Microsoft Challenge Winner Picks Up Prizes Puts Them Up For Auction For Charity

Our good friend and former blogger colleague Sahas Katta of was all over the interwebs yesterday because of a horrible experience at the Microsoft store in Santa Clara. Katta had participated in their Windows phone challenge, and as he reported on his blog, he won the challenge with his Galaxy Nexus.

The folks at the Microsoft store didn’t agree. Katta had turned the lockscreen setting off, which is in the default settings of the Galaxy Nexus. Then in the contest he and a Microsoft employee both turned their phones off. A task was set and they had to see who could do it quicker, the Windows phone or Katta’s phone.

The task was to show the weather from two different cities. That was easy enough as Katta already had two different city’s forecasts in widgets on his home screen. The two contestants powered on their phones and Katta had won.

More after the break

However the Microsoft employees did a double take and eventually said he didn’t win it needed to be two different cities in two different states. Katta cried foul, but if you’ve ever met him he’s a real nice and humble guy, he didn’t make a scene he just went home and blogged about it.

Well Theverge’s Josh Topolsky had caught wind of his blog post off reddit and started a firestorm of, what we call in the industry “pick ups”, by morning Katta had over 500,000 hits on his website from the whole ordeal.

First thing in the morning Redmond time, Microsoft Evangelist Ben Rudpolph had interjected and said he was going to make things right. He arranged for the prizes from the contest to be waiting for Katta Monday afternoon at the same location.

Katta reports that he went to the store and picked up a $1049.00 Hunger Games Special Edition HP Folio 13 and an $899 Nokia Lumia 800 Bundle. Katta decided immediately to auction off the two items and give the proceeds to charity.

Katta was also impressed with the way the Reddit community quickly drove his story to the top of the reddit page so he’s asking for the Reddit community’s help again to decide on the charity the proceeds are going to.

Katta has been a tech enthusiast all his life. He began blogging on his own site when he was 14 years old and also immediately started attending trade events and reporting, that’s how we met three years ago.  Katta is one of the nicest bloggers in the world.

He has now, for the time being and except for this incident, retired from the blogsphere. He and a partner are working on a new startup. They’ve secured some funding but are in super stealth mode. I’ve tried a number of times to get it out of him, so watch for him in the future.

Here are the important links:
Kattas’ story about the auction
Katta’s Reddit story about the auction ( to vote prizes)
Auction for the laptop
Auction for the Windows Phone