Microsoft is at it again. Challenging the competition to see how things stack up against the Windows Phone.
This round, Ben Rudolph (a.k.a. Ben the PC Guy) takes on the Samsung Galaxy S3 with a Nokia Lumia 920 to see which takes the steadiest video. The optical stabilization on the Lumia 920 may make this an unfair fight but in the end, the video has less bounce and is more blur-free.
Although the “Smoked by Windows Phone” shenanigans are mostly over and Microsoft is not routinely engaging in phone challenges anymore, it’s still great to finally see the gist of it coming to TV. Such is the case with this new ad featuring Microsoftie Ben Rudolph and a couple who were using a Samsung Galaxy S3.
The concept is the same: do a challenge between two phones, in this case take a photo at night, and see which device wins. Of course, the GS3 is up against the Nokia Lumia 920, a phone designed for low-light shooting, so it should be little surprise to see it win here. For their trouble, the couple gets a Windows Phone.
Microsoft is taking the Windows Phone Challenge footage and launching it into cinemas across the US (sorry, everyone else who resides outside the states). Ben Rudolph, the popular face behind all this friendly cross-platform abuse, has crafted an insightful post on the Windows Phone Blog detailing some cinema chains that will be featuring the marketing material.
All good things must come to an end and so does the Windows Phone Challenge at Microsoft Stores in the US as April 12 was designated to be the last day (Evidently the contest is still going on in many stores)
Although the Smoked by Windows Phone Challenge will remain forever controversial, there is little doubt it made waves and got the OS noticed (hey, any publicity is good publicity). Guess we didn't figure Microsoft were tallying up every single win (and loss) though perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise. Here are the results:
Won - 40,522
Lost - 462
We're assuming that these numbers are just for the US at the various Microsoft Stores and don't include the expanded contest in places like Italy, Malaysia and Brazil (to name a few). Even Nokia picked up and ran with it in London.
If our math is correct, Windows Phone has won 98.87% of the challenges which is, umm, really high. Of course, we all know that the challenge favors Windows Phone as the tasks are predefined, but Microsoft has made some changes to make it more fair to challengers.
We're sure the naysayers will still cry foul though. Fair enough. The publicity stunt started a great conversation about the efficiency of using your smartphone for everyday tasks and put the spotlight on Windows Phone for once, something we rather enjoyed seeing.
A few days ago, it was announced that Microsoft was upping the stakes in their "Smoked by Windows Phone Challenge," giving away bigger prizes to winners and offering losers the opportunity to trade in their device for a new Windows Phone. It turns out that anyone can trade in just about any non-WP smartphone. Just bring a working smartphone to a participating Microsoft store and tell them you want to take the challenge. You will then be asked to fill out a recycling form and given your choice of the following devices:
ATT: HTC Titan, Samsung Focus S
T-Mobile: HTC Radar, Nokia 710
Verizon: HTC Trophy
This offer is only valid through tomorrow, March 29, so get a move on.
Some people have reported that you don't even need to take the challenge, but why not give it a go anyway? If you've been able to swap out your old, out dated smartphone for a new Windows Phone through this deal, let us know in the comments.
Brian challenges the retail store representatives to see who can take a photo and upload it to Facebook the fastest. If the store rep's phone beats the Windows Phone, they get a gift card and if they lose, the rep has to admit they were smoked by a Windows Phone. In both instances, the Windows Phone clearly beats the competition and from the looks of it, the store reps are somewhat surprised.
It is nice to see the challenge move beyond the 2012 CES. We aren't sure if the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge will hit nationwide or if this was just a local attempt to demonstrate the speed of Windows Phones. But wouldn't it be nice to see the challenge hit more retail stores? Hit the break to see the other Windows Phone challenge video.
Today on Windows Weekly (ep 227), Brandon Watson joined Paul Thurrott, ZDnet's Mary Jo Foley and co-host Leo Laporte for an interesting and frank discussion on Windows Phone and the Mango update.
Laporte, who is an admitted Android devotee, was offered by Brandon to step up and take the Windows Phone challenge--essentially using nothing but a Windows Phone running 7.5 Mango for two-weeks to see if it changes his opinion. Laporte agreed to the challenge, leaving a little wiggle room for the iPhone 5, as obviously he has his reviewer duties first.
Although it would be great to see Laporte completely change over to Windows Phone, even Watson knows that can be difficult--so just having positive feedback would be a win for him and his team (see Molly Wood's response to the Challenge, a result Watson was happy with due to her admitted Android allegiance).
Will Laporte be convinced? He's a pretty level-headed guy and even if he's not 100% sold on Windows Phone, we think his opinion would certainly be informative and interesting. On the other hand, maybe he'll pull a Scott Adams and be more than impressed. Stay tuned...
Molly Wood, Executive Director over at CNET, took up the challenge to see if the Windows Phone could lure her away from Android. She posted the above video rendering her verdict as a push. Molly felt that Android gave her more power and Windows Phone was more on the "friendship ladder" where she likes it but doesn't love it.
Molly found Mango to be an easy to use, attractive system. She found Zune Pass to be be "fine" and like the Skydrive concept (but not the implementation). However, the two most important features Molly is looking for in a phone is speech to text and mapping. She was disappointed to see that speech to text wasn't integrated throughout out Windows Phone and wasn't a fan of Bing's turn-by-turn directions.
While we'd love for it to be different, not everyone is going to be a Windows Phone fan. For those keeping score, Brandon's challenge has produced one winner and one push.
In viewing Molly Wood's verdict, I couldn't help but think that her Windows Phone was fighting an uphill battle. In the end, she acknowledged that some will find Windows Phones appealing but in her case, she'll stick with Android. Not because Windows Phones suck but because Android fits her needs best. And we can respect that.
Oh and if Molly is looking for someone to send her Windows Phone to, I'll be happy to get my mailing address to her.
Source: Cnet and thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!