Windows Phone Challenge Winner Denied Prize

IT Management

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Saha Katta headed down to his local Microsoft Store this weekend to complete in Microsoft's Windows Phone Challenge. He won the contest, but was denied his prize "just because."

Writing on the skatter tech blog, Katta recounts his story:

"After signing a waiver agreeing to let Microsoft use a photo of me in their advertising, I got in line for the challenge. I was using a Samsung Galaxy Nexus which runs the latest Android operating system on the Verizon Wireless network. As requested, I shut down my phone and powered it on in front of an employee when it was my turn. (I’m assuming they don’t want anyone pre-launching any apps in advance.)

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."

Unbeknownst to Katta, the Microsoft Store employee also had two "tiles" of weather info on her home screen. However, Katta had used a standard feature of Ice Cream Sandwich Android to disable his lock screen. He only had to hit his power button, while the employee had an unlock screen to disable.

So, Katta won the contest by a split-second, and thought the prize of a $1000 Hunger Games-branded PC was his. Unfortunately, he was told he had not won the competition, with no discernable reason given. "After pressing for a better reason, I was told that Window Phone won 'just because.'" After even further pushing the issue a manager then changed the rules, after the fact, stating that Katta needed weather from cities in different states.

I suppose it is understandable for a marketing ploy that the competition was rigged in the first place. I mean, how many people have two weather widgets on their home screen? Except Katta did. And by using an Android feature, his Galaxy Nexus was able to smoke the Windows Phone.

Even if Microsoft doesn't pony up the prize for Katta, one thing is clear: this is going to be a long day for Microsoft PR.

When people beat your horrendously stacked challenge, you should give them the prize. This: then: 33 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Hey MS. If you're gonna roll such an aggressive ad up when you lose. #thatshorseshit 3 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Oh, Microsoft. Hate losing that bad? Really? #microsoft #fail 24 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

A Slap on Microsoft's Cheap Tricks to lure customer. Bwahaha, better give this guy what he wants 27 minutes ago via Silver Bird ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

real cool, @Microsoft this is why you'll never have the following like you once had. and it will continue to drop off. 2 minutes ago via Safari on iOS ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto