs FB home when its integrated in wp8?

This commercial has been in theatres for several months prior to the s4's release - I'm not sure why they are posting it now

Made me proud to walk around with my 920 after seeing the ad!  I am tried of seeing Apple, Samsung, and Blackberry ads on TV.  Come on Microsoft, show the ads in the house!

Well, in fairness, the S4 just came out in the last 7 days whereas this was probably shot 6 weeks ago.

Also, think about this: If you own an S3 and are eyeing the S4, you're in the game for a new phone, hence why this speaks to those people.

You can make comparisons with ANY modern phone, WP WILL be faster.
These vids are about less steps to achieve a given task.
On the S4, you would still have to jump in and out of apps to do things.
It's nothing to do with hardware speed, just the finesse of the OS. That's why WP is THE most modern OS. A lot of people just see specs, which has nothing to do with how a phone is to use..

Long live Windows Phone. It's the dogs bollocks!!!!

I agree. I have a Lumia 900 and all I get from people with the iPhone and s3 is mine has better specs so it must be faster. I have proved to quite a few of them that its not about the specs when it comes to a phone for day to day things. Yes for games but nothing else.

I think Microsoft should start doing move tv adds like this for both wp and windows 8 as both of them can get there information faster than any others os's on the market right now. For me Microsoft are on the right tracks in terms of what there software offers to others and they now have the apps they just need to get the message across.

Google local is an app on my gnex n my girls gs3 which wrorks th same way, but he was typing shit in...why? It's the exact same thing for android but why show people who know their phones like the wp man -.-

I would argue that the calendar of WP 8 sucks and that it is an embarressment for Microsoft and that literally every other calendar out there is better. Also i miss do not disturb. <- My wishlist for blue.

Got to agree about the calendar, it is pretty much useless in month mode as you cant read a stinking thing and scrolling through appts is painful

first of all im sure this video was not just thrown together in one day... this was probably created a while ago. I mean the phone phones that you want them to compair JUST came out... give them a sec im sure they will. secondly you say that as if the nokia is brand spankin new... its pretty much considered old tech at this point. and thirdly the windows phone challanges have N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do with hardware its all software, honestly you can do this same exact test with a gs4 vs an 3-4 year old focus flash and the outcome with be the same..... honestly you can take a windows phone for 3-4 years ago vs the newest android phone and do every windows phone challenge and win because its about the SOFTWARE, and our phones are not falted by needing quad-mega-ultra core prosessors to run smoothly.

yes. i agree even windows phone doesn't sport any new hardware. and android remains android. and they definitely will bring comparisons with the new rivals.
i'm sorry! :P

Actually regardless of the device used to compare it too (no offence but GS3 is a fine compareable, oranges to oranges and all) that fuction would have won no matter what.  This is because the app is designed to use GPS and unless GS3/4 HTC 1 has an app that will do the same function there was no way a typical voice or hand typed search was going to be quicker.  
 
So the choice was fine considering when the ad was made HTC One probably wasnt out and neither was the GS4 since it just released.  

changing region to use *local* scout? o.O
what's the point if the region i live in is not supported by local scout, and i change the region to make local scout work, for a region where i don't live? no more local, is it?

what he meant is that if ur using US region local scout will appear and you will soon find out it works and start wondering why it's blocked in the first plae...

Are you saying that Local Scout is only technically restricted to the United States for example, but that it works as intended elsewhere? I.e. there is Local Scout data available in other regions as well?
 
If so I want to have 10 minutes with Mr. Belfiore in a sound proof room.

Local Scout works everywhere (technically) but MSFT chose to disable it in countries like India because the experience is sub-optimal. For example, the local scout will find restaurants in India but there is no review data. 

Nokia chose to hide/remove Local Scout because their alternative "City Lens" is far superior and pulls more comprehensive local data from websites like Burrp.com.
As mentioned above, Local Scout can be activated by changing your phone's region to US.

I wholeheartedly agree. I did the region hack on my WP7 device and Local Scout was perfectly functional in Canada. Why MS does this kind of feature limitation on so many things continues to tick me off.

It can work on WP7.x if you jimmy around with your region settings.  I haven't been able to get it to work on WP8.
 
I also noticed the data wasn't always current and poked around for a way to submit updates to try and help things out but came up empty handed.

Everytime I find something not available, I try to think of who else might be holding the keys...LOOK TO YOUR OWN GOVERNMENTS! =P
Is it not true that some international trade laws prevent certain things to be released by particular foreign businesses? Forgive me if I am in error...but make your case to them, let them know how you feel =D
I'm always trying to hound businesses and developers if they aren't providing me with the Windows Phone apps I need and want. ;)

They should rename it to "US Scout". It never worked in Czech republic. By the way, there's an app in store that does the same thing for Czech locale. So government or businesses are not at fault. The data are available online...

"Although some detractors have opined against Microsoft’s recent 'Wedding' ad, which pokes fun out of the Apple v Samsung rivalry, noting that it forgot to highlight any Windows Phone features, those critics failed to mention the numerous 'Challenge' ads that have been running."

IDK if I qualify for detractor status, since I love my WP phone. But, I don't really care for the wedding ad (not enough WP). Meanwhile, I have only seen one new challenge ad, and only because I saw mention of it here on WPCentral. Meanwhile, I have seen plenty Windows 8 and Surface ads on TV, and hope that continues.

(P.S. What is up with the new comment form. Lately it has become poky and hard to use on both IE9 and IE10. Among other things, positioning the cursor is frustrating, and you often can't tell where it really is. Took me three tries to submit a comment this time.)

It works great for me on my new W8 machine.. I think those who give W8 a bad review are probably using W8 on older hardware. W8 needs to be used on fresh hardware to really perform.. With my new laptop it works very good.

I hope ads similar to this get as much runtime as the other ones because this actually shows you why you should switch. Well done.

WP would STILL be faster!!
The point with these videos is to show that we can do things quicker because there are less steps, and jumping in and out off apps to achieve things.
The S4 has all the horsepower, but none of the finesse of WP8.
I've heard nothing but Galaxy S4 for months... Bored of it because it runs Android. Blegh!!!!
Quad core, Octa core.... It STILL lags. As an Android developer, this preoccupation with using a hammer to crack a nut, annoys me. The core Android OS is old. Throw all the hardware power you want at it, it will still lag and glitch.
I checked out the Octa core S4, it still happens on that beast.
WP uses only the power it needs. I love it!!!

You mean the gs3s...looks the same but has more horsepower, improved camera and software features not available on the one before it

This ad is old. We've seen it before. At the time the S4 was only speculation.. This ad was from back in February.. Now, they should do a "Smoked" challenge between the 928 and the S4.. That would go well.. BTW I've already seen the performance of the GS4, and my 920 performed equally, or better, in certain areas...

I recently did the same with a group of co-workers at a goodbye party, they all though I was full of it when I told them.that I was to.post to fb and twitter faster than they could.
So I showed them again and some thought it was just a gimmick, a few just made reasons as to why they couldn't beat me.
Gladly to say that after comparing group pics with all the different smart phones, they all where amazes at the high quality my Nokia Lumia 920 was able to display.
Then we went on to talk about video and sound recording quality.
Those who where obviously very biased on iPhone thought their video quality was superior.
I kept it.light for them as they where obviously beaten and annoyed at the fact that they chose wrong. Lololol

If you watch news or news clips or any video clip really on MSNBC most likely the add that shows first is a windows 8, windows 8 RT, surface/surface pro or windows phone 8 add or challenge :-)...and with no way to skip the add most of the time..so many people that are anti Microsoft, and non windows users watch these...great exposure!!!

I need Microsoft to swap my android devices (Asus transformer prime & htc one x) with any windows device, Im down for a L520 though I own a L920.
I HATE YOU ANDROID IM SICK OF YOUR CRASHES, REBOOTS, NON SECURED PLAY STORE AND ITS LOW QUALITY APPS. STAY IN MY DRAWER AND HAPPY NIGHTMARES

Microsoft needs to add Nokia POI's to local Scout as Since Bing is still in Beta in many regions the Feature is useless for many of us.
I for one would really love to use this feature!
I live in Ireland, If I travel 40miles over the border to Northern Ireland Local Scout works perfectly but here in the Republic its useless its a real shame :(

Don't feel too bad, Local Scout has been completely useless every time I've tried it in the US.  Google Maps (in a regular desktop browser) is infinitely more helpful.  Microsoft just doesn't appear to have the data or execution to back something like this up.

Local Scout works pretty well for me in the New England area.
 
But if your results are less impressive, you could give Nokia City Lens a try (assuming you have a Lumia).  It can do pretty much what Local Scout does, and if you're not a fan of the augmented reality camera view, you can just tilt the phone down into normal reading angle and it changes to a list mode with compass direction arrows.
 
Local Scout was probably THE top feature that sold my wife on Windows Phone.  She loves being able to just fire it up and see new places to have dinner at.

Convenient that he unlocks his phone and local scout Mexican restaurants is already up and loaded.These ads are terrible because of how biased they are. Sad that you are too biased to notice.

You obviously haven't used local scout or you wouldn't of said it was a terrible advert.
Please let me explain: Press browser button, press local scout button (which he did), then it shows you what is near by. You will notice they are in an area with plenty restaurants, so there is likely a Mexican restaurant nearby. Furthermore, it doesn't take a genius to workout the name of a Mexican restaurant. In the meantime the other person is trying to type Mexican restaurant into google.
So my question to you is: how is this advert biased?

In the vid, He opens the app at the start of the challenge and three mex restaurants appear as the top three results, without him having to push a button. He later goes into the app and the top result is a (Blimpies?) sub shop. Fishy. How does that not raise a red flag? And that's only what they actually show in the vid.

I agree that on Android, without a helper app like Local Scout, it is clunky to find a restaurant using google maps, (just like how it would be clunky using bing maps). But there ARE apps like local scout, so this isn't a fair/equal/unbiased challenge, which is why i don't like it.

Disclaimer: Don't have wp, waiting for the Lumia 928 to come to Verizon to switch.

Like I said you haven't used local scout, and you prove that by saying you don't own a WP?

Furthermore, you certainly do not understand, like I said they were near restaurants anyway, so for all you know there could of been three Mexican restaurant around the corner. If you knew how it works, you would know it will show the closest things to you. Also, don't forget there was not only one person he did this challenge with. Therefore, the 'blimpies' you are referring to could look that way because of how it's edited -- so no I can't see no red herrings.

So what you are saying it's Microsoft's fault the majority of Android users don't know how to use their phones, because the people on the video don't know there is a similar app in the play store? Either way it would still lose because you would have to find the app and open it? The browser on my L920 opens super quick (just like the video). Then press the bottom left icon that looks like three buildings, and within a second it brings stuff up -- I use this function everyday, and when you get your L928, you will see for yourself how fast these phones are at getting stuff done.

I love these challenge adverts. These are the reason I bought my L920 here in the UK.
These should be shown on normal TV worldwide, as YouTube (google) doesn't do them justice -- these need center stage because there are no gimmicks, just plain in your face facts (Although haters would say that they are staged).
Furthermore, I really don't understand why, they pay these personalities to do their other adverts, which I personally think are crap -- the only people who really idolise stars are children, but they also want loads of apps and games. Therefore, they are wasting their money on the other adverts, as WP8 doesn't have enough major game titles to cater for them -- just doesn't make sense.

The only thing holding back the sales of Windows Phones is the lack of quality apps. It is a superior OS compared to IOS and Android. Believe me I've had them all, and I came back to the Lumia 920; the best phone nobody's heard about. #TimeToSwitch.

Apps are not the only thing. I want to switch, but can't because the L920 is not available on Verizon.