My favorite photos & stories from the “Smoked” tour of Southern California

My favorite photos & stories from the “Smoked” tour of Southern California

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I’m on a flight back to Seattle from San Diego, where yesterday we wrapped up our “Smoked by Windows Phone” tour of Southern California.  This was a really great trip; not only did we show hundreds of people why Windows Phone is simply faster than other smartphones at the real, everyday stuff that real, everyday people do on their phones, but my crew and I had the chance to meet some really cool people.  Here are some of my favorite photos – and stories – from our 3-day trip. 

See you back in Redmond!


This little girl watched our challenges for about 30 minutes before coming over to ask me “Is your phone better than my dad’s iPhone?”  She loves to play games so I showed her Kinectimals for Windows Phone.  Those cute, cuddly cubs pretty much sealed the deal for her and her dad.

4 at a time

These four guys came to South Coast to challenge me, but got there right as we were packing up.  But they came down to Mission Viejo to try their luck the next day!   Really nice guys who love technology.  To say thanks for their energy and for being such good sports, I upgraded all of them on the spot to Windows Phones.

WM upgrader

This is Christopher.  He came into the Mission Viejo store to upgrade his 5-year-old HTC Windows Mobile 5 (!) device to Windows Mobile 6.5.  I saved him the trouble by upgrading him to an HTC Titan.  Really nice guy who I know will make great use of that new phone.  He also earned 100 nerd-cred bonus points for wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt…that matched his girlfriend’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt.   Totally awesome.

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Brian and Krystal said the most important thing they do on their phones is take pictures of their son.   As a dad of 2 (almost 3, our next little one is due soon!), I know exactly what they mean.  Since there’s no phone better (or faster) at that than a Windows Phone, so I hooked them up with a pair so they never miss a moment. 


Marion’s been a Windows Phone fan since day 1, and he’s also an aspiring Windows Phone app developer.  I got him a Samsung Focus S to use as his every day phone so he could turn his first-gen Focus into a dev/test unit.  I know he’s going to build something amazing!


I wrote this on the chalkboard in my hotel room.   I thought it pretty much summed up the trip.  Smile

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  • Semmal
    8 Posts

    not directly related to this post, but it would be good to see the Hotmail login page image changed to a Windows Phone image.  With all Windows Phones pretty much directly tied to an Hotmail account, its not right to have iPhone as the prominent image in Hotmail home page - these simple things can add up to all of the marketing efforts of Microsoft in getting more people to know about this wonderful platform

  • Math
    1 Posts

    OMG Can u plz come to sweden! I really need to get out of the shady android business and get a reason to change my Galaxy S2!

  • @ Peter Kremsar

    Nice picture!.... Well, that's why I said looping image, which could be a Gif file or another type of resources efficient file. It can be done fairly simply, and it probably will come in time. But, I want it now!... Now, back to your pic... You sure do look a lot like Cameron Diaz....

  • @Rodney - I agree, that would be cool sure. But remember. All these Animated Live tiles would smoke out your phone battery very quickly.

  • And check this sister out. She's got it goin on with WP!  We need more "fans with influence" like her.

  • @ djmikebrady

    Dude! did you get the pics?

    And, I love Twitter.. found this tweet a minute ago.. ""Dear Android, It's not you, it's me. I need a phone with ZunePass and without bloat. NO, IT IS YOU! I'm #DumpingMyDroid for @windowsphone! "" Priceless! And thanks to Courtney Cachet as well.

  • @Rodney - dude next to me on the train tonight is kickin' it old skool, with a Zune 30!

  • SeNiLe911
    12 Posts

    I had the pleasure of meeting Ben at South Coast Plaza as well ( What a great guy! Keep up the great work Ben... and thanks again for the HTC Titan!

  • jjbowles
    43 Posts

    Windows MObile 5.0?!?!?  Dude...  That is some old stuff.  I had a love hate relationship with My WinMo 6.5 phone.  I liked the fact I could flash my own ROMs.  There seemed to be a new ROM weekly available form somewhere.  On the other hand, that platform grew into a crazy fragmented mess.  It reminds me of where Android is today.  Microsoft made the right thing and dumped WinMo for WP, but they should have done it a year earlier.

  • I agree with djSupport. Please come do a tour of the UK so we also can meet you in person.

  • I love Windows Phone because Ben Rudolph Smoked the competition!,, You know what would blow the competition away?? Well, Fully Animated Live Tiles! Can you imagine single, or double tiles playing silent 16:9, 30 second, looping video clips of weather radar, music videos, app clips from developers, YouTube favorites, IMDB clips, and so on? Can you imagine how cool that would look sitting on the shelf at retail locations? If retail associates wont sell the phone have the phones sell themselves.. HAHAHAHA! This is going to be great!

  • Are you bringing this to the UK? all the blog posts are US this and US that even the competition that was just posted! only for US residents!! There is alot of windows phone devotees in the UK too! I've had a windows phone since 2002!!!

  • Greg
    2 Posts

    Looks like fun! Wish there was a Microsoft Store in my area. =[

  • Come to sunny Florida! I'm sick and tired of all the iSheep-le walking around with their heads stuck in their phones. I love being able to at a glance get an update via technology and then get back to what really matters in life: living it!

  • Jarret
    4 Posts

    Awesome stuff! Sounds like Microsoft needs a Windows Phone Evangelist for this kind of stuff in Canada, and I'll gladly take the job. ;)