Smoked By Windows Phone: Good concept, failed execution

If you are active on Twitter or Facebook and follow some tech blogs, Microsoft or Nokia you must have seen the hashtag #SmokedByWindowsPhone. It is a campaign by Microsoft to promote their Windows phone lineup. Nokia is conducting a similar campaign in India. Nothing wrong in that.

The rules are simple. You are given a random challenge from a set of five challenges. The challenge is a small task that your phone needs to perform. You compete against a Microsoft/Nokia employee who performs the same task on a Windows Phone device. Whoever finishes first wins. Simple enough.

Sahas Katta, CEO Skattertech went to the Microsoft Store on Sunday morning with his Galaxy Nexus. He was given a challenge to bring up the weather of two different cities. He sets up two different weather widgets on his homescreen, fiddles with some basic settings and then turns of his phone. He turns on his device and finishes the task “a split second” earlier than the Microsoft employee with Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft should have given him the prize and accepted their defeat. Instead they gave him lame excuses and told him that his phone has lost. Disappointed Mr. Katta writes the tale of defeat on his blog. Luckily it gets fueled by bigger blogs and everyone ends up saying, “Shame on you Microsoft”

Microsoft accepts the mistake, apologizes.

Do we really need to hate Microsoft for the arrogance/stupidity of one Store manager?

According to CNET similar incidences have happened in the past too

I was asked to bring up a name of up a four star restaurant on my phone near me. I did so quicker than them using Google Places shortcut icon. They then said mine doesn’t show directions so I lost. I pointed out that android actually has turn-by-turn directions while Windows Phone doesn’t. They asked me to leave with no prize. haha.

Coming back to my original question, the way these campaigns are being conducted is wrong. I don’t know what Microsoft wants to prove with these campaigns. According to me they should try to concentrate on the fact that Windows Phone platform is super fast and super smooth that it can compete with the best of Android and iOS devices.

A split second loss doesn’t really matter when the winning device costs much more than the losing device

My point is simple, Lumia 800 has defeated most of the Android phones including Galaxy S2. Not in these campaigns but in real world too, there is no major difference in loading time of webpages, boot time etc if you compare a flagship Android and Lumia 900. But compare the same flagship android to a Lumia 710… and the result will still be a tie. How about comparing Lumia 710 to a similarly priced droid? Say Galaxy Ace plus or a NeoV. Lumia 710 will win by a very good margin. This is a very good point that Microsoft can try to highlight with their campaigns rather than Smoking all phones blindly. Common Microsoft your 1.4GHz single core Snapdragon S2 device lost to 1.2GHz dual core flagship droid by a split second. With all the bells and whistles (and fiddling with settings) Android could only manage a split second victory.

If you think these tests are biased in favor of Microsoft… you are absolutely correct. They are biased. But they highlight a point. Androids  are not the best devices.

You can buy the best Android and it will be smoked by any of the “cheap” WP7 devices in one of these tests.

And these tests are real world situations and not benchmarks. Your android can explode out of the benchmark charts but it loses to a WP7 device in a simple “pocket to picture” challenge then what is the point.

Of course there are many tasks, hundreds oh them, that you can’t even do on a WP7 device. But for everyday use WP7 is just sufficient. It may know a lesser number of tricks than an Android but whatever it knows it performs them

1. Elegantly

2. Smoothly

3. At an incredibly fast speed

And best of all it is learning and improving!

Android on the other hand has become a jack of all trades. Happy smoking Microsoft!