Microsoft Tells Man He Didn't Win Windows Phone Challenge "Just Because"

UPDATE: After hearing about this story, Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph reached out to the non-winning winner, Tweeting “I want to make things right. So I’ve got a laptop & phone (& apology) for you. Email me!”
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Microsoft is running something called the Windows Phone Challenge, where people test their Android devices against Windows Phones (yes, they still exist) at a Microsoft Store, all for a chance at winning a $1,000 Hunger Games-themed laptop. A man in California claims he actually won the challenge but walked away with nothing because of the whims of store staffers.

At the Microsoft Store, the man says he used a Samsung Galaxy Nexus to compete in the challenge. When prompted, he restarted his phone and then was told what his specific challenge would be.

From his blog post about the challenge:

The Microsoft Store employee I was up against then explained the selected challenge. Her exact words were the following: “bring up the weather of two different cities.” The one who could do that first would win. I felt like I struck gold since I knew I already had two weather widgets on my home screen: one for my current location (San Jose, CA) and another for Berkeley, CA.

Because he had also taken advantage of an Android feature that allows you to disable the lock screen, all he had to do was hit his power button to go to the home screen. He says he announced he was “DONE!” right before his challenger did.

But his victory was short-lived:

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.”

He says he eventually got to speak to someone who may have been a store manager, who suddenly claimed that the reason he’d lost was because the challenge was to display the weather in two cities in two different states.

“[A]t this point I realized there was no point in even attempting to argue since the Microsoft Store employees clearly had no intention of even potentially discussing the possibility of considering me the winner,” he writes.

Making matters worse, he says store employees asked him to have his photo taken in front of a sign indicating that “My Android was smoked by Windows Phone.”

The man says he’d love to get a chance at a re-match.

I Won The Windows Phone Challenge, But Lost “Just Because” [Skattertech.com via Reddit]