ben rudolph

Straw is a new Windows Phone app that aims to help you get instant feedback from your friends and followers on social networks. Recently, we covered the polling app and its public beta on Windows Phone. Since our initial coverage, the app has received numerous updates fixing bugs and addressing feedback from a growing user base. We figured it was as good a time as ever to talk with Straw co-founder Ben Rudolph about the founding of the app and its future.

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Microsoft's ExpertZone is a program within the company to help out knowledgeable retail sales staff. Those are the guys and gals who work at electronic retailers around the globe. ExpertZone is a place where those with a passion for Microsoft products can talk, learn and get rewarded.

Last week at E3 2014, over 300 lucky ExpertZone members had a chance to check out the Xbox booth after show floor hours. Guests were treated to food, drinks, and, of course, a whole lot of games. Here's a look at that event and what Microsoft does to give retail pros an edge in the workplace.

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Microsoft is at it again. Challenging the competition to see how things stack up against the Windows Phone.

This round, Ben Rudolph (a.k.a. Ben the PC Guy) takes on the Samsung Galaxy S3 with a Nokia Lumia 920 to see which takes the steadiest video. The optical stabilization on the Lumia 920 may make this an unfair fight but in the end, the video has less bounce and is more blur-free.

Source: YouTube/Windows Phone; Thanks, Aaron, for the tip!

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Although the “Smoked by Windows Phone” shenanigans are mostly over and Microsoft is not routinely engaging in phone challenges anymore, it’s still great to finally see the gist of it coming to TV. Such is the case with this new ad featuring Microsoftie Ben Rudolph and a couple who were using a Samsung Galaxy S3.

The concept is the same: do a challenge between two phones, in this case take a photo at night, and see which device wins. Of course, the GS3 is up against the Nokia Lumia 920, a phone designed for low-light shooting, so it should be little surprise to see it win here. For their trouble, the couple gets a Windows Phone.

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We had previously reported on Ben Rudolph kicking off the newest campaign to convince non Windows Phone users there is another way

The new website brings the existing videos into one place and even uses live tiles to allow you to select each video. Ben takes on Android and even turns around a potential iPhone 5 customer, if anyone can, Ben can. They need one Ben Rudolph in every mobile phone store, who could say no?

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Ben Rudolph has returned with his marketing power to push Windows Phone 8 out the door and down to the elderly couple at the end of the road. It was only back in January that Rudolph kicked off the "Smoked by Windows Phone" challenges, which saw many participants attempt to best Windows Phone with competitor handsets.

According to a post published on the Windows Phone Blog, the team has run over 250,000 challenges in 54 countries - quite a campaign indeed. Recorded montages have been viewed more than 70 million times in total. But he's back with a new challenge - Meet Your Match. So what's new?

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Microsoft's Ben Rudolph is shown in Microsoft's latest video giving the new 7.8 Start screen a brief tour. The video was part of Microsoft's new 7.5/7.8 page which just covers some basic features that we already know about.

Call it damage control or Redmond genuinely being excited for the update, but the video featuring the Lumia 900 seems designed specifically to remind us that Nokia's flagship phone is alive and well. 

Nothing new is revealed in the video that we haven't seen already but with the recent faux-rumor that Microsoft would be building it's own phone (and then their denial at Information Week), Nokia needs as much positive spin as they can get. There is little doubt that the "no Windows Phone 8 for current phones" is hurting the Finnish quite hard, as their stock has dropped to a 16-year low, hovering at $2.16 a share.

Between Nokia's commitment to continually deploy new software (like this weekend's Play To and Camera Extras) plus the 7.8 update, we're not feeling too bad about the 900's status but clearly it has divided the community

The question though is how soon is this 7.8 update coming? Obviously it's still in testing though it doesn't look too far off either. Here's to hoping for end of the summer, at the latest.

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Microsoft's Smoked by Windows Phone began way back in January at the 2012 CES conference. Since, it's grown by leaps and bounds traveling to various Microsoft Stores across the nation and world wide.  We've even seen the Smoke by Windows Phone challenges held by former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra.

Ben Rudolph, who started all this, has released some numbers associated with the Smoked by Windows Phone.

  • 95%: Windows Phone's global winning percentage
  • 36: The number of countries running Smoked by Windows Phone promotions
  • 50,000+: The number of phones that have been smoked by a Windows Phone
  • 8,000,000+: The total number of views the Smoked by Windows Phone has generated since it launched in January.
  • 100,000,000+: The estimated number of people who have seen, participated in or read about Smoked by Windows Phone. 

The Smoked by Windows Phone campaign will continue with a new set of internet ads hitting the web today. The ads are also available over at the Windows Phone YouTube Channel. While the Smoked by Windows Phone has had its moments of controversy, the campaign has brought a lot of attention to how well our Windows Phones measures up against the competition.

Source: Windows Team Blog

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Ben Rudolph, famous for his Smoked by Windows Phone promotions is at it again.  He's giving away a Nokia Lumia 710 today. Who know's based on the photo he may giving away more than one once the dust settles.

To enter just tweet @BenThePCGuy with the hash tag #windowsphone why you want a Windows Phone. Ben will pick the best story to win.

The catch, the contest ends today at 5:00pm PST. Sorry for the short notice but Ben is building a reputation for spontaneity.

source: @BenThePCGuy; Thanks, damthman, for the tip!

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Ben Rudolph has been challenging consumers who wield smartphones on other platforms to see which is faster with common tasks, which began at CES 2012 with some positive results. He's now bringing the $100 challenge to Microsoft Stores across southern California, starting today at the South Coast Plaza Microsoft Store in Costa Mesa, CA (between 2pm - 8pm).

The rules remain the same. Should a challenger win against Windows Phone they'll pocket $100. But should they lose...

Be sure to follow Ben on Twitter for updates on the action.

Source: Windows Phone Team Blog

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Following what looks to be a massive adware outbreak on the Android marketplace, Microsoft's Ben Rudolph is looking to ease the pain of 20 affected users by giving them free Windows phones.  Rudolph asked what may be 5 million victims to share their stories via Twitter today, in hopes that their "Droidrage" might be cured.  Those who have the best stories (or worst, depending on how you look at it), will receive one of the 20 devices.  It's not clear what kind of phone winners will receive, but hey, a free WP7 phone is a free WP7 phone!

Microsoft has been pretty keen on these light-hearted promotions, pitting Windows Phone up against other mobile operating systems.  This is the second time that Android users have received such an offer, the first being back in December, when a smaller malware outbreak occurred.  And at CES, Ben Rudolph was challenging attendees to speed tests in the "Smoked by Windows Phone," which may even become a traveling affair.

Source: Ben Rudolph (Twitter)

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The final tally is in on Ben Rudolph's "Smoked by a Windows Phone" challenge with the Windows Phone walking away with a record of 30-3-1. With a winning percentage of 88% Ben was able to demonstrate that Windows Phones are faster than most of the smartphones on the market.

The phones that showed up to face the challenge included the iPhone 4s, Galaxy Nexus, Droid Bionic, Droid Charge, Palm Pre Plus and various Blackberry devices. The three phones that beat the Windows Phone were an iPhone 4s, Galaxy Nexus and Droid Bionic.

The good news is that even the losers walked away a winner with many receiving free Windows Phones. All in all, a good showing that demonstrate that Windows Phones connects people to the stuff they care about faster and easier than other smartphones.

source: windowsteamblog

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As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft's Ben Rudolph (known as Ben the PC Guy) is on-site at CES, looking for inferior phone users willing to accept his speed test challenge. The test in question, from what we hear, involves both Ben and a challenger performing a selected common scenario -- like taking a picture and pushing it to Twitter as fast as possible --, network and fat fingers permitting. (They get a warm up session in an attempt to even the playing ground.) Whoever finishes that scenario first takes the bacon.

Judging by the results thus far, Windows Phone is smoking the competition. You can keep an eye on the steady stream of losers by following @BenThePCGuy or watching tweets tagged with #smokedbywindowsphone.

(Edit: Turns out pushing to Twitter is only one of a few scenarios you can pick from. I genericized the post to reflect this.)

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Remember Brandon Watson's charitable challenge to known technology enthusiasts last year to see if they'd like Windows Phone? We're back with a similar offer, but this time it's aimed at the general public and $100 is on the table. Should you be using an iPhone, Android handset, Blackberry, etc. then you're eligible for the speed test against a Windows Phone. Ben Rudolph (Ben the PC Guy) is at CES 2012, and is on the hunt for challengers who believe their smartphone can best Microsoft's platform.

Should he be beaten, the victor will pocket $100. Should Rudolph reign champion, all you need to do is admit that your phone was smoked by a Windows Phone.  There also may be a nice consolation prize in the mix as well.  Be sure to follow Rudolph on Twitter and keep an eye on Microsoft/Windows Phone Facebook pages to see where he'll be hosting the challenges. Oh, and be sure to follow the hashtag #smokedbywindowsphone on Twitter too.

Source: Windows Phone Blog, thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Last night we reported on how Microsoft was giving away 25 Windows Phones to frustrated Blackberry users (and later expanded to iPhones), who were in the midst of a near worldwide disruption of RIM services. Today, after more than 1,500 well thought out responses to the question "Why do you want a Windows Phone?", twenty-five winners were announced, including their reasons.

Here are the top five:

  1. Jon404: @BenThePCGuy I'm sick of drinking the Apple Kool-aid! I need some Mango to take the taste away ;)
  2. mattymorgs: @BenThePCGuy with #iOS still stuck on its bubbly look from 5 years ago, #windowsphone is the true 'Think Different' of UI style today.
  3. jdnorthwest: @BenThePCGuy As a frustrated #DearBlackberry user I was shopping the Bellevue @MicrosoftStore yesterday for a #windowsphone
  4. sweeneyben: @BenThePCGuy #DearBlackberry my Storm2 was great if I went back in time, but is so outdated, with poor service. I want to go back to Windows
  5. joegaus: @BenThePCGuy i want a #windowsphone because only Beyoncé Knowles' beauty can compare to those DAMN SEXY LIVETILES

What's even better is Microsoft via Ben Rudolph, will be giving away a Windows Phone once per month using the same criteria: send a story about why you want (or need) a Windows Phone. Then, they'll turn that story into a blog post on the Windows Phone Blog. Seems like a decent enough idea!

Congrats to all the winners! We hope you enjoy your new OS, in fact we know you will!

Read more at the Windows Phone Blog.

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