Microsoft challenges Dilbert creator to try Windows Phone

This one is fun. Dilbert creator Scott Adams recently blogged about his dissatisfaction with the various smart phones he’s used, and he’s tried all the big players so far (Blackberry, iPhone and then Android). But as the logical sort, he’s tired of the smart phone BS that Apple acolytes in particular just accept without questioning, like poor battery life and horrible phone call quality.

My Android phone works most of the time for voice calls. But I’m afraid to actually use it because the battery life is about an hour and it’s no good to me with no power.

Now I only think of my phone as an emergency device, like my first brick-sized cell phone. I wouldn’t use it to make a social phone call. My battery wouldn’t last. And I wouldn’t often use it for email because the keyboard sucks and the battery drains then as well.

Yes, I have researched all the many ways to save battery life. I have apps that kill other apps. I turn off Wi-Fi and 4G and Bluetooth until I need them. Nothing seems to keep my battery from draining like a frat boy’s bladder on a Saturday night. Result: I leave my Android plugged in all the time, whether I am at my desk, near my bed, or in the car.

Thank you Google for inventing a corded phone. I can’t wait for your next innovation: the butter churn.

So Microsoft Windows Phone developer evangelist Brandon Watson has contacted Adams and challenged him to use a Windows Phone. If he doesn’t like it, Watson will donate $1000 to the charity of his choice. (The challenge comes via a comment in the blog post cited above.)

Scott –

My name is Brandon Watson and I am responsible for the developer platform on Windows Phone. Since your readership has a high probability of cross over with our developer base, how about I make you a deal with one of the phones we reserve for developers. Take Windows Phone for a spin. I’ll send you a developer phone with the new Mango OS on it. Give it an honest run, and if you don’t love it more than either of your iPhone or Android experiences, I’ll make a $1000 donation to the charity of your choice. You can’t really lose on this deal.

Do we have 500K apps? No. Do we have 25K, growing as fast as iPhone did, and 2x as fast as Android? Yes. Do developers love the dev environment? Uh huh. Do we have the only phone that puts people and communications first? You bet. If Androids dream of electronic iSheep, people dream about people – and that’s what you will get with Windows Phone. Keep in constant contact with those most important to you with Live Tiles, groups, messaging threads, and native Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And no special instructions on how to hold the phone to make calls. Oh, and the battery lasts a long time.

I can be reached at ThePhone [at] microsoft. You can call me if you want – 425-985-5568. Windows Phone devs will tell you that’s the right contact info, because it’s shared with every one of them.

I hope you take me up on this one…there’s no reason to hate your phone.

So. Bravo to Mr. Watson for this one. And if Adams has any credibility at all, he’ll take up Microsoft on this offer.

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26 Responses to Microsoft challenges Dilbert creator to try Windows Phone

  1. allisterf says:

    Like it! Put your money where your mango is.

  2. Although it’ll never get a fair shake in the tech press, this seems like a simple enough way to advocate for a product, and noticing that some people out there don’t really want what everyone else wants, or is said to want.

  3. He is experiencing the same problems my Dad has. I don’t plan on upgrading my dads phone till his contract is up. My dad compared his Andriod to taking care of child. Always hungry, usless when you need it to do some actully work it is usless.

    I agree with you Bravo to Mr. Watson. I am really curious on if Scott takes the offer or not and also his toughts on the mango device.

  4. Ruy says:

    I just loved the “If Androids dream of electronic iSheep, people dream about people”. Kudos for this one, and thank you, Paul, as always, for sharing!

  5. timnfl says:

    This form of advertising and promotion seems like it will have a greater impact than the “Really” ads that were launched during the initial premier. Getting influencers on the bandwagon and having them highlight the advantages seems like a win win for the platform. BTW, Brandon didn’t stop there. He also posted the WP7 challenge to Molly wood via twitter:

    This fall looks like it will be an interesting time indeed.

  6. ngreader says:

    This is great… Brandon rocks!!! We love him as developers.
    And we need many more like above before Mango release.

    – NextGen Reader
    (A google reader client for windows phone)

  7. Sounds to me like Scott Adams doesn’t need or want a smartphone at all. I think he should buy a cheap feature phone (weeks of battery life, good reception and call quality above all else).

  8. lsobrado says:

    Well I hope he tries a mango device because nodo, ain’t going to cut it. heck, I still can’t download PDFs to the phone and email them later even in the latest and greatest mango dev beta….

  9. Bryan Powell says:

    So, all of a sudden iPhone 4 does not have great battery life? Did Paul just make that up? Going back to the 3GS and 3G battery life has been about on par with other smartphones, the 4 is superior. My work phone is a Focus (so I know what I am talking about in this context). Does Paul think the Windows Phone users just blindly accept its average to poor battery life?

    Statements like this are why I always end up thinking you are biased Paul. It’s simply not true.

  10. captobie says:

    Seems like a $1,000 to charity is pretty strong incentive to give it a try. Could backfire though, if he doesn’t like it Windows Phone could become a new topic for the comic strip.

  11. jsfain says:

    Careful Mr Watson – I have a developer phone and it can’t keep a charge; even sitting idle.
    I am interested though to know if this means that Microsoft has a real direction and user base target for its phone, certainly was not apparent at launch.

  12. tinod says:

    This is all good but: I’m also struggling with the experience and stability of Android on my Nexus One and still don’t like to switch to a Windows Phone because of the simple fact that I couldn’t do the same things on it here in my country. “Experience” is important but it is pointless when you can’t get the services and information you need on the go. Bing on mobile devices outside of the U.S. is still a joke. Seriously. Google is updating their Maps app almost every two weeks with outstanding features that can be used around the globe and Microsoft can’t improve their service faster than every year? Hello!?

    Will Mango change this? Or do we have to wait for the next services update another full year? It is still not clear if Local Scout will work in every country in the EU or if Bing will finally show businesses and shops near you on the map.

  13. “So. Bravo to Mr. Watson for this one. And if Adams has any credibility at all, he’ll take up Microsoft on this offer.”

    Wow! If Adams doesn’t accept the offer, he’s no credibility? It has to be HIS PERSONAL CHOICE.

  14. Pingback: Microsoft’s Brandon Watson bets $1,000 that ‘Dilbert’ creator will like WP7, offers same to CNET’s Molly Wood - Zunited

  15. roteague says:

    It looks like he accepted:

    “@BrandonWatson: We got @mollywood & Dilbert accepted too! #wp7dev coming soon to an unhappy Android-user internet celebrity near you. Anyone other takers?”

  16. moonshadow101 says:

    Seems like this might backfire. WP7 isn’t really substantially better than the platforms he’s tried so far in the categories that he’s concerned about.

    Maybe they should have given him a Kin instead. : )

  17. Aditya says:

    And.. I love this jab…
    And no special instructions on how to hold the phone to make calls.

    • Aditya says:

      And @ Paul..this line from you…
      And if Adams has any credibility at all, he’ll take up Microsoft on this offer.

      Seems over blown to me…

  18. drummerboygreg says:

    That’s an awesome idea. Seeing as I live in Ontario, Canada close to Waterloo (the home of RIM) all we’ve been hearing on the news lately is stories about the job cuts coming and why RIM growth is falling. Not once has Windows phone been mentioned. Mostly, they (the radio and TV news folks) talk about the iPhone. Occasionally, they’ll call an “expert” who will also talk about the iPhone and briefly mention Android. But never, ever, is Windows Phone mentioned.

  19. Pingback: Dilbert Should Try Windows Phone |

  20. 123keith says:

    Paul, please, follow-up on this offer. I hope this story doesn’t fizzle out.

  21. Pingback: Smart Phones, Microsoft, and Canada « Ramblings on IT

  22. Pingback: Microsoft challenges Dilbert creator to try Windows Phone | Wow! Windows 8

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