Promotional Windows Phone challenge backfires

Microsoft is being accused of being a sore loser when one of its promotional Windows Phone challenges backfired.

The company has been giving users a chance to win a new HP laptop, valued at $1000, if they are able to complete a task with a non-Windows Phone faster than a Windows Phone-toting Microsoft employee.

The challenge is called “Smoked by Windows Phone” and over the weekend, the event was held at a Microsoft Store in Santa Clara, California.

The primary point of this challenge is as a promotional gimmick, of course. The competitor is told to do something with his or her phone, like bring up a website or log into an instant messaging service. If he or she can do it faster than the Microsoft employee, the HP laptop is awarded (supposedly).

However, we all know that’s not supposed to ever happen. What Microsoft expects is that it will win, and if that happens the competitor still wins a prize – a Windows Phone, if they are willing to give up their existing phone.

During yesterday’s competition, though, one of the competitors was Sahas Katta, who was met with this challenge – display the current weather in two difference cities.

The Microsoft employee of course already had two live tiles displaying the weather in two cities, but little did she know, so did Katta.

So when Katta unlocked his phone and shouted “Done!” he thought he had just won a new laptop. Instead, the Microsoft employee said no, that she won, and would not be awarding the prize.

After hearing about the controversy, though, Microsoft mouthpiece “Ben the PC Guy” wrote on Twitter, “Relax guys! I wasn’t there for the challenge with @sahaskatta so didn’t see what really went down. We’ll make it right though!”