updated 10:40 am EDT, Mon March 26, 2012
Microsoft reacts to Windows Phone showdown fiasco
Microsoft quickly reacted to claims of unfair Windows Phone contests by offering would-be winner Sahas Katta his compensation. Company evangelist Ben Rudolph said Monday morning that he would supply both the HP notebook intended for prize winners as well as a free Windows Phone. Rudolph was also personally apologizing to Katta for the apparently stacked test.
"We'll make it right," Rudolph said. "I stand behind [Smoked by Windows Phone] wins (and losses) 100%... even when I'm not the one doing the challenges."
The resolution didn't address allegations that Microsoft was throttling non-Windows Phone devices on its store Wi-Fi to favor its devices, although these haven't been as thoroughly explained or independently verified.
Microsoft has been intending the retail presence of its "Smoked by Windows Phone" contest as a way to show that its platform is practically faster through live tiles and its various social and media hubs. Some have been concerned that the pressure of the retail environment has led either store staff or Microsoft itself to be reluctant to give any rival platform a victory.
At trade show tests, Microsoft was willing to allow losses to Android and iPhone users, although these were usually in the minority. Katta was using a Galaxy Nexus and won using official Android 4.0 features that let him get to the home screen faster.