Recap of the Windows Phone $100 "smoked" challenge at CES

Yesterday we covered the $100 challenge happening here at CES 2012. Basically, you can challenge Ben "the PC Guy" Rudolph from Microsoft to a speed test with your current phone versus his HTC TITAN. The task involves any "everyday" type of action that regular users may attempt and has resulted in quite a lot of media coverage due to its ingenuity.


Now Microsoft has put up the fruit of their labor by showcasing all the challenges from yesterday in a great montage. Needless to say, it is quite inspiring and humorous to watch.

We met up with Ben yesterday and watched a few of these challenges. Everyone was certainly having fun and the fanboyism was no where to be seen--just good, honest competition with everyone being a fair sport. We asked Ben if this would be a regular event but it looks like it might not be--the longer this is out there, the more people can game the system (including potentially scripts and custom ROM advantages, which takes the "regular user" dynamic out of the equation).

Ben Rudolph's shirt. Punk yeah!

Speaking of, we may send Phil over from Android Central to see if he can best Ben and his phone. So far though, the only winner has been an iPhone 4s and no Androids.

Thanks, Vernon S., for the tip!


Reader comments

Recap of the Windows Phone $100 "smoked" challenge at CES


Or not.  I can't say either way, but at a place like CES, it's easy to miss something every once in a while.  Calm down.

Ben Rudolph @BenThePCGuy Close Just lost a "post a photo to twitter" challenge to a Galaxy Nexus by a third of a second! 7 big wins today though. #smokedbywindowsphone
here ya go justin you ignorant uninformed fanboy. BOOM!!
Or this since I know your are such a blind fanboy to not admit you are wrong. http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/windowsphone/archive/2012/01/...
This guy won with a motorola atrix...he texted faster by a hair. But he got his $100!
There ya go justin. Hop off. smh everytime your dumbass makes a comment because 99% of them are so clueless they make me laugh.

WOW.  Calm down.  Turned the fun article into something not so fun in a matter of seconds. Wish there was a 100 bucks for that.

Yeah well if Justin.Tv would actually know what he is talking about and not just being a douche maybe he wouldn't have gotten banned from the forums. Since he is banned there he takes his ignorance here and acts like he knows something when clearly I proved him wrong.

Just to let everyone know, the video doesn't show every "battles". So far Ben and his WP7 only lost 3 times and won over 30 times!

Did anybody go over there with a Windows Phone to try to win a hundy from Ben? :P
It seems that's the only way to do it.

Some of the videos I've seen show that the people challenging him have no clue what they're doing. For example, he did one weather challenge with a guy (check the weather in 2 cities) who was on Android. The guy could have easily added two weather widgets on his home screen (which is what ben did when he pinned two accuweather tiles) but instead he was checking the weather via a weather website he had bookmarked in his browser.
Now I'm not saying there was any cheating involved, but winning the challenge was definately based on the fact that the Android user didn't know how to set up his phone.
Also, a lot of the challenges WP7 is slightly faster but the other OSes provide better results. For example, when he challenges the 4s user to check the weather. WP7 wins by a fraction of a second but iOS actually provides better results by suppying 5 day forecasts instantly rather than just the current temp.

Before I make this comment, I want people to understand I love WP7.  I'm not a hater if it, or the other two big mobile OS's.
That said, this is marketing people.  Windows phone has had some ingenous marketing stunts like this.  However, they are designed to show of WP7's strengths.  I would be willing to bet somebody could go next to him with an iPhone booth on one side, and an android phone booth on the other, with the exact same bet, and challenges suited to those OS's strengths.  They would have a similiar winning streak.
In other words, I agree with goeken.  Great marketing, I love to see it.  Just don't read into it.  That is, unless you believe everything an apple commercial tells you :p

Even if the android user had widget pinned to his home screen, I could have beat him by having two "WeatherLive" tiles pinned to the start screen on my WP7, which be the way give me a 6-day forcast for cities along with the following other information: history, hourly, trend, radar,satellite,webcams,astronomy, etc.

I see your point but they both have to agree to the task at hand. Ben's set up is precisely what people don't understand about WP7 because most haven't used it. He pinned multiple cities to his start screen - smart. I stumbled upon that with Accuweather weeks after I had it installed. It's a nice feature and should be noted as a WP7 advantage, or at least touted as similare to an Android widget.
So yes, this is playing to the strengths of the of OS just like any advertising would do. I don't see Apple talking about how great it is not to be able to switch batteries or have Siri open a specific in app in commercials either.

I just read the article of what the Sprint Exec said about MS excitment or lack there of into the public domain. This is perfect marketing material. It does not need to be fancy. As a matter of fact, it needs to be simple for the every day consumer. This is a TV commercial in the making that needs to happen. How much of that 100-200 million in marketing budget was used for this? ...none.

I smell Super Bowl or some Primtime commercial in the works for sure. I like that they occasionaly show the losses too. WP7 is great for everyday tasks and this is a great way to showcase the differences in the experience.

It doesn't matter if a WP7 is faster than an Android phone, because Android phones have dual-cores and are faster...somehow...right?

The loss to the iPhone 4s was actually a win, and here is why...  His windows phone started uploading the photo faster than the guy with the iPhone.  After the upload starts, it's out of the phone's hands as to how long it takes.  The iPhone could have gone faster b/c it was connected to wiFi and the WP wasn't, or the iPhone could have been on Verizon and their service is faster in that location, or whatever the reason.  Fact of the matter is that uploading the pic is out of the hands of the phone once he got there.

people could techinically say its because the phone doesn't upload fast enough, but my feeling is network during CES is unstable so either phone could have had the speed issue...