What Is Microsoft Smoking?

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Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) is smoking something, but it doesn't grow out of the ground.

The software giant is bragging about how its Windows Phone mobile operating system is smoking rivals, including all the Apple (NAS: AAPL) iPhones, Google (NAS: GOOG) Androids, and Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) BlackBerrys of the world.

Microsoft had been running its "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign since the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January and was subsequently brought to Microsoft Stores. The contest included a variety of different tasks where contestants faced off their own devices against a Microsoft employee, although the odds were pretty heavily stacked in Mr. Softy's favor.


The tasks were chosen by employees, who were instructed to pick races where Microsoft would have an inherent advantage, while they were told to steer clear of going head-to-head with certain devices in other duels. The iPhone 4S, for example, has "a very fast camera," so the photo challenge would be tough for Mr. Softy to win. Android's widgets gave it a leg up in a contest to pull up the weather. BlackBerrys aren't better at anything, but those contestants just wanted a free new Windows Phone, which was the consolation prize for losers.

Well, the results are in. Microsoft has concluded the campaign and posted the figures, boasting a 98% global win percentage.

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Source: Windows Phone Blog.

Source: Windows Phone Blog.

The contest was run in more than 36 countries, with more than 50,000 face-offs. Those figures represent the victory tally, with only 638 "other phones" (including this Galaxy Nexus) beating Windows Phones even with its home-court advantage.

Of those 50,675 phones that got smoked, I'd like to know how many opted to trade in their "losers" for shiny new Windows Phone, although most of these contenders were probably just trying to win the $1,000 laptop grand prize.

Microsoft says more than 8 million people have viewed the Smoked by Windows Phone videos, while it's estimated that more than 100 million have seen, participated in, or read about the campaign. In that sense, I'd consider this marketing campaign a success. Now all it needs to do is translate that into actual market-share gains.

The software giant continues to play catch-up in the smartphone race, which is but one part of The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution. There's another company that's looking to build momentum with an inside track powering the next generation of gadgets. Grab a free copy of this report to find out who.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorEvan Niuowns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out hisholdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Google, and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Apple, and Google and creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and Apple. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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