Tuesday, March 27, 2012

After first tap dancing around it, Microsoft admits Android user beat WP in Hunger Games Challenge

The Microsoft Smoked by Windows Phone Hunger Games Challenge runs through Dec. 29, but if these results are consistent, it may not matter if you win or lose, because you'll lose.

On Sunday, Sahas Katta won a "Smoked by Windows Phone" challenge when his Galaxy Nexus displayed the weather of two different cities faster than the Windows Phone he was up against. However, Microsoft still said he lost. The first reason given was that Windows Phone won because “it displays the weather right there.” However, Katta had two weather widgets on his home screen displaying the weather, and his phone, because he had disabled the lock mechanism, was first to display the weather (the phones were started in a powered-off state).

After Katta pressed the employee for a better reason for the loss, he was told that Windows Phone won “just because.” Asking for a better answer, he was told by another Microsoft employee (believed to be a manager) that his Galaxy Nexus needed to display the weather of different cities in different states and that “his phone could not do that."

As Katta said, however, he was told the challenge (apparently, the challenge is randomly selected and instead of having to complete a series of challenges, the iPhone or Android phone only has to beat the phone in one challenge) was “bring up the weather of two different cities," as he quoted the employee as saying.

In response to the hammering that Microsoft has taken over this "technicality," Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph has taken to Twitter to apologize and offer Katta a new laptop and Windows Phone, as well as an apology. His Tweet is as follows:

"Hey @sahaskatta , @Microsoftstore & I want to make things right. So I've got a laptop & phone (& apology) for you. Email me!"

The original prize was for a laptop, so tossing in a Windows Phone is a bonus. Notably, Rudolph first Tweeted an offer of a rematch, which was blasted, as it should have been: why should Katta have had to win twice to get the prize he deserved.

While it's nice to see Microsoft caved and gave Katta his prize, now that details have emerged about the contest, we'd have to say that the fact that you don't know what's "coming" as far as the contest goes still means it's sort of rigged, as the Windows Phone is set up to operate quickly for the challenge, no matter what it is.

Katta won not because his phone was fast, but because he was lucky enough to have two weather widgets on his home screen and did not have a locking mechanism in place (which slowed the WP).

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