if you live near a Microsoft Store retail location in the US and still haven't taken on one of its employees in its Smoked by Windows Phone challenge, the good news is that you still have time to participate. The campaign was supposed to wrap up in late March but got extended to April 5th. Now the contest's official rules (via AnythingbutiPod.com) have shown that the challenge's deadline has been extended again, this time to April 12th.
The bad news is that nice limited edition Hunger Games HP Folio ultrabook is no longer the prize you win if you actually beat the Microsoft Store employee. Instead the prize is a $1,000 Microsoft Store gift card, which could mean you could buy a few Xbox 360 consoles or even a cheaper laptop if they have them available at the retail store.
There will be 10 of those gift cards to win for each Microsoft Store location. If you lose the challenge, you will get one of 250 $25 Microsoft Store gift cards. This is also a replacement compared to Microsoft giving the loser a free Windows Phone smartphone in place of his losing phone.
The Smoked by Windows Phone challenge in the retail store locations got a little bad publicity in its first week when a few participants complained that the store manager would not give them a laptop even though they had allegedly won the challenge. Microsoft made amends with at least two of these people.