The competition is pretty simple. Microsoft challenges you to perform a basic operation faster on your Android phone than their employee can managed on a Windows Phone. If you win, you get a $1000 laptop. If you lose, you get a chance to swap your phone for the Windows Phone.
But all is not as it seems. Apparently Sahas actually managed to load the weather on his phone faster than the Microsoft employee. His Galaxy Nexus was setup with no lock screen, and two weather widgets on his home screen. Turns out this is exactly what he needed to beat this particular challenge. He thought he’d won, but the Microsoft person had other ideas. Here’s how Sahas explained it:
I excitedly thought I won out of pure luck. However, I was quickly told that I lost. I asked for a reason and was told Windows Phone won because “it displays the weather right there.” That was rather unclear. I showed her my device which also was showing off the same information with two side-by-side weather widgets on the center home screen. After pressing for a better reason, I was told that Windows Phone won “just because.”
After trying to push for a real answer since I clearly won the contest by their rules, another Microsoft Store employee (possibly a manager) came by after noticing me asking more questions. Thinking on his feet, he quickly gave a ridiculous out-of-thin-air reason that I need to display the weather of different cities in different states and that “my phone could not do that”.
Even after speaking with the store manager, Sahas didn’t get an admission of defeat. They just kept inventing vuage excuses for why he couldn’t win the challenge. In the end he left the store, without a prize, more than a little upset with Microsoft.
Today, the whole internet joined the cause, indignant that Microsoft wouldn’t admit defeat. Looks like things turned out ok in the end though. Ben Rudolph just reached out on Twitter, offering Sahas a free laptop, phone & apology. Microsoft screwed up, but at least they apologized and offered to make up for it.