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Ben Rudolph

A few weeks ago on the GeekWire podcast, Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph challenged Todd Bishop and I to a speed test, matching our iPhones against his Windows Phone as we performed a browsing challenge. It’s part of a larger-scale marketing effort by Microsoft, dubbed “Smoked by Windows Phone,” to build buzz for its latest smartphone platform, which remains stuck at just under five percent marketshare.

We may have lost our challenge to Rudolph. But a California blogger actually was able to outdo the Windows Phone this weekend with his Galaxy Nexus as he pulled up weather information from two cities on his device faster than those at Microsoft. Fair enough, right.

Well, what happened afterwards is where Microsoft is taking it on the chin. According to the challenge winner, Sahas Katta, Microsoft employees at a store in Santa Clara, California where the competition occurred didn’t want to recognize his accomplishment.

“After trying to push for a real answer since I clearly won the contest by their rules, another Microsoft Store employee (possibly a manager) came by after noticing me asking more questions. Thinking on his feet, he quickly gave a ridiculous out-of-thin-air reason that I need to display the weather of different cities in different states and that “my phone could not do that.” I calmly and politely tried pointing out that I was absolutely never told about having to show off two different states, but at 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,” Katta wrote in a blog post.

Well, Rudolph, also known as “Ben the PC Guy,” says in a Tweet that he wants to “make things right” and has a laptop, phone and an apology for Katta.


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