“Smoked By Windows Phone” Contestant Denied $1000 Prize After Winning Challenge With Galaxy Nexus [Update]

Update: And just like that, Microsoft has decided to do the right thing and award Sahas his prize.

Microsoft concocted a brilliant marketing campaign where they challenge mobile users to complete various tasks faster than a Windows phone. Any contestant able to “smoke” a Windows phone with their current mobile phone will be awarded a Hunger Games Special Edition PC worth over $1000. Even if you lose the challenge (which Microsoft has made certain of), you will win the opportunity to trade-in your current phone for a free Windows phone (excluding the Nokia Lumia 800). The contest has been hit heavily with accusations of Microsoft rigging the contest via various methods including deliberately throttling Wi-Fi speeds for non-Windows Phones. Despite the many unfounded accusations, one challenger has come forward claiming Microsoft blatantly denied him his prize after legitimately “smoking” a Windows phone with his Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

According to Skatter Tech writer Sahas Katta, he was given the runaround after winning the “Smoked By Windows Phone” challenge at his local Santa Clara Microsoft Store. He was pitted against a Microsoft Store employee with the challenge of bringing up the weather of two different cities:

The Microsoft Store employee I was up against then explained the selected challenge. Her exact words were the following: “bring up the weather of two different cities.” The one who could do that first would win. I felt like I struck gold since I knew I already had two weather widgets on my home screen: one for my current location (San Jose, CA) and another for Berkeley, CA.

After a three-second count down, I hit the power button on my phone and said “DONE!” out loud. I had disabled the lock screen entirely, which is a rather awesome out-of-the-box feature of Android that takes you straight to the home screen with a single push of the power button. I didn’t even need to touch the screen, since the two weather widgets were already there.

Since the Microsoft Store employee had to swipe away the lockscreen (which Sahas did not have to do), she finished a split second behind Sahas and his Galaxy Nexus. An excited Sahas was soon told that he had lost even though he clearly won. The explanation: “just because.” Yea, WTF is right. Sahas rightfully did not accept this answer and pushed for a legitimate reason for him “losing” the challenge. The employee couldn’t give him an answer and finally a manager stepped in with the excuse that he needed to “bring up the weather of two different cities in different states,” not simply two different cities. This of course was never stipulated in the beginning of the challenge and was as BS as it comes. Since that challenge constituted Sahas one entry, he wasn’t afforded a rematch and had to leave empty handed and photographed in front of a sign that read along the lines of “My Android was smoked by Windows Phone.”

Assuming all of this to be true, it’s absolutely disgusting that Microsoft would sink so low and it’s no wonder they need to pull publicity stunts in order to give away their phones (since no one wants to buy them). They’ve already been served up enough embarrassment (remember when the Windows phone couldn’t even beat a 5 year old iPhone?) so let’s hope they change their position and award this guy the prize he obviously deserves.