In Pictures: The 10 worst tech screwups of 2012 (so far)

Among a bounty of flops, flubs, and faceplants, Cringely picks tech's 10 biggest blunders we've seen in the first half of the year

8. WinPho blows smoke

Microsoft is so proud of the speed of its Windows Phone 7.5 operating system that it set up a Smoked by Windows Phone contest last May for visitors to its Microsoft Stores. If any other smartphone user could defeat a WinPho7 at a series of basic tasks, that person would walk off with a $1,000 HP laptop. A few days into the contest, Android user Sahas Katta defeated a Windows Phone at a basic task, at which point store employees declared the contest null and void. (Roughly a day later, Microsoft higher-ups realized what schmucks they looked like and reversed themselves, giving Katta the laptop after all.) It seems the marketing geniuses who came up with the idea were smoking something else.

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