The Windows Phone Challenge, provocatively dubbed "Smoked by Windows Phone" by Microsoft, appears to have suffered its first defeat at the hands of a competing smartphone this weekend, and Microsoft's response has reportedly been less than sporting.
Sahas Katta, a self-confessed fan of Windows Phone's design, went down to his local Microsoft Store to pit his Android 4.0-powered Galaxy Nexus in a speed test against Microsoft's smartphones and, surprisingly, came out on top. The tests are geared heavily in favor of Microsoft's services, but Sahas still managed to outdo them when tasked with showing the weather for two different cities. The Microsoft Store assistant already had weather tiles for two cities pinned to her Start screen, but Sahas similarly had two weather widgets on his Android homescreen and, importantly, had disabled the lock screen on his phone, allowing him to show the requisite info within a moment of pressing the Galaxy Nexus power button.
Bewildered by this turn of events, the Microsoft Store employees were apparently unwilling to acknowledge Sahas' win, eventually offering the tenuous excuse that he needed to show the weather for "two different cities in two different states" to qualify as a winner. We have no way to immediately verify that portion of Sahas' story, but the facts of his victory over Windows Phone are sound — Android has a native option to disable the lock screen and you only need to download one extra third-party weather widget from the Play Store to recreate what he has done here.
Microsoft's Ben Rudolph, the man playing a central role in pushing the Smoked marketing campaign, has offered Sahas an apology for the hassle and a rematch on a random Windows Phone challenge. Sahas' own post, although tinged with disappointment, ends on the same note: "If anyone from Microsoft would like to have a rematch, I would be happy to smoke a Windows Phone with Android, again."
Update: Ben has come back with a more generous offer, saying he wants "to make things right." Sahas will now receive a free laptop and smartphone for the trouble he had to go through at the MS Store.