Microsoft is getting more aggressive in its attempt to drum up attention for Windows Phone.

The company announced today that it’s planning to air the “Windows Phone Challenge” ad above starting this week during the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, touting the camera in the Nokia Lumia 920 vs. the Samsung Galaxy S3.

It’s an evolution of the company’s “Smoked By Windows Phone” marketing campaign, featuring Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph. That initiative, which started last year, was previously limited to online ads and videos. This is the first time that Microsoft has expanded the campaign into a bona fide TV ad.

The timing is interesting, given that Samsung just announced the Galaxy S4, scheduled for release next month. It’s also notable that Microsoft chose to target Samsung, not Apple, with this first ad. But whatever the target, the company clearly needs to start getting more bold to give Windows Phone some momentum, and this appears to be a step down that path.

Whether or not the Lumia 920 is an “upgrade” from the Galaxy S3 depends on your perspective. The camera on the Lumia is definitely very good. But it would be more interesting to see what Brittany thought about the size of the Lumia 920 — a.k.a. the “Pop-Tart” — after using it for a week. Maybe Microsoft can follow up on that for a future ad.

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  • Nathan O

    The fact is whether you have an iphone, android or WP they can all pretty much do the same thing. This is why MSFT is trying to capitalize on what sets them apart. That being said, the iphone5 does have a great camera so it’s no surprise they don’t put them head to head.

  • Me

    The Windows phone is appalling! It won’t do half the things my 2 year old Samsung Galaxy S1 would do. It won’t connect to my Smart TV, the Facebook ap won’t give you notifications, videos won’t play on certain websites and you can’t upgrade the Flash player, you can’t save contacts to SIM, it only ever sync’s half the music and videos you want, it won’t play certain movie files and much more….. I will be exchanging back to Samsung Galazy at earliest opportunity!

    • Jason Farris

      Wrong on all counts.

    • Glad I’m not you

      So basically you bought it without bothering to evaluate its features vs your needs?

    • frostythesnowman

      Looks more like you didn’t know how to use the phone than anything else…

    • Andy Gillon

      I am trying hard to like the Windows phone 8 as I also had the Galaxy S1, simple phone things dont work like forward text, setup personal notifications, Browse files changing file names, cannot play flash video……the list goes on I would swap tomorrow

      • Jason Farris

        Forwarding txt… easy. Personal notifications… maybe I’m missing your point but txt, email, calendar, social networks, tweets, ebay auctions, news, music etc etc etc all notify. Not to mention live tiles.

        • Jason Farris

          I think it’s great theres lots of choices. I had Android phones for a long time and made the switch to WP because for me it’s a much more intergrated ecosystem and really suits all my business and personal needs. I think Android is a great platform if you like tinkering with your set up, and iPhone is best platform ever made for goofing off. I like the balance WP brings and it’s never let me down.

      • Jason Farris

        BTW, forwarding text = long-press on text. Options are Delete, Copy & Forward. Let me know if you need a screenshot.

      • Jason Farris

        oh… and we have a pile of Galaxy phones down here people are looking to dump so if you want to swap your 920 come on down!

  • FenkZenk

    lol thats too funny. Microsfot cracks me up man.

    • Rami Gideoni

      it seems that certain people having certain “feelings” to Microsoft from various reasons … these feeling might stand per what these people believe is solid ground — but are they really related to the issue on hand? , it might be advisable that those people try to focus there responses to the subject as presented in the article on the top of this page

      • Daniel

        That’s too much to ask these days. Anyone one with a textbox want’s to say something to grab attention.

  • Shawn Christopher

    Jesus Christ, the “Galaxy S3” photo looks like Michael J. Fox took it.

    Anyone can take a shitty photo, with any device.

  • LolaCraftt

    HAHAHA!….HAHAHA! This is a joke right? Microsoft sucks. They just can’t compete with android so they have rigged contest to ‘prove’ their phone is better… sad sad form from the mighty ms.

    • Commenter#10z

      And you make this claim based on?

      • Fourthletter58

        Sales figures and marketshare.

        • James McLaren

          Sales figures and marketshare???…. that is not what was being compared!!! what was being compared was the camera, and there was NO rigging or any fake stuff at all… since after seeing this ad today I took my S3 (previously thinking about getting an S4) and compared the photos against an in-store Lumia 920… the Lumia DOES smoke all the Samsung phones I tested as far a camera is concerned.. since I use my phone as a camera a lot, this is a valued attribute.. So I now have a Lumia 920.. in red. the kids now use the galaxy as a play phone.. I don’t know how long it will last with them throwing it around!!! LOL.

    • WebUser

      the Samsung scrap is not in the league with any high end smartphones. Samsung phones: ugly, android uglier, and laggy. You know Lumia 620, that’s a bottom line Windows Phones. brower performance beat SG 3. That’s a real joke.
      I got tissue for you.

    • guest

      Wow, what an impressive analysis – for a two year old.

  • Rami Gideoni

    Take a video with Nokia Lumia 920, the compression is 720i, which is pretty
    amazing for a phone – try even “flickering” lights, smoke, sea waves
    or moving trees in the wind – he manages to cope with all of them (anyone who
    understands in video compression will share with you these are the toughest
    scenarios to compress) — and it cope with each and every one of them GREAT!!!
    … Rami

    • Fourthletter58

      The S3 shoots 1080p – LOL

      • Rami Gideoni

        I prefer to avoid to other phones
        on the market, but even if other phones support 1080p, this means that they support the frame format — this is NO indication what so ever on the video encoding QUALITY — and this means the ability to compress well the video (size wise) and to cope with “changing” input as I have mentioned above,,,, there is additional factor and its the battery power drain and I can testify only on my Lumia 920 on that matter – it’s great. Rami
        PS: actually, I can refer to the SG3, I had access to it but I believe it would be non-appropriate on my behalf to do so
        Disclaimer: I’m working for MSFT, but not on Windows Phone

  • L L

    Letting Ben take the photos is like letting OJ try on the gloves.

  • Jeremy Schroder

    Todd – Interesting that you would poke fun of the size of the Lumia 920 in comparison to the S3 & S4. Have you compared the specs? The 920 is thicker, but it’s also shorter, and the width is almost identical. I doubt Brittany would have much to say in this comparison.

    Galaxy S3: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
    Galaxy S4: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm
    Lumia 920: 130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7mm

    • Fourthletter58

      Screen size and CPU ? HAHAHAHAHA Samsung smokes that fat Nokia.

      • Rami Gideoni

        Screen size might be a valid factor, CPU — not relevent

      • Daniel

        Shill. Just because someone values certain specs and tries to sell them like its hot stuff.. doesn’t mean it’s better. The experience on Windows Phone is different if it were on the S3 display. It wouldn’t feel as responsive as it is on the Lumia 920 display.

      • Jeremy Schroder

        I think you missed my point. The author was coming down hard on the 920 because of its dimensions. Calling it a “Pop-Tart,” and implying that Brittany would be disappointed with the size of the Lumia, when in fact, it is very comparable to the Galaxy. I wasn’t comparing the screen size or CPU. I have not used the Galaxy, so I don’t feel the need to throw out uninformed comparisons like everyone else.

  • guest

    The WP effort has been full of fail. But these “smoked by” ads are actually engaging and on the margin maybe get some people to take another look at the platform. Rudolph in particular is effective on video, as he is on twitter. But their problems with WP are far beyond what one guy doing a good job of marketing can fix.

  • Jason Farris

    The camera is very, very good. I know, I know, MS sucks!

  • Ads

    Rami, you must clearly either work for MIcrosoft or be another drone following the silly marketing ploys produced. If you had half a brain, when comparing any phone or devices for that matter that it must be comprehensive and all encompassing. Like many i see it as simple. The S3, the original release of, is hands down lighter, has a larger screen size, more capabilities, higher rate of customisation,a cheaper and larger range of apps and a camera that, compared to the specs of the Lumia may not be as good, still bloody great.We are talking minute differences to a typical consumer.OH WAIT DONT FORGET THE QUAD CORE!!

    Looking at a subject with one eye is not the path to enlightenment but the way the marketing departments want you to.

    • Rami Gideoni

      Ads, I indeed work for Microsoft but not from the Windows Phone division and I have written that explicitly as disclaimer at the end of one of my previous responses to this article… look on the keyboard for a small keypad with the word “PgUp”…. found it? Great!! tap it twice and you will see it. You can also see that I work for Microsoft through my profile in LinkedIn, I guess I’m the only one who don’t bother to hide his identity, something which might indicate on you more than on me, It seems this is the last time I bother to read and reply to these articles, one might associate that most is written here …. well, to say the least is embarrassing … and it seems that the writers have chosen wisely when they decided to disclose their true identity.
      Now, let me see if I can locate my “half a brain” and response to your … whatever: The article refereed to specific aspect of the device, it was not about specification comparison although I can relate to this as well (I’m an engineer, not sales or marketing, as you mentioned several times) — I believe that the Lumia 920 camera combined with its image and video processing are better than Samsung Galaxy S3. I have access to both of them, used both of them and even used to work here and there (NOT in Microsoft) on video compression so I can relate to this on an engineering manner. I’m impressed with the capital words used when you referred to number of the cores in the S3… this is meaningless on some many levels — video compression is one of them — and explaining it will require core on SoC architecture, firmware architecture and video encoding.

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