VIDEO: Windows Phone wins 88% of #smokedbywindowsphone challenges at CES 2012!

VIDEO: Windows Phone wins 88% of #smokedbywindowsphone challenges at CES 2012!

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#smokedbywindowsphone is a wrap at CES 2012, and it was a raging success!   Thousands of people (yes, we had crowds watching the challenges happen) saw first hand why Windows Phone connects them to the stuff and people they care about faster and easier than other smartphones.  We gave away a ton of new phones, lost a little bit of cash ($300, to be exact), and had a great time meeting our fans, haters, and everyone in between. 

Overall, our win/loss record for the show was:

  • 30 wins
  • 3 losses
  • 1 draw

For those of you who are math impaired (like me), that’s an 88% win percentage.  Not bad, right?  Check out the day two wrap-up video to see how things went down:

And since I know the question is coming, here’s a quick summary of the phones that took the challenge:

  • Phones we beat: A few each of iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, Galaxy Nexus, ATT Skyrocket, Droid Charge, Droid Bionic, various BlackBerries, Palm Pre Plus.
  • Phones that beat us: iPhone 4s (posted a picture to twitter just a hair faster), Droid Bionic (got an SMS to a friend a smidge faster than I did), and Galaxy Nexus (also posting a photo to Twitter)

Keep an eye on the Windows Phone $100 challenge YouTube playlist for more videos throughout the day and remember to follow me on Twitter to keep up on all of the #smokedbywindowsphone action and whatever else I’m up to.

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  • @Rodney

    "Hey, can you give me your opinion on marketing please?"

    Microsoft needs to present Microsoft to the four corners of the earth every single day.  Appearances in Time Square or other places in downtown NYC are great, but I have never seen a Microsoft-initiated commercial for Windows Phone.  I saw a few by AT&T when AT&T first launched that LG keyboard slider and the Focus, but other than that, I NEVER see any Microsoft-produced commercials for Windows Phone.  I always see commercials by Apple AND its carrier partners.  I always see commercials by the Android OEMs AND their carrier partners.  I even STILL see commercials by BlackBerry and ITS carrier partners, and no one I know trusts RIM.  I NEVER see commercials by Microsoft OR its carrier partners.  All this money it says its earmarked for marketing and very little carrier or Microsoft effort appears to have resulted in limited visibility.  In this society, you need to market at each corner of the earth, meaning getting your devices on carriers' marketing mailings (snail and email), commercials, and CLEAR store presence.  My carrier (Verizon not only puts Windows Phone near the clam shells and IN THE BACK, they don't even keep any in stock and try to TALK YOU OUT OF BUYING THEM, talking DOWN to you for having an interest in Windows Phone in the process, not even just the platform itself.

    I see Windows Phone as a great opportunity.  I really have hope for this platform.  I fear that the cognitive remnants of what was a great Live Mesh Beta that has been screwed up into become the separate but similar Windows Live SkyDrive and Windows Live Mesh (stored but not universally accessible IN SkyDrive) products.  Also, in terms of focusing on spreading the reach of its ecosystem, Microsoft is marketing Hotmail online more than Windows Phone.  Hotmail is NOT a growth property.  It is old and the world only grows so much every day.  Windows Phone is still new to it the world, though, and Microsoft is not taking advantage of that due to what seems is its marketing department succumbing to the same astigmatism that killed Live Mesh Beta as it was.  All Live Mesh Beta needed was the connection to Office Web Apps that is now reserved for SkyDrive, which you cannot connect and sync OTA to entire folders as was possible with Live Mesh Beta.  That was a product that I was happy to say for Microsoft "just worked."  Why mess up a good thing?

  • @ trsblke & djmikebrady

    You think that's bad? I'm on my 3rd Samsung focus and my moms on her 4th! All quality issues. They have a issue with the charging port not charging and acting crazy. What's weird is my wife has no issues. The focus is the worst quality hardware I have ever had, hands down, but it's the best phone experience I have ever had. Even with all the hardware issues I still love it. MS has done something reall special here!

  • My windows phone can not accept appointments - i've been looking high and low for a solution ?  any chance of help from this site?

    "can't respond to meeting request    we're sorry but we weren't able to send the response."


  • @tsrblke - that sounds like a probable cause...  Wirefly was completely useless, so I'm going to have to plead my case with Spring via the 1-year warranty on the Arrive... My wife is totally convinced that she has the worse technology karma in the world... and as her technology-centric husband, that's not good!

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts


    I had this with my HTC surround, at first I thought it was just the power button getting hit in my pocket (I could hear the start up noise randomly.) A few weeks later my SD card went belly up in it (I'd get an error on boot up) and I had to get a new one.

    I heard this with a few random other HTC phones, I'm almost wondering if they have a SD card in there that's just on the edge of being good enough for the OS and craps out on some percentage of phones.

  • Yeah!! I love WP7!! It is the best.

  • Sad news today... My wife told me in frustration, that the Arrive I got her for Christmas has been rebooting itself at random times during normal use.. Reading a text, posting a status, it goes blank, then she hits the power button and gets the HTC startup screen.  :(  I know it's not normal, as I've had mine since it came out in March and never had this problem, so I'm trying to get an exchange from Wirefly right now...  Luckily she still loves WP7, and even the Arrive specifically, I just hate that we got a lemon...

  • T Windows
    116 Posts

    Major thanks and big up's to Ben for this challenge!

    Seriously Ben the WP7 challenge was right on time; and we already know this is just the beginning for more real-time, on the spot, in your face wake up calls.

    My 2yr old daughter and I watched the videos literally like over and over laughing on the floor so hard when the challengers had to hold the sign up; the look on their faces was just priceless.

    Ben thanks again for all you do in the MS-Windows Family, we really appreciate you for keeping it real.

    Big shout-out to all the true Windows fan family, much love, and keep rocking the Windows swagger.

    – Powered by Windows.

    Oh yeah and to all the “ haters ” ... you know who you are, please keep it coming because we really do enjoy all the flavors of your hateraid; it just keeps us motivated to keep schooling you.

  • Although MS is funding a large amount of Nokias ad campaign,,, well said dude! I keep saying they need to get us some T-shirts, T-shirts, T-Shirts! Oh yeah baby!!!! Just print up 500,000 of them yeah that would be enough, And, use the ones with the good fit and decent quality knit, no printed on fruit of the loom T's please. Yes, I'll take two please!

  • Microsoft needs to do a better job in advertising its Windows Phone 7.  Nokia is putting a lot on the line and it's showing results.  Microsoft needs to stop being cheap and go all out and sell their product.   For a large company like Microsoft the advertisement of WP& has been disappointing.  WP7 is not yet ready for word of mouth selling like iOS.  Microsoft needs to stand strong behind WP7 is they believe in it.  The advertising department is doing a poor job.

  • Please sing this petition to get more WP devices on Sprint!!!

  • @ KT giant

    I can't argue with that!.. Well, you're welcome to come to att,,,they have a pretty good selection of devices. Art also is more willing to work with MS, so I think that's a good sign. I hate to say it but, I wouldn't want to have a contract with sprint because they have a poor selection of WP devices. The only other carrier that comes close to att is Tmobile, but why not just come to att. The disappearing keyboard issue is definitely getting on my nerves, but I hope att gets the update out soon and doesn't forget about the first Gen. devices. Doesn't that new commercial build of Mango come with the keyboard fix?

  • KTGiang
    34 Posts

    @ Rodney

    I won't mind unlocking and voiding my warranty with Android. It's already a commonly expected thing to do when going into the Android platform if you're a power user. I've always been sitting tight. I had to sit tight because it took Sprint forever to get a Windows Phone and now they're claiming that sales suck all because of MS. Of the past 3 sprint stores I've been to, 2 of them had a display out and every single one of the sales associates pestered us about buying a Windows Phone despite requesting it for myself and my sister. We are both very happy with our phones up until the disappearing keyboard bug.  The keyboard is most definitely one of the worst hassles to deal with. The bug shouldn't have been in the release mango in the first place and now they won't force the carriers to release an update thats fixes a frustrating  issue for users that paid good money for a properly working device.

    Also, the difference between Windows Phone and Android is the fact that Windows Phones need to show urgency due to it's lack of consumer interest. Small issues become very big and a minor reason could be what drives an already hesitant customer away. I personally expect different things from each platform when buying into it. For Android, I would expect to buy a device I am happy with and that I would have to unlock or upgrade my phone in order to get the next update. When I buy a Windows Phone, I expect my phones to get it's updates as thats what MS has always said it'll get. I bought in on NoDo and waited patiently for Mango. I was perfectly happy with NoDo until Mango crippled the keyboard. Now I have to wait for tango1 or 2 before I can get a fix because my carrier is apathetic about getting the update and MS doesn't care enough to pressure them? Security fixes and bugs should not be withheld from the customer. Simple as that.

  • I wonder how WP7 would stack up against Android for saving a file with one program and then opening that same file from another program.  Oh wait!  It can't do that.

  • So I took the song Nokia's using in their Lumia ad campaign, and chopped it down to just the intro and outro, making a pretty awesome ring sound for my non-Nokia phone!  :)  Go check it out:

  • @ ktgiang

    So, you think you won't have issues with Android? And you think you're going to get your updates with Andriid? If you sit tight you will get your fix sooner or later because the next update should be mandatory according to MS. But, I do agree this is very frustrating to deal with.

  • KTGiang
    34 Posts

    I don't know about everyone else but I want my disappearing keyboard update. Sprint's latest comment on wp7 has not fill me with confidence that they'll be releasing it anytime soon. It's a hassle everyday I use my phone... Until I can properly get my updates, I really can't promote windows phone despite liking it so much myself. If I can't get my update here on sprint, I'm going to do my best to move 2 family plans onto at&t but if that fails. I'm going to android. You try convincing 10 people to change carriers.

    -posted from my HTC arrive.

  • @DJ Mike

    OMG!.... If anything maybe you can get him to smuggle some I mean how hard is it to get a WP t-shirt? Like it's plutonium or something.. I would like a WP tshirt please!

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts


    Lobby him harder for some of those zipups, the t-shirt I have is ugly looking, green without any graphics.

    Speaking of which, have you guys hit up any of the twitter folks for t-shirts?  Maybe they'll just send them out.

    As for manual dexterity, maybe, but also the people who were coming close were from what I've seen were using a lot of specialized apps to do shortcuts (especially on the android phones, programs that leverage the camera straight into a twitter pic.  Also they got to start on the camera screen.  AFAIK, the 4S still lacks a dedicated camera button, meaning he'd have to get to his app first.  If you start from a locked phone it gives a WP7 a huge advantage IMHO.

  • I bet in that case, it comes down to more a contest of individual dexterity and how well you REALLY know your phone.  It becomes more a contest between people than between hardware.  Much as the contests of posting a picture to Twitter on an i4s, where it was always close, and whatever edge pushed it to the win was a reflection of the hands on the keyboard, not the phone itself...

    In other news - hey @Rodney - I just found out my nephew got hired to work on the WP7 development team at MS!  He starts in April, and I am gonna lobby HARD for T-Shirts!!  :)

  • @ Genfa

    Yes, that would be a great idea! Lets find out which WP is the fastest, and see if we can find some trends between makes and models. Good idea.

  • genfa
    1 Posts

    It should be interresting seront him in a duel against an other wp7 user, no?

  • @ Chris average

    No, I don't have any podcast subscribed. How, long has it been since this happens to you?

  • @Rodney do You have any podcast subscriptions? I noticed the same problem a while ago - marketplace tile was showing 3 updates, but none were actually available. I had subscribed to one podcast at the time it started to happen and set the number of kept episodes to 3, so I checked what happens if i change it to 2 - and the tile showed 2 updates, but none actually available. Of course no new episodes were available either and I exited marketplace via back button not the windows key, I double-checked that. There seems to be some bug there..

  • @ Connie, MS, whoever cares, Ben Rudolph

    Yes, I have confirmed that there is a issue with the update notifications on the marketplace tile. Once again I have notice for 5 updates, but when I got inside this time there were only two available. Sometimes there's none available when I get notifications. This just started this week. TWTMC, refer to my earlier post above for more information about this new, I hate to say it, "bug"

  • Brilliant idea! That's good marketing. You should do this in more countries, in all big cities!

  • Krush You
    94 Posts

    @uchenda - they fixed that with mango, at least mine was. As soon as it updates the notification goes away or deceases

  • i have had recently veiwed a video from this blog on my wp7 & one of those vids poped up in my video hub history. so how do i get rid of it & why did it get logged there?

  • @ sal digiovanni....!Skype!... In this video they say ''soon''. It's coming to WP, Xbox, MS link, so on "soon'' That's all you're going to get. Sorry man.!

  • @ sal digiovanni

    Good point! I forget that Skype is coming.. I bet we won't see this until the "Apollo" update later this year...

  • @ trollcall,

    Yo, I said "thanks for the feedback, and keep posting your opinions with us" because the users ''us'' who post on this blog are the the ones who read and respond to most of the opinions posted here. But, I do stand by WP because I believe it's a great product, and from time to time you will see me write as I am part of the WP team because as a consumer and promoter of WP I do have a part in WP's success, and I have vested a considerable amount of time helping others with new devices, bringing new fans on board, and voicing my opinions online about WP. On this very blog I have personally seen moderators respond to ideas, and have seen those ideas come to life. One of the biggest ideas was the ''night out party's''  This was suggested by many bloggers, including myself, and I don't think it was a coincidence that they came to light....

    So to answer your question.. YES, I guess I do work for MS to some extent,LOL.. and I'm proud of it! But, it would be nice if I could get a check, or a T shirt or something..HAHAHA.. You know something? I had WM5-6.5 and I was wanting to get away from that so bad, but my only option was Android, iPhone, and others that I wasn't even willing to consider. I really didn't want a iPhone because even at the time I knew this was to ''popular" and the whole idea of being like everyone else kills me. Android? to me it just seems like a better executed version of WM. Android seemed to me already old and outdated, and just didn't have the quality, and ecosystem of iOS. So when WP was introduced I was a little skeptical at first, because of my experiences with WM, but it quickly because appealing to me, and I knew it was going to be good.... WP turned out to have the quality of the Apple ecosystem, and the potential for choice like Android... If WP didn't come along I don't know what I would have done. So, I do feel like MS has worked for me on this one, hell they even bought me dinner and drinks one I know my story is corny, and I have told it so many times, but this is truly how I feel, and the point I want to drive home is that there are so many who feel just as I do. We believe in WP, and hope for it to succeed. Now this is just a hobby for most of us, and I have about 4 main interest that I tend to on a weekly basis, so this is all just fun for me. A&A are already successful, and popular, so that's old news to me. What I think is cool is to see a new platform come from the ashes, with so much opposition thrown at it day by day, and continue to move forward. That's what excites me! Or "US"

    Also, I respect your answer about if you would buy a device. That shows that you can be honest, and unbiased when discussing these issues... And, that's a very good point about the storage in relation the data plans. Not everyone has enough data to support cloud storage. It kind of reminds me of  a topic we were talking about concerning Bluetooth file transfer. Someone made a comment that WP needs BTFT. Someone else said that NFC was coming and BTFT wasn't necessary. We all ended up agreeing that we need technology that would benefit us now, not that just sound good in the future. But, like I said earlier, sooner or later MS will pull it's head out of it's ass and see that more storage is one of the most requested features. Storage is one of my main concerns for my next device, and I'm sure it will come. It will come!. But, some people will always have something to complain about. I just try to look at the big picture; do I want Android, a iPhone or Windows Phone? Which has a high quality experience and ecosystem, quality choice of devices, while providing bang for the buck? Only one can do all three with the most balance, but none can ever be perfect.

    I don't think you're trying to put WP down. You are just trying to send MS a message, and I hope that they hear you because it sounds like you like WP, but a few things need to be ironed out before you buy another device. You're not the only one who feels this way and we know it.... Hey, can you give me your opinion on marketing please?

  • How about only speed tests with MS apps. Like say  SKYPE !   You launch Skype on your WP7 device.. Oops.  How come no one has the BALLS to ask any one at Microsoft that question!!!  WHEN is SKYPE being released!!!! in 2011 ? Oops that passed!

  • @Rodney E. Jones

    Just curious, are you a Microsoft employee?  You keep saying "us" like you're an agent of change within the company that can actually do something regarding these comments.  The employees that usually respond have a "Microsoft Employee" badge that appears below their names.

    But to answer your final question ("...if the issues that you mentioned were totaly addressed would you like, or even buy a WP device?"), yes I would buy a Windows Phone device if these things issues were addressed.  For its initial user experience, I LOVED my first Windows Phone (Sprint's HTC Arrive), but in terms of retaining a device for a two year contract, storage options must be improved to reduce users' reliance on data capped networks to access music via streaming because they couldn't get all their music on their Windows Phone device.  Not everyone has an unlimited data plan where using SkyDrive via the browser to playback any music files saved in the cloud is possible without incurring overage charges.  I'm now on Verizon (only because of its network stability).  I'm a collector of phones if only to test them and return them within the 14 day period.  I've tested all the high-end LTE devices for at least 10 days each (Rezound, Razr, Galaxy Nexus).  While LTE is nice and users can realistically get a sustained 11-14 Mbps down in my area, I don't really need it, as Verizon's 3G enables 2 Mbps down.  I don't really see the need for LTE if only to lighten Verizon's operating costs due to LTE's greater efficiency, but end-users are paying MORE for the device's that gain access to it while recurring costs remain the same and have increased steadily.  In choosing a device and actually keeping it, when it comes to Windows Phone, all I care is that I can have as many of my files with me as possible, that the battery will last, and that the software is supported and kept up to date with as little carrier involvement as possible.  But, storage and HTML5 support is most important at this point.  HTML5 implementation needs to vastly improve in IE9 for Windows Phone.  The Mango browser gets a lower score in HTML5 tests in comparison to iOS 5 and Android.  That doesn't necessarily make the user experiences miles better on those devices, it just shows how there is a lot of room for improvement for Windows Phone in enhancing the accessibility to web apps, which are quickly becoming the weapon of choice as native apps fall subject to fees by Microsoft, Google and Apple's app stores.

  • @ trollcall

    Also, I have to agree with you on the storage front, and I'm sure many others would as well. You're right, if we want more storage we should be given more storage. We have been asking for more for long enough! Cloud storage is great, but we need that physical storage on our devices purely because of accessibility. I'm actually having the exact issue you mentioned with music files. I believe we will eventually get this worked out.... It's not holding WP back to much, but it does need to be addressed.

    Good point, and you know what??? We could use more comments from people like you who refuse to buy WP because of specific issues.. Let me ask you this, if the issues that you mentioned were totaly addressed would you like, or even buy a WP device??

  • This is awesome! Great idea with this campaign. Hopefully these can be made commercials. WP7 is needing attention from people who don't even know what it is yet.

  • @ trollcall

    First of all, they put a Droid Bionic, and other Android devices up against a WP, and they lost in many category's as well. This is only a short recap of all that were tested. What device would you suggest they test?? What device do you use? And I'm going to tell you something, you could convince a much larger percentage of androind users that WP is better overall than you could vice versa. That's the point, though you can point out some issues with WP, and they may be valid because you're right WP isn't perfect, you don't want to start comparing the quality of the total WP experience with Android...You know that's a loosing battle. Now, when more and more WP users start to switch to Android then we will talk, but as long as it's the other way around then it's probably in your best interests, if Android or iOS is your Fav, to focus on those systems, especially if you like ADroid because it has some even more serious issues than WP.

    Nevertheless, thanks for the feedback, and keep posting your opinions with us. Welcome to the WP Blog..Everyone is welcome.

  • Mannlou
    1 Posts

    @JackPulliam3rd I've been on the WP& platform since July and it's been buttery smooth the entire time over two different phones. This is NOT Windows Mobile or anything like The Windows of old. I'm on my second device, the HTC Titan which is being used in this series of challenges and I have to say it's the best phone I have ever had and I'm including all of the iPhones (which I have owned and loved as well) except the 4s.

  • Nice propaganda.  Using the iPhone 4, the Pre Plus and ANYTHING BlackBerry is like taking Granny to the gym and challenging her to a bench press contest.  These are all old, dying devices and in the case of webOS, un-maintained software.  Get some real, unbiased tests together.  Nothing Microsoft-driven.  Developers and knowledgeable users want to see how well implemented HTML5 is for web apps (Web Workers, Web Sockets, History Management, File API, Shared Workers, "overflow-scrolling", etc.).  I've noticed there a TON of HTML5 MOBILE sites that don't work properly where iOS, Android, and even BlackBerry AT LEAST render those sites or web apps.  BLACKBERRY?  With that said, another area that Windows Phone fails and is why I won't buy the Lumia 900 or Titan II is that the storage is too little.  At 16MP, the pictures taken by the Titan II will soon rival the space my music consumes, which I have to keep to a self-determined minimum and tether to my PC when I want to swap out music files.  I might as well get a dumb feature phone and an iPod shuffle if I want that little flexibility and space.  The least you could do is have a hard memory amount mandate (minimum 16GB) to be supplied by OEMs and then allow expansion slots for mini SDHC cards.  A 16GB maximum is insufficient.  Part of the reason MICROSOFT can't sell Windows Phone is because it doesn't listen to the END-USER.  You guys to a praise-worthy job of working with developers, but your actions regarding giving users what they want are laughable and a turn off, regardless of how nice Windows Phone is as an initial user experience.

  • Kebab77
    1 Posts

    What about javascript / web browsing performance? <- Windows phones get smoked by nearly everything!

  • prinzd
    1 Posts

    Windows Phone rocks.... Ever since i started using WP, i knew that it saves lot of time and really "smart".... I wish MS takes these kind of compaigns to retail stores and prove to folks that WP is one of the best phones.... In future challenges, i would hope some one does HTML 5 browsing too....

  • This was just a brilliant campaign.  I loved watching every minute I could find on youtube.

  • Also, has anyone received the fix/update for the "disappearing screen"??

  • @ Uchendu

    Yes, I'm aware of that, but I will wait and see if this is what's happening. Now, with Mango I have noticed that the tile updates itself im real time, as the update complete. That's not what I'm seeing now which which is what raised my question. Oh well, if it keeps up I will let you guys, and gals know.

  • @Rodney, bear in mind that if there is an update on the marketplace live tile and you tap it to go into the marketplace and download the updates, you have to press Back to go back to the home screen and clear the live tile. If you press the Windows key to go back to the home screen (or put the phone on standby or something), the live tile will not be cleared until the tile does its regularly-scheduled update (which happens every half-hour, I believe.) So then the next time you hit the home screen, you'll see an update notification, you'll tap it and there will be no updates because you already downloaded them all.

  • Congrats, Ben! I had no doubt in my mind, and I frequently beat my coworkers phones too. :)

    @JackPulliam3rd... you assume it will, but who cares? The whole point is to promote WP and let people see it, touch it, experience it in order to promote awareness... and it's fun to see!

  • When will we have 32GB/64GB phones?

  • Hey Ben, can you let everyone at the Windows Phone team know that I'm extremely thankful that they worked to allow/support LTE now instead of waiting until the next major update.  Bravo!

  • Conny
    60 Posts

    Haven't noticed that myself Rodney.

    @Ben, these videos of yours just make me smile. Can I be your side kick next time?

  • I love WP! I knew it could do it. Great articles...

    This is OS, but has anyone else been getting notifications for updates on the marketplace tile, but when opening the app there's nothing available? I have had this happen 3 times in the past few days. I'm wondering if I'm missing updates because of this potential bug

    Is anybody out there experiencing false alerts, regarding app updates, on the marketplace live tile?

  • what happens in a few months when windows rot sinks in?