Windows Phone Can’t Beat A Five Year Old iPhone In Microsoft’s Own Challenge [MWC 2012]



BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Prowling the showfloor for scoops on the second day of Mobile World Congress, we happened to stop by the Windows Phone 7 booth, where we discovered that just hours before, an original first-generation iPhone beat a top-of-the-line Windows Phone in one of Microsoft’s very own challenges. Oh, delicious hubris!

Mobile World Congress is filled with companies trying to catch showgoers’ attentions any way they can. Yesterday, I saw three clowns on stilt shoes literally bending over backwards, just trying to catch someone’s eye. Taking a local Catalan girl dressed only in her underpants, dumping a bucket of glitter on top of her, then telling her to hand out pamphlets is another popular stratagem for catching your eye on the tradefloor.

Microsoft’s taking a different tack. With their Windows Phone 7 booth, they are throwing a 100 Euro Windows Phone challenge, in which they invite showgoers to compete for a crisp C-note by having the smartphone in their pocket go head-to-head with a Windows Phone 7 handset.

They do this every two or three hours, so when I stopped by, the last duel had long since passed. Even so, they had a score board of how Windows Phone 7 had stacked up in their tests. And in one of the tests, an original iPhone tied a Windows Phone 7 handset in “Photo / Social.”

We were curious what this meant, so we asked a Microsoft representative, who confirmed that if it said iPhone, it was an original iPhone. She also said she believed that specific showdown involved how long it took to take a photo and then upload it to a social network.

If so, that’s astonishing. A five-year old phone without any semblance of multitasking and running an operating system that is over two years old held its own against one of Microsoft’s biggest and best devices.

To be fair, it seems like this test has more to do with the person operating the phone than it does with the handset’s capabilities, and Windows Phone did beat later iPhones in a series of challenges. But man, that original iPhone tie is a huge black eye on Microsoft’s board! What do you want to bet by day 3 of Mobile World Congress, that tie magically turns into an iPhone 4S?

  • stevearm

    Wow talk about making a story about nothing. a “huge black mark” against Microsoft? Please.

  • Martin Neo Higgins

    agreed. pointless article, ffs, apple nerds

  • Joo Joo

    In my point of view, it shows me that Microsoft are not that evil to hide that truth, they admit defeat with a 5 years old technology. Someone else did not admit defeat. If you know what i mean.

  • bondr006

    John seems to be the master of “pointless”. I don’t know how the hell editors qualify here at COM, but it seems that for the most part using spelling and grammar check are only a secondary priority, while coming up with meaningful and relevant articles is trailing far behind.

  • Matt Ralston

    That board makes no sense!

    Windows Phone vs iPhone 4 – Social. Winner: Windows Phone
    Windows Phone vs iPhone 4S – Photo. Winner: Windows Phone
    Windows Phone va iPhone – Photo/Social. Winner: Tie

    So the Windows Phone beats the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S for Social and Photo, but ties against the original iPhone for the same tests? Are they saying the iPhone is getting worse?

    I’m assuming that an unqualified iPhone is the original model (as John has done). Is Windows Phone always the latest and greatest, or an chronologically equivalent model to the phone being tested against? As “Windows Phone” was only released in 2010 then I have to assume that it’s the former, unless they are using “Windows Phone” is a generic term that encompasses Windows Mobile too.

  • Filip Stessels

    If this challange was about uploading an image (was it?), I bet the 2 megapixel photo made on the original iPhone could be uploaded a lot faster than the 8 megapixel one on the new Windows Phone.

  • Eduardo Davis

    Stupid tests and stupid article… ;-)

  • Royvin

    How in the world did a HTC Hero when anything and better yet why are there still people using that and the original iPhone? Maybe at MWC you might want to pick up a new phone… I’m just sayin.

  • saif365

    this article sucks arse… 

  • ddevito

    Android trumps both walled garden platforms

  • steffenjobbs

    Even though I’m an Apple fanboi, it does seem a rather pointless contest.  Smartphones need to be judged on overall usefulness and not just on one or two points.  Besides, Windows Phone main adversary are the countless, lower-priced Android handsets because both of those OSes compete to be on every handset and tablet device ever made.  iOS will only be on Apple products and therefore has no direct competition.

  • Timothy Murray

    If its good enough for the President, it is good enough for me.

  • Chengis Khan

    What about 3, 8, 9… which shows windows phone beating iPhone 4 and 4s. Does that mean recent iPhones are worse than older ones? Do that actually pay you by the number of articles you write? Why on earth would you write about some morons who do not even know what they are doing? 

  • MrMLK

    Thanks for letting me know. Based solely on your cogent and compelling argument, I will be dumping my iPhone and picking up a Galaxy Nexus. If you let me know which software you have written for it, I will be sure to get that as well.

  • MrMLK

    I’m just curious. Do you read the articles before you respond to them, or do you base your responses just on the headlines?

    To save you the trouble of going back and reading all those words, I’ll quote the relevant section here, “To be fair, it seems like this test has more to do with the person operating the phone than it does with the handset’s capabilities, and Windows Phone did beat later iPhones in a series of challenges. “

  • MrMLK

    It might help if you read the entire article before you wrote your response. Despite a picture being worth a thousand words, sometimes you don’t get everything from the  picture.

    “To be fair, it seems like this test has more to do with the person operating the phone than it does with the handset’s capabilities, and Windows Phone did beat later iPhones in a series of challenges. “

  • lowtolerance

    Hey, John — is there a way to filter out your stupid fucking articles?

  • Demonstr8r

    I was far more surprised at the extremely low tech way in which Microsoft decided to display the highly subjective results — on a freakin whiteboard with black markers and black electrical tape for horizontal lines. I guess there were no spare LCD displays available.

  • therock115

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that upload times are quicker for the much smaller picture that iPhone produces versus the HTC they used to test.  What a ridiculous article!

  • Ricardo Morgado Ferreira

    Really, Apple fans need to stop this Microsoft bashing. I understand that Apple geeks had to change their discourse and mindset way too quickly in the last 10 years, but this Microsoft bashing is out of character for a company that supposedly is the leader in the market.

  • Alex

    ” I don’t know how the hell editors qualify here at COM,”

    Apparently you have to be an unemployed writer that’s desperate ….  But Brownlee, is not very tech savvy,  is very immature for guy his age, and seems to rely heavily on misleading headlines and link baiting etc. to get clicks.

  • warrengonline

    I use a PalmTreo 600.  Why?  Because it works for me.  Sure it is outdated – no video streaming, no web surfing (actually it can, since 2003 I turned it off).  It makes calls, appointments, shoots small low quality video and photos.  And my contacts area also contains notes and scripts.  The iPhone 5 is the next step for me.  Now as for Windows Phones, my experience was not good.  But for a kiosk, MS Windows Phone/8 is GREAT!  It works for the elderly just as well for the kiddies.  MS needs to realize, ‘Sure you can eat ice cream with a fork, but salad is not eaten efficiently with a spoon.”  In other words, not all platforms utilize Window Phone/8 efficiently for all as one-fit.

  • Matt Ralston

    Fair enough. I didn’t actually read it at all (as is fairly obvious). Although my comment was only about the picture, not the article, those pesky words do explain it.

  • GrantRR

    What a waste of server storage

  • warrengonline

    I can bash ALL the phones, but why?  I love my iPod Touch 4th Gen, but got rid of my iPhone 3G because its speed was unacceptable at accessing my information pulled up in 2 to 3 button presses on my PalmTreo600.  And I do not need to get into BlackBerry (the you stopped me at Pearl).  Whatever phone suits you and is effective is what it is.  The iPhone is NOT for everyone, but nor is the BlackBerry.   But has ANYONE who’s used a smartphone EVER tried to go back so a ‘regular’ cellphone?  it was uncomfortable for the 3 day test run.  Failed.  This article is… um..  entertained me a little.  But it is filled with much arrogance, ignorance and pride.

  • iDaBoss

     I think they qualify by showing up.

  • iDaBoss


  • jpv41193

    Also could have to do with the network it’s on since it did involve uploading that photo online. It’s really not as big of a deal as you think. Not to mention, Windows Phone is a lot more impressive than their previous mobile offerings and is really the only “different’ competitor to iOS. Give them some credit.

  • abhilashkumar

    This is an article about nothing. Why write an article that you know reads badly. Just by adding that last “to be fair” line, makes the article even more pointless. It says that you were smart enough to know hat this was a useless article but chose to ignore what your brain was telling you.

    To be fair, people who haven’t used WP7 devices for any decent amount of time, tend to be like this towards the platform.