‘Smoked by Windows Phone' ends with 98.9 percent success rate

It had the most modest of beginnings. Starting as something of a sideshow at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, it seemed like Microsoft's fun little 'Smoked by Windows Phone' contests had all but come to an end by 21 January, when Microsoft posted a final ‘best of’ compilation video on its Windows Phone Blog.

But the idea quickly gained a life beyond the confines of CES, as Microsoft employees began using similar tactics to promote Windows Phone elsewhere. Clearly seeing the real-world potential of the idea, Microsoft soon rolled out the campaign on a much wider scale, and posted plenty of videos online to remind people of the platform’s success against its rivals.

But then, disaster struck. Controversy mired the campaign as multiple contestants claimed to have fairly won the challenge, but had been denied their prizes. Microsoft worked hard to undo the damage of the negative publicity – which spread rapidly across the blogosphere and into mainstream media – and managed to resolve many of the complaints swiftly and decisively. Such was its success in doing so that it decided to extend the campaign’s run twice.

But now, Smoked by Windows Phone has drawn to a close – on April 12, officially – and today, the company revealed the final results for the challenges that took places in its Microsoft Stores across the US. Declaring that it racked up 40,522 wins, against just 462 losses, the final tally gives it a success rate of 98.9%.

But the spirit of Smoked by Windows Phone lives on elsewhere. Nokia has introduced its own version – ‘Blown Away by Lumia’ – with sometimes amusing results. Windows Phone UK, meanwhile, has challenged the British public to ‘Dare to Live’, offering a £20 on-the-spot prize for a win, but daring losers to take part in a high-adrenaline challenge – such as walking a tightrope, or trying the 'reverse bungee' of the Big Air – if their handset gets ‘spanked by Windows Phone’.


via WPCentral

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I can dual-boot my ancient HTC HD2 phone with a choice of Android or WP7 (Tango), so I can see both OSs running on exactly the same hardware. WP7 is incredibly fast while Android (Honeycomb) is as sloooooooooooooow as molasses. No, it's slower. It makes molasses look fast.

THis is obviously why Android requires you to buy a heavy-duty, heavy price quad core phone to run while WP7 runs even faster on an old 800MH single core processor. Can't wait to see WP7 on quad core.

Major Plonquer said,
....

Still, Android is serving a purpose.

Once Nokia launch the Lumia 550 for $99USD retail, they will replace the feature phone market overnight with smartphone.

Mainly due to Android pushing hardware further, making older chipsets more affordable.
The same thing is true of Windows v Linux on desktop. Linux makes use of the desktop as is, where windows demands more.

deadonthefloor said,
Once Nokia launch the Lumia 550 for $99USD retail, they will replace the feature phone market overnight with smartphone.
I don't know about that only because of how much the carriers charge for data plans. A $99 phone that still costs you $80 per month is still a bit ridiculous to many people. If not for my steep employer discount (just to be clear, I do not work for a carrier or store), and the fact that I have setup a family plan for my family and friends, then my girlfriend would not have had a smartphone since the iPhone 4.

One of these days we will hopefully get people in Congress that wake up and realize that the carriers are colluding, or at least willfully not competing, in order to literally raise the price of a service that should be dropping while also adding caps at the same time for honestly moderate use. Imagine a future where you have to download your OS service/upgrade over a mobile connection: you just blew through your cap. The same can be said for Comcast and the like. Fortunately Verizon FiOS has yet to follow, but I bet that's just a matter of time considering the Wireless side of the company.

So its a contest run by MS when one of the phones is a MS phone and the challenges are picked by MS.

Can you say stacked deck?

necrosis said,
So its a contest run by MS when one of the phones is a MS phone and the challenges are picked by MS.

Can you say stacked deck?

OT: When I played Monopoly, I always wanted to be the banker. Whenever I was banker, I always won.

UndergroundWire said,
OT: When I played Monopoly, I always wanted to be the banker. Whenever I was banker, I always won.
The difference is, one is a game playing to their own strengths while the other implies cheating.

Those are two very different things.

htcz said,
98.9% do not know how to configure and prepare their phone correctly.

Thats was the point, doing daily task easier with out extra configuration...

htcz said,
98.9% do not know how to configure and prepare their phone correctly.

No it's not just that. The fools at the stores doing these "Challenges" are doing it all day. They know the rules. They didn't let you practice before hand (even though they were doing it all day), and they specifically picked a challenge based on the type of device you had. You see? It's not that hard to have a high success percentage rate.

UndergroundWire said,

No it's not just that. The fools at the stores doing these "Challenges" are doing it all day. They know the rules. They didn't let you practice before hand (even though they were doing it all day), and they specifically picked a challenge based on the type of device you had. You see? It's not that hard to have a high success percentage rate.

First of all, I don't know why they qualify as "fools" for working there. They're just doing their jobs.

Second, initially it was picked from the top of the employee's head, but the rules were quickly changed so that "challengers" pick from a deck of [giant] cards. It was completely random at that point to avoid the ludicrous notion that everything was fixed.

Ah man, what a fixed contest! Those ******* even gave me a free, off contract phone that I did not have to take in exchange for "recycling" mine! Yeah, Microsoft really showed how big of a group of douches they were here...?

pickypg said,
First of all, I don't know why they qualify as "fools" for working there. They're just doing their jobs.

Second, initially it was picked from the top of the employee's head, but the rules were quickly changed so that "challengers" pick from a deck of [giant] cards. It was completely random at that point to avoid the ludicrous notion that everything was fixed.

Ah man, what a fixed contest! Those ******* even gave me a free, off contract phone that I did not have to take in exchange for "recycling" mine! Yeah, Microsoft really showed how big of a group of douches they were here...?

They qualified as fools because they didn't run the appropriate challenges on the devices challenging it.

The marketing campaign was fixed. By Microsoft's own admission. http://goo.gl/VzwGk

Here are some excerpts in case you missed that story:

Admission of Weakness

Staff are cautioned that the iPhone 4S "has a similar feature and a very fast camera, so it is a serious contender in this category." Amusingly, Microsoft also tells them to watch out for HTC's lowly Status, a portrait QWERTY Android device offered on AT&T: You should also steer clear of this challenge against an HTC Status (i.e. the Facebook Phone) as it also has a built in pocket-to-picture-to-post feature and a camera that switches on even faster than Windows Phone.

Why they are fools.

It seems that Microsoft's well versed on where it can't smoke the competition, so it's unclear how Katta's run ever got to the point where he was offered the weather challenge. It seems possible that the store only realized its mistake after the fact and sought to make the loss go away

You want a phone or a $1,000 laptop. The answer is obvious.

Hm.. Alright so the "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign was done by using a Nokia Lumia 900
Am I correct?
Let's see what we have here:
CPU 1.4 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 205
Memory: 16GB storage, 512 MB RAM

If they weren't using a Nokia Lumia 900 then they used a Lumia 800 (it fits the pictures in their videos) however the specs are the same.

So they challenged users with weak phones such as Blackberry or users who don't know how to use them.
Did they ever challenged an experienced user with a Samsung Galaxy S2?
Yes, a Galaxy S2, here it's on the same price range and no, I don't care if the S2 has a dual core CPU or whatever, it's on the same price range.
The answer is: They wouldn't dare.
I hate the aggressive advertisement or campaigns like "Mine is bigger than yours"

By the way, I'm looking forward how their OS will grow and probably I might buy a Windows Phone since I've been hearing good comments about it's stability and performance.

MariosX said,
Hm.. Alright so the "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign was done by using a Nokia Lumia 900
Am I correct?

So they challenged users with weak phones such as Blackberry or users who don't know how to use them.
Did they ever challenged an experienced user with a Samsung Galaxy S2?
Yes, a Galaxy S2, here it's on the same price range and no, I don't care if the S2 has a dual core CPU or whatever, it's on the same price range.
The answer is: They wouldn't dare.
I hate the aggressive advertisement or campaigns like "Mine is bigger than yours"

From lt8480 in one of the previous posts:

""#smokedbywindowsphone wins against Galaxy Nexus, iPhone 4 and 4s, & others. Loss against iPhone 4s posting pic to twitter...by a hair."

https://twitter.com/#!/benthepcguy";

If you go back, it went up against current phones too

schubb2003 said,

From lt8480 in one of the previous posts:

""#smokedbywindowsphone wins against Galaxy Nexus, iPhone 4 and 4s, & others. Loss against iPhone 4s posting pic to twitter...by a hair."

https://twitter.com/#!/benthepcguy";

If you go back, it went up against current phones too

As I said, against an experienced user or an inexperienced?

MariosX said,
Hm.. Alright so the "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign was done by using a Nokia Lumia 900
Am I correct?
Let's see what we have here:
CPU 1.4 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 205
Memory: 16GB storage, 512 MB RAM

If they weren't using a Nokia Lumia 900 then they used a Lumia 800 (it fits the pictures in their videos) however the specs are the same.

So they challenged users with weak phones such as Blackberry or users who don't know how to use them.
Did they ever challenged an experienced user with a Samsung Galaxy S2?
Yes, a Galaxy S2, here it's on the same price range and no, I don't care if the S2 has a dual core CPU or whatever, it's on the same price range.
The answer is: They wouldn't dare.
I hate the aggressive advertisement or campaigns like "Mine is bigger than yours"

By the way, I'm looking forward how their OS will grow and probably I might buy a Windows Phone since I've been hearing good comments about it's stability and performance.

They also did it with other windows phones with 1ghz single cpu, and this wasn't about hardware performance, it was about completing daily tasks faster with stock OS...

MariosX said,
Hm.. Alright so the "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign was done by using a Nokia Lumia 900
The Lumia 900 was not released until after the main competition (for phone swaps) had ended; the employees were not using them before that.

I was challenged by a Samsung Focus S. My girlfriend was challenged by an HTC Titan. I also saw them go up against multiple people trying to beat them with the latest Android phones (in hopes of winning the computer or gift cards). They competed against literally anyone that walked into the store that challenged them within the hours that the competition was going on (early on they only did the contest during certain hours) as long as they had a smartphone (as they were not going to swap feature phones for a smartphone).

MariosX said,
Hm.. Alright so the "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign was done by using a Nokia Lumia 900
Am I correct?
Let's see what we have here:
CPU 1.4 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 205
Memory: 16GB storage, 512 MB RAM

If they weren't using a Nokia Lumia 900 then they used a Lumia 800 (it fits the pictures in their videos) however the specs are the same.

So they challenged users with weak phones such as Blackberry or users who don't know how to use them.
Did they ever challenged an experienced user with a Samsung Galaxy S2?
Yes, a Galaxy S2, here it's on the same price range and no, I don't care if the S2 has a dual core CPU or whatever, it's on the same price range.
The answer is: They wouldn't dare.
I hate the aggressive advertisement or campaigns like "Mine is bigger than yours"

By the way, I'm looking forward how their OS will grow and probably I might buy a Windows Phone since I've been hearing good comments about it's stability and performance.


They went against a freaking Quad Core htc one X and beat it by a mile. Specs don't matter.

MariosX said,

As I said, against an experienced user or an inexperienced?

A LOT of experienced users, even people doing tricks with scripts on Android trying to mimic the automatic uploading and other functionality that WP7 does automatically.

I don't care how fast or experienced you are...

Let's take an example of a sharing a photo on Facebook and also viewing it.

Even with a cached 'Facebook' App, you are not going to beat the built in functionality of WP7, as even just flipping to your Facebook App to see the uploaded image, is going to make you lose.

Here think of it like this:

WP7
Hit Camera Button (Loads instantly)
Snap Picture (Takes instantly)
Swipe to see the photo (iPhone's iOS 5 added this feature, paying tribute to WP7.)
Hit the ... for the Options
Hit share on FaceBook
Type a caption
Hit the Upload Button
WP7 starts sending it in background (No Queue)
Tap the Windows Button
Click the 'Me' tile
Swipe left to see 'What's New' and view the Photo
(And this is NOT the most efficient way on WP7 either, as you could have the 'Me' Tile preloaded and just flipped back to hit and other little 'tricks' that are faster than the average user would find.

Android
Click Camera Button (Wait for App - losing a second or 2 already.)
Snap Picture (Takes instantly, Tiny wait as Gallery image is updated)
Click the 'Gallery' Button
Hit Share
Hit FaceBook
Wait for Facebook App to Load (Even if is cached, it refreshes)
Type Caption
Hit Done or Post
Wait for upload
Android Queues it
Switches back to Gallery
(and usually Closes Facebook)
Hold Home button
Click on Facebook
Wait for App to load
Now you see your post


Using the native OS and ANY set of Apps, this is NOT going to be faster than WP7 is out of the box, and if you did write an 'upload and view' App for Facebook, you could write one for WP7 as well, no advantage Android.


(A Side Note... The 'Gallery' step above can be a problem, when you get 200 photos let alone a few 1000 photos, the performance and stability of the Camera App and Gallery take a massive dive. So not only loading the camera takes longer, but flipping to the Gallery takes longer and flipping to Facebook takes longer and the 'flip back' to the Gallery is slow.

In WP7 the Camera Roll doesn't matter if there is one picture or 10,000, it performs the same regardless. Which is a bigger issue of OS design with WP7 and can be seen in a lot of areas that its performance is 'jaw dropping when dealing with a large array of content whether it is a list of Photos, Emails, Tweets/Posts, messages, etc.

The way controls work in WP7 and how it inherently caches the data for the controls doesn't matter how tiny or large the dataset is, as the performance will not fluctuate.

So on WP7 it is impressive when you open a 4gb inbox (stored on the phone) with 50,000 emails and it opens instantly, and searches return instantly.

The email example is NOT even possible on Android because of its inbox size limitations that restrict you to 999 days of email, or a certain number of messages.

WP7 can literally keep and Sync ALL your email, going back to 1990, if it is on your server. And this is 'stored on your phone' if you wish.

Add in a smart email server technology and pair it with Hotmail/Live or Office365/Exchange and some of things you can do with half a million messages an 1/2 a TB of archived email is mind blowing fast, and from a simple WP7 on a 3G connection.

This is NOT about experience users versus non-experienced users... However, even if it was, it does not demonstrate the 'ease of use' or 'usability' aspect of Android or even iPhone in a favorable manner...

ShMaunder said,
I wonder if they ever tested the most basic mobile function, calling someone.

2 clicks. I have the GF, brothers, parents, and a good friend all pinned. Click once on the persons tile, click again on home/mobile and it dials.

It is fun watching everyone having a fit over this happening. Just yesterday I was watching a TV show recorded on my Media Center. I got up during a commercial break, and when I got back there was a commercial for iPhone where apple showed tweeting a picture, saying it was the only phone (an outright lie - WP had it from the beginning and months before) that had it built in. The Smoked By Windows Phone is the same, but takes it to a personal one on one level. Show people directly how you can do it on WP7. When Apple shows how to do it on a mass scale, then it is fine. But do a grass roots, go to the people, Microsoft the anger of the Apple bunch cry foul.

nohone said,

2 clicks. I have the GF, brothers, parents, and a good friend all pinned. Click once on the persons tile, click again on home/mobile and it dials.

It is fun watching everyone having a fit over this happening. Just yesterday I was watching a TV show recorded on my Media Center. I got up during a commercial break, and when I got back there was a commercial for iPhone where apple showed tweeting a picture, saying it was the only phone (an outright lie - WP had it from the beginning and months before) that had it built in. The Smoked By Windows Phone is the same, but takes it to a personal one on one level. Show people directly how you can do it on WP7. When Apple shows how to do it on a mass scale, then it is fine. But do a grass roots, go to the people, Microsoft the anger of the Apple bunch cry foul.

There are a lot of 'click through' and contextual things in WP7 that is just brilliant.

For example, clicking a name while on a call or clicking on a text message and clicking on the name, and not only going to their contact information but their Hub.

So when talking or texting a friend and they ask if you saw the photos they put on Facebook, you can in one click and a swipe to photos or what's new and view them while talking to them in a fraction of a second.

This 'jumping' around and contextual aggregation of content is what makes WP7 just seamlessly smooth and fun.


at the top and the ways you can jump around for information instantlyfor the information and

I attribute this high success rate to failure to honor lost matches. I saw more than one story about somebody who beat them, but was disqualified for some reason or another.

Gerowen said,
I attribute this high success rate to failure to honor lost matches. I saw more than one story about somebody who beat them, but was disqualified for some reason or another.

I saw two - which is quite a remarkably low number given how rabidly the blogosphere jumped on such incidents.

rfirth said,
There were nearly 41,000 competitions, and yet only 2-3 stories about such incidents.
Not to mention that I heard from a friendly Microsoft store employee that at least one person that won had not restarted their phone, implying that they probably had already loaded their app into memory, and therefore not giving a realistic use case of their phone beyond trying to win a speed test.

Clearly Microsoft cherry-picked their competitions, but only an absolute idiot would accuse any company of sponsoring a speed competition to show off the negatives of their platform.

Edited by pickypg, Apr 25 2012, 10:08pm :

Gerowen said,
I attribute this high success rate to failure to honor lost matches. I saw more than one story about somebody who beat them, but was disqualified for some reason or another.

And I saw people given an honorary 'win' because their iPhone was uploading a 5 or 8mp image and the Windows Phone was uploading a 16mp image, which is a larger amount of data and higher quality photo than the iPhone can even handle.

You really think it was just one sided... Check out even the Vegas videos even, you will find Microsoft was fairly generous with the 'wins'.


People also seem to think this is just about 'usability' which it is, but it also about pure performance. Getting the same level of number crunching out of Android or iOS at the App level takes a lot more hardware, and this is where the secondary advantage comes into play.

The same GPU/CPU in an Android device (using Qualcomm's numbers) show variances of 5 to 20 times slower performance for the same CPU/GPU tests compared to WP7.

That is why the Snapdragon SoC used in WP7 originally was not an issue, and caused Qualcomm to change how they benchmarked their own hardware, as their baseline 'light' Linux build was 5 to 20 times slower than WP7 on some of the same tests they were using. (Part is due to OpenGL ES vs Directx and part is due to WinCE and its driver model vs Linux.)

Rudy said,
I'm willing to bet they lost more than that but the losses didn't "qualify"

The only reason it didn't qualify is because they didn't know that those phones can do that. LOL

In other news I win 100% of the time when arm wrestling with 4 year old girls - ok I might have lost once or twice.

Really, if you make the rules what do you expect.

Depicus said,
In other news I win 100% of the time when arm wrestling with 4 year old girls - ok I might have lost once or twice.

Really, if you make the rules what do you expect.

It's funny, they want to know which phone you are using but when you ask to see theirs, that's a no no.

Realistically, it was nothing more than some carnival game.

Depicus said,
In other news I win 100% of the time when arm wrestling with 4 year old girls - ok I might have lost once or twice.

Really, if you make the rules what do you expect.

The challenges they gave were realistic , what would you do about Sunspider benchmark if your phone cant take a photo and tweet about it faster?

Others which didn't qualify share some other story

UndergroundWire said,

It's funny, they want to know which phone you are using but when you ask to see theirs, that's a no no.

Realistically, it was nothing more than some carnival game.

lolz

Depicus said,
In other news I win 100% of the time when arm wrestling with 4 year old girls - ok I might have lost once or twice.

Really, if you make the rules what do you expect.

You are more on track than you realize...

In terms of technology of the OS Model, Android and iOS are like 4 year olds compared to a 18 year old.

A lot of crap can be thrown at WP7, but even haters cannot argue against its security, stability, speed, or ease of use; which all are due to the OS design model that is very mature and well thought out. Sure people don't like that Apps can't monkey with the OS, but that is why it is secure, and stable.

Enjoy your 4yr old technology, the grown-ups have a real phone, and don't have to play with customizing widgets to see a Tweet, waiting forever for Numbers to load a tiny spreadsheet, or spend time resolving FC issues that plague even OS level Apps, and OS initiated FC issues that circumvent even well written Apps.

thenetavenger said,

Enjoy your 4yr old technology, the grown-ups have a real phone, and don't have to play with customizing widgets to see a Tweet, waiting forever for Numbers to load a tiny spreadsheet, or spend time resolving FC issues that plague even OS level Apps, and OS initiated FC issues that circumvent even well written Apps.

Should I throw Windows away from my computer? It's more than 20 years old you know.

I find what you consider to be logic hysterical. I don't know if it is the tinfoil hat you wear or if you are just a general hater. Do you have a website by the way? I'd love to read more about your crazy theories. I love to laugh you know.

wp needs to be more customizable, it's THE BEST mobile phone OS on the planet, especially in performances scale.

in the apps sections, il give it a year, max, to become very close to the other OS's. but even now, it's just better.

R1pper said,
wp needs to be more customizable, it's THE BEST mobile phone OS on the planet, especially in performances scale.

in the apps sections, il give it a year, max, to become very close to the other OS's. but even now, it's just better.

It is closed and half assed as iOS. I do not see how it is the best... Also the hardware sucks bad at this point. Why wait several more years before the hardware catches up when we already have Android and its cheaper?