Microsoft caught with pants down in marketing scam

Red-faced marketing people are having to explain why Microsoft’s scheme to prove that Windows Phone software is faster than the competition has backfired.

Redmond cleared a marketing programme which claimed to award a $1000 laptop to anyone who could prove their iPhone or Android phone was quicker. The Smoked by Windows Phone campaign turned out to be a bit foggy when an Android user was shown to beat a Windows Phone and started to want recognition.

Sahas Katta of Skatter Tech used a Samsung Galaxy Nexus to beat the Windows Phone in a challenge which required a user to “bring up the weather of two different cities”.

Katta loaded up a weather widget earlier and simply turned on his handset to win. Writing in his bog, he said that after a three-second countdown, he hit the power button on my phone and said “DONE!” out loud.

He had disabled the lock screen entirely which meant he could get straight to the home screen, where the widgets were already loaded, by pushing the power button. 

It was not the use of widgets that would have been considered cheating. In fact the Windows opponent also used them and finished a split-second later.

But she had to perform two actions. First, she hit the power button to turn on the screen. Second, she had to swipe away the lock screen.

Katta’s win was denied with no reason apart from a statement from an employee who told him “just because”. Another employee, and possibly a manager, also later told him that he lost because he had to display the weather of “different cities in different states”.

In other words, the challenge was rigged and Katta “won” by following the dodgy rules. He was told he had to appear on camera admitting his defeat anyway.