Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

June 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Smoked by Windows Phone: 150,000 challenges in 45 countries; new ads

What started as a small challenge at CES has snowballed into worldwide challenges and an ever-growing online ad campaign.

“Smoked by Windows Phone” is the challenge in which Windows Phone-wielding Microsoft employees challenge owners of competing smartphones to see which phone can accomplish everyday tasks such as posting photos to Facebook and finding a local restaurant faster.

The challenge began with $100 on the line at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Since then, about 150,000 people in 45 countries have taken the challenge, with Windows Phone boasting a 98 percent win rate, said Ben Rudolph, a senior manger at Microsoft, better known as “Ben the PC Guy” and one of the brains behind the “Smoked” campaign.

Its online ads have been viewed by more than 25 million people, Rudolph said. And a new series of online ads launches today, featuring challenges shot on the streets of Seattle. Here’s a look:

[do action=”custom_iframe” width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/NFryz2Y9eBI

The campaign has not been without its controversies, including when a competing smartphone owner who won said he didn’t get his prize (Rudolph apologized and offered the laptop prize and a phone). Others have commented that the competition is stacked in Windows Phone’s favor.

The challenges are indeed “designed to show off what Windows Phone does really well,” Rudolph acknowledged. “But what’s important to remember is that what Windows Phone does really well is what people actually do on their phones.”

The biggest challenge facing Windows Phone, though, is still sales. It currently holds less than 2 percent of the global smartphone market and about 4 percent of the U.S. market. The next version of the phone — Windows Phone 8 — is expected to launch later this year. Owners of current handsets won’t be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 (though they will be getting a Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade), which could mean a hit to the sales of current phones.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►