Microsoft goes big, not home with latest Windows Phone challenge

The old saying go big or go home can now be applied to the ‘Smoked by Windows Phone’ campaign as Microsoft is upping the ante on its direct-to-consumer marketing strategy. Rather than offering up $100 for a chance to see if your phone is faster at performing common tasks, Microsoft is opening the cash registering and offering up a new PC worth over $1,000 if you can best a Windows Phone, via The Verge.

In addition, if you challenge Microsoft and succumb to the speed of Windows Phone, the company will allow you to swap your device for a new, unlocked Windows Phone (excluding the Lumia 800), there are ten prizes per store.

The competition is for this weekend only at Microsoft stores and you must sign a waiver to be used in future promotional material.

The ‘Smoked by Windows Phone’ campaign got kicked off at CES 2012 and has been growing ever since. The basic idea is to show how common tasks can be completed in less time on a Windows Phone device than a competing platform.

While Microsoft has been quiet on the sales for the platform, there are several market signals that indicate that the platform is slowly gathering moss as it slides downhill. This is surely good news for the software giant as it was a late entrant to the smartphone arena and has a lot of ground to makeup. 

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Modified Android > WP7, considering you can get a widget on the for twitter and facebook AND then put in on the lockscreen using widget locker, and boom! Android is faster.

SteelToast said,
Modified Android > WP7, considering you can get a widget on the for twitter and facebook AND then put in on the lockscreen using widget locker, and boom! Android is faster.

Haha, I have to agree. I personally love WP7's interface but the customizability of Android makes me prefer Android more. My personal example: I set my phone to vibrate-only when I leave the house every day. To do that on the various OSes:
WP7: press vol down and tap icon that appears to off ringer (2 steps).
Android: press vol down repeatedly until vibration mode reached, but you can put a widget on the home screen to do that in one tap (1+ steps).
iOS: 1 flick of hardware switch (1 step).
Modified Android: install app that automatically switches mode based on location (0 steps!)

Maybe WP7 has some shortcuts that I don't know, but pretty sure that a "zero-step" process is not possible currently. Kinda disappointed that WP7 does not have the flexibility to "hack around" unlike Windows or WM6.

Kai Y said,

Haha, I have to agree. I personally love WP7's interface but the customizability of Android makes me prefer Android more. My personal example: I set my phone to vibrate-only when I leave the house every day. To do that on the various OSes:
WP7: press vol down and tap icon that appears to off ringer (2 steps).
Android: press vol down repeatedly until vibration mode reached, but you can put a widget on the home screen to do that in one tap (1+ steps).
iOS: 1 flick of hardware switch (1 step).
Modified Android: install app that automatically switches mode based on location (0 steps!)

Maybe WP7 has some shortcuts that I don't know, but pretty sure that a "zero-step" process is not possible currently. Kinda disappointed that WP7 does not have the flexibility to "hack around" unlike Windows or WM6.

Couldn't agree more, WM 6.5 in some ways has more customizabilty than WP7, but I believe the reason for this is MS's shift from targeting the nerds to the general population.

A shame I can't use my Lumia 800 - my champion phone would defeat any other WP7 phone on the market A fun challenge nonetheless.

Enron said,
If I smoke their Windows Phone with my Windows Phone, do I still win?

It has been stated you cant use a Windows Phone.

They are very lucky that there isnt a Microsoft Store remotely near me. Because this game with stupid people is done.

My challenge would be simple: Upload a picture to Facebook and have it display.

Using cron, I would in the background upload the picture with Facebook's API and I would open the browser, paste my precopied URL, and show it on screen.

Give me my 1000 dollars and shut the **** up, bitch.

Exactly, the people in the competition don't know the steps to do the action before they do it.

Ben has the steps down to a habit, of course he'll win.

htcz said,
They are very lucky that there isnt a Microsoft Store remotely near me. Because this game with stupid people is done.

My challenge would be simple: Upload a picture to Facebook and have it display.

Using cron, I would in the background upload the picture with Facebook's API and I would open the browser, paste my precopied URL, and show it on screen.

Give me my 1000 dollars and shut the **** up, bitch.

And is this something an average mobile phone user would do? I guess not.

andrewbares said,
Exactly, the people in the competition don't know the steps to do the action before they do it.

Ben has the steps down to a habit, of course he'll win.

What a load of crap!!
They let the challenger choose the action to perform.
Can't get much fairer to me

htcz said,
My challenge would be simple: Upload a picture to Facebook and have it display.

Using cron, I would in the background upload the picture with Facebook's API and I would open the browser, paste my precopied URL, and show it on screen.

Give me my 1000 dollars and shut the **** up, bitch.

And you'd still get smoked by Windows Phone, because that procedure is easier and faster on WP7 than what you just described.

foodan said,

And is this something an average mobile phone user would do? I guess not.


Is the challenge "I bet my WP7 can smoke your phone by doing average users things"? No. They have made it clear from the start, that it will smoke it at anything
as long as it is agreed by both parties.


And you'd still get smoked by Windows Phone, because that procedure is easier and faster on WP7 than what you just described.

You know what cron is? Do you know what shell scripts are? Since you answered no to both of these questions, you would know that it is technically imposible that the WP7 would beat me as I would have to do max 2 taps (if even). Not only that, I can cache the URL where the picture was uploaded already in the browser meaning I wouldnt even NEED a internet connection as soon as the cron is finished (which while Im talking to Ben, would already be finished)

Learn. Then reply.

htcz said,

Is the challenge "I bet my WP7 can smoke your phone by doing average users things"? No. They have made it clear from the start, that it will smoke it at anything
as long as it is agreed by both parties.


You know what cron is? Do you know what shell scripts are? Since you answered no to both of these questions, you would know that it is technically imposible that the WP7 would beat me as I would have to do max 2 taps (if even). Not only that, I can cache the URL where the picture was uploaded already in the browser meaning I wouldnt even NEED a internet connection as soon as the cron is finished (which while Im talking to Ben, would already be finished)

Learn. Then reply.

OMGZ you much be totally 1337 with the z attached to the end of your name. Get this, yeah? This is an advertisement aimed at your every day phone users, you know, the ones who just wants to get the job done and not write frigging CRON job scripts, get it?

Yeah, clever boy.

htcz said,

Is the challenge "I bet my WP7 can smoke your phone by doing average users things"? No. They have made it clear from the start, that it will smoke it at anything
as long as it is agreed by both parties.


You know what cron is? Do you know what shell scripts are? Since you answered no to both of these questions, you would know that it is technically imposible that the WP7 would beat me as I would have to do max 2 taps (if even). Not only that, I can cache the URL where the picture was uploaded already in the browser meaning I wouldnt even NEED a internet connection as soon as the cron is finished (which while Im talking to Ben, would already be finished)

Learn. Then reply.

I know what cron is and I know what scripts are...

However, what you do not know is that WP7 is directly sending the image from the Camera App when you take it and hit share.

Even with scripts you can't do something faster than physics allows, unless your script can time travel to give you extra time to do the upload.

WP7 is already using the Facebook APIs in the background and also using them to 'show' the picture after it has been uploaded.

So in your example, you would lose just based on the fact that the browser is NOT going to refresh faster than the integrated Facebook access of WP7 to just display the newly added photo.

And if you make the challenge to display in the 'browser', IE9 is going to redraw the facebook page faster than Android's browser. (GPU acceleration makes a big difference.)

PS You are above the average Android user so if you even come close to beating WP7, you do realize how much 'prep' time you are doing for a 'single' function that WP7 does everyday for users that have no technical understanding?

All your 'preparation time' is kind of the point of WP7, that it is just easy and fast without jumping through the hoops you propose.

Enron said,
That's even worse. You'd get smoked before you could finish writing the first line of your script.

The script is prewritten just like the tile with the code behind it.

OMGZ you much be totally 1337 with the z attached to the end of your name. Get this, yeah? This is an advertisement aimed at your every day phone users, you know, the ones who just wants to get the job done and not write frigging CRON job scripts, get it?

Yeah, clever boy.


Im sorry I fail to read where it says that it is "aimed at your every day phone users". It is smartphone vs smartphone. Period.

I know what cron is and I know what scripts are...

However, what you do not know is that WP7 is directly sending the image from the Camera App when you take it and hit share.

Even with scripts you can't do something faster than physics allows, unless your script can time travel to give you extra time to do the upload.

WP7 is already using the Facebook APIs in the background and also using them to 'show' the picture after it has been uploaded.

So in your example, you would lose just based on the fact that the browser is NOT going to refresh faster than the integrated Facebook access of WP7 to just display the newly added photo.

And if you make the challenge to display in the 'browser', IE9 is going to redraw the facebook page faster than Android's browser. (GPU acceleration makes a big difference.)

PS You are above the average Android user so if you even come close to beating WP7, you do realize how much 'prep' time you are doing for a 'single' function that WP7 does everyday for users that have no technical understanding?

All your 'preparation time' is kind of the point of WP7, that it is just easy and fast without jumping through the hoops you propose.


What do you think the script would do?
1: Take picture
2: Send it to Facebook
3: Display browser with URL of the uploaded picture.

cron runs tasks in the background. "WP7 is already using the Facebook APIs in the background". Holy ****! It sounds like the same thing......

You are correct as I stated simply "Upload a picture to Facebook and have it display.". This would be my exact challenge: Upload a picture to Facebook and have it display in the browser.

While Ben and me are talking, cron would be in the background uploading a picture (hence why I wouldn't say take a picture and upload it), cache it in my browser and when I hit a application icon, it would simply load up the browser with the page precached. $1000, bitch.

AFAIK, there is no Task Scheduler in WP7 which would need to run to "emulate" this (I say emulate because Windows' Task Scheduler has nothing to do with cron)

In the background the page would already be precached. I don't know about you but on my Android a precached page takes 1 second max to display.

And Ive said this a million times already: This challenge has never been exclusively said to aim towards average Android users; It is aimed at smartphone vs smartphone. If it was aimed at average Android users, Windows Phone 7 would win every single time as it is indeed faster at doing "average users" task. I think anyone that would even debate that is a moron.

But at a challenge? Android kicks its ass.


WP7 has to do the exact same thing.

You can make whatever script you want, but Windows Phone 7 will still smoke your Android.

With your excessive use of words like "bitch," you do sound a bit nerdrage over your smartphone.

Enron said,
You can make whatever script you want, but Windows Phone 7 will still smoke your Android.

With your excessive use of words like "bitch," you do sound a bit nerdrage over your smartphone.


Again, does Windows Phone 7 have a background Task Scheduler that allows you to run apps and/or scripts in the background that I do not know of? If so, please say so then I will know it can.

But once again; It is IMPOSSIBLE that something running in the background is slower than something that you have to hit a tile, take a picture, and hit another button to share to Facebook.

htcz said,

The script is prewritten just like the tile with the code behind it.

You are correct as I stated simply "Upload a picture to Facebook and have it display.". This would be my exact challenge: Upload a picture to Facebook and have it display in the browser.

While Ben and me are talking, cron would be in the background uploading a picture (hence why I wouldn't say take a picture and upload it), cache it in my browser and when I hit a application icon, it would simply load up the browser with the page precached. $1000, bitch.

In the background the page would already be precached. I don't know about you but on my Android a precached page takes 1 second max to display.


My god you're an idiot. I don't know how many times you can post in a single thread stating "I'd win, because I would cheat".

How about this, Windows Phone performs this action, while you write the script to cheat and then perform the action? Bam, you were just smoked.

Or as you said, you want to cheat with a pre-loaded picture. All they'd have to do is say they wont agree without taking a fresh picture, bam you're smoked because you can't have it "pre-cached" ie, cheat.

M_Lyons10 said,
Ah, Microsoft is clearly not losing many of these Smoked By Windows Phone things... LOL

Of course, WP is extremely smooth.

LOL the getting smoked by the Windows Phone is old. Hey Redmond, what about browser tests? or like gaming tests? Mostly they will fail when compare to the iPhone or Androids. =D

Chica Ami said,
LOL the getting smoked by the Windows Phone is old. Hey Redmond, what about browser tests? or like gaming tests? Mostly they will fail when compare to the iPhone or Androids. =D

You mean like the browser tests Microsoft did against iOS and Android in which they also "smoked" both of these OS's?

I don't get why someone simply doesn't challenge connecting to a VPN. Windows phone can't do it, so any iPhone or Android phone wins by default.

sonrah said,
I don't get why someone simply doesn't challenge connecting to a VPN. Windows phone can't do it, so any iPhone or Android phone wins by default.

Hey, here is another challenge: let's see which NOKIA device is better, NOKIA Windows Phone or NOKIA Android, oops, Android lost, what a fair fight, because I use NOKIA every day.

Or another one: let's find a 4 star restaurant without built in apps, let's post to facebok or twitter without built in apps, let's have a non monotonic keyboard, oops, android and ios lost...

How about a challenge where we must use two live tiles?

FoxieFoxie said,

Hey, here is another challenge: let's see which NOKIA device is better, NOKIA Windows Phone or NOKIA Android, oops, Android lost, what a fair fight, because I use NOKIA every day.

Or another one: let's find a 4 star restaurant without built in apps, let's post to facebok or twitter without built in apps, let's have a non monotonic keyboard, oops, android and ios lost...

How about a challenge where we must use two live tiles?


Microsoft has stated that they are faster at any test that is set by the challenger and agreed to by both parties.

If they dont agree to a VPN, they are a bitch. And a VPN is something basic, not live tieles or any other ****.

FoxieFoxie said,
Or another one: let's find a 4 star restaurant without built in apps, let's post to facebok or twitter without built in apps, let's have a non monotonic keyboard, oops, android and ios lost...

Sadly for you, Windows Phone can't find a 4-star restaurant without using a third-party app like Yelp.

Bing Search doesn't allow filtering by the star quality of the restaurants, so Microsoft's video is EXTREMELY misleading there!

andrewbares said,

Sadly for you, Windows Phone can't find a 4-star restaurant without using a third-party app like Yelp.

Bing Search doesn't allow filtering by the star quality of the restaurants, so Microsoft's video is EXTREMELY misleading there!

Really? Strange...

I just hit Maps and the Scout button, and it shows a list of restaurants with 1 to 5 star ratings.

You might want to edit your post, ok?

Ninja Grinch said,
I wish I had a phone to try and best their phone with. Right now my phone is Google Voice.

Buy the most cheap "dumb"-phone you can find and receive a WinPh ;P

Wish there was a Microsoft Store over here.

"slowly gathering moss as it rolls downhill"? Where in blazes do you get that analogy? Your command of metaphorical reference is horrendous. First off, a "rolling stone gathers no moss". Nowhere is a mention of a hill or that the degree of movement infers an incremental change in moss-gathering. IOW, if it's rolling at all, it can't gather moss, the point being that as long as you're moving you're good. So, PLEASE be more accurate so as not to confuse people. The bottom line is Microsoft is NOT remaining stagnant in pushing the platform (with a LOT of help from Nokia) and it's beginning to translate into a very slowly growing marketshare.

ScubaDog said,
"slowly gathering moss as it rolls downhill"? Where in blazes do you get that analogy? Your command of metaphorical reference is horrendous. First off, a "rolling stone gathers no moss". Nowhere is a mention of a hill or that the degree of movement infers an incremental change in moss-gathering. IOW, if it's rolling at all, it can't gather moss, the point being that as long as you're moving you're good. So, PLEASE be more accurate so as not to confuse people. The bottom line is Microsoft is NOT remaining stagnant in pushing the platform (with a LOT of help from Nokia) and it's beginning to translate into a very slowly growing marketshare.

Wow, you gave that one a lot of thought. lol

Honestly, I agree with you though, I see what the writer was trying to do there, but it kind of came off hokey at best. lol

laserfloyd said,
Crap! Wish I didn't already own one. Maybe I can disguise my Focus as something else?

"You must personally execute the Challenge using your own smartphone (Microsoft Windows Phones are not eligible)"
Yeah, no Titan either. Maybe if I use my old HD2 or something. So when he says let's upload a picture to Facebook, I'll be like.. "What?"

It's a bit of fun, that highlights the strength of the phone - the smart integration does the legwork for you !

To all those who are saying: "Oh posting a picture, what a benchmark!" If all you're doing with your phone is running benchmarks, than why even bother paying for voice, data, text messages, etc... In my opinion, that's a much better indication of "performance" when you're using things everyone actually do with their phones.

FoxieFoxie said,
To all those who are saying: "Oh posting a picture, what a benchmark!" If all you're doing with your phone is running benchmarks, than why even bother paying for voice, data, text messages, etc... In my opinion, that's a much better indication of "performance" when you're using things everyone actually do with their phones.

Android can post a picture to Facebook equally as fast as Windows Phone, I witnessed it myself at the contest. One attempt WP7 won, another attempt Android won. It was a draw.

ApuBo said,
cool, just to get new phone ima gona use my Nokia N8 there.
If im on time xD

What ever you use, you are never gonna win. So don't worry.

tuneslover said,

What ever you use, you are never gonna win. So don't worry.

Not true, Android could easily win if configured. Ben knows EXACTLY the steps to perform each action, and has it down to a habit by now, that's why Windows Phone wins.

You could get an app on Android that updates Twitter and Facebook at the same time, and even have a widget on your homescreen, and you would win.

andrewbares said,

Not true, Android could easily win if configured. Ben knows EXACTLY the steps to perform each action, and has it down to a habit by now, that's why Windows Phone wins.

You could get an app on Android that updates Twitter and Facebook at the same time, and even have a widget on your homescreen, and you would win.


so now they're going to clone Ben for each store that will run this competition? because only Ben knows how to do the common tasks on windows phone shortest way..

andrewbares said,

Not true, Android could easily win if configured. Ben knows EXACTLY the steps to perform each action, and has it down to a habit by now, that's why Windows Phone wins.

You could get an app on Android that updates Twitter and Facebook at the same time, and even have a widget on your homescreen, and you would win.

Exactly, if someone would write Apps that mimic all the base functionality of WP7 so that Android is easier to use, it has a better chance to win.

Oh, wait.
You do realize at that point, they might as well be using a WP7 device?

(You are forgetting the faster UI rendering of WP7, the faster App switching because it uses paging and a smarter background and sleep state for Apps that don't have the same load cycles.

There is the core kernel of WP7 that is just flat out faster and has faster drivers. When Android was benchmarked on the 1st Gen SnapDragon SoC that are in the first WP7 devices, its GPU performance numbers in an 'optimized' OpenGL test were 5-10 times slower than WP7 using DirectX. (And that was Qualcomm's numbers that they stopped talking about, because even their own internal Linux only optimized build for the Snapdragon was 5 times slower than WP7.)

So even if you get the Android App written to mimic WP7 features, it will never be able to draw and render the UI of the App as fast as WP7 inherently does. But it would be a lot easier for users, so I think you should encourage further work on projects that are trying to already mimic WP7 on Android. They are out there.