If you live near a Microsoft Retail Store, the controversial Smoked by Windows Phone challenge does have one silver lining; you can get a free Windows Phone for that old, ancient smartphone. But, you have to hurry, tomorrow is the last day.
Here’s the deal. While many thought that this challenge required a new two-year contract, it doesn’t. And that changes things… significantly. Smoked by Windows Phone is the now-infamous challenge where you can pit your smartphone against Windows Phone 7.5, and see which is faster. If your phone wins, you could get a shot at a $1,000 HP laptop, but that has had mixed results.
Basically, you can go to any Microsoft Retail Store, lose the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge, and at least have a new Windows Phone on its way to you. Some stores are out of stock already, but are giving vouchers for a free Windows Phone.
What Windows Phone you get will depend on what device you bring in, and lose the challenge with. You must bring in an AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon device. MVNOs and prepaid devices are apparently being rejected at high rates. Reason being, you will only get a Windows Phone on the same carrier that your device is branded with. Unlocked/unbranded device holders are getting away with just saying what carrier they would like though.
Now the important bit. Microsoft will capture your phone at the time of trade-in. So, if you have a Samsung Galaxy S (modern smartphone) and Samsung Behold II (ancient smartphone)… you may want to drop your SIM card in the Behold II for today/tomorrow.
One more semi-important bit. Lines are long. Very long. Hours long. Many who have taken the challenge report up to four hour waits to get a device (or even just a voucher for your device’s future arrival). You also should call your local Microsoft Retail Store before trekking down. Some stores are only doing the challenge at certain hours, creating mob-grade lines. Other stores, like the Santa Clara, CA store, are reportedly running the challenge all-day.
With tomorrow being the final day of the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge, expect lines to be extremely long. This may, however, be the first good reason to camp out outside a Microsoft Retail Store.