Enter a Microsoft Store, Leave with a Free $1,000 PC or an Unlocked Windows Phone

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    By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)

    If I had to name one thing that is stopping Microsoft from taking off in the mobile space, it is the company’s branding. It is the name Windows Phone, it is the syncing software called Zune, and it is things like this.

    The platform itself is solid and its main selling point is speed. If you have been reading this blog for some time, you surely remember Microsoft “Smoked by Windows Phone” campaign back in CES 2012. I loved it.

    Well, Microsoft announced that it is going for another round of “Smoked by Windows Phone” and as far as consumers are concerned, it is a win win. Well, almost.

    All you have to do is walk into a Microsoft retail store and enter the contest. If you can do one of the tasks below faster than a Windows Phone, you can win a limited edition Hunger Games PC (HP Folio 13 Special Edition) valued at $1,049.00. If you lose and the Windows Phone device does the task faster than your iPhone or Android device, you get a free unlocked Windows Phone from Microsoft.

    The company explains “The object of this Contest is for You to come into the Microsoft Store and try to beat the Microsoft Windows Phone in a series of five “Smoked by Windows Phone” challenge scenarios selected by Microsoft.”

    The tasks include:

    (1) “Pocket-to-Picture-to-Post”

    (2) “Real-Time Information with Live Tiles”

    (3) “Using the People Hub to Stay in Touch with the People You Care About Most”

    (4) “Updating Your Status Across Multiple Social Networks”

    (5) “Local Scout (“Challenge”)”- Not sure what this one means…

    So what’s the catch? In order to win the new Windows Phone, you need to trade in your current device. I am not convinced people will be willing to leave their iPhone 4S or Galaxy Nexus in a Microsoft store so they can walk out with a Windows Phone device.

    You can read all the conditions of this contest here, but be warned, you might feel like you are reading a contract for a mortgage and not a marketing campaign for a mobile phone.

    All in all, the idea is fantastic and it plays on the selling points of the new OS. I think Microsoft should drop the condition that I need to leave my phone in the store but maybe it’s just me.

    You can watch some of the contestants try their luck here.