Perceptions and the “Mojave Experiment”

Windows Vista Logo
Quick – What do you think of Windows Vista?

Next question – Have you ever used Windows Vista?

Let me say this upfront – When Vista launched in early 2007, it was a piece of crap. The hardware wasn’t ready, drivers for older devices were either poorly implemented or nonexistent, and it was slow and buggy as hell. The poor reviews for the OS upgrade were justified.

Enter Windows Vista Service Pack 1

A year later, this all changed when Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Vista, addressing nearly all of the outstanding complaints. Suddenly, Vista became a modern, secure, and good looking computing platform. Except nobody knew it.

Perception = Reality

At this point, consumers already had a set idea of what Vista was (garbage), while at the same time Apple was giving them a constant beating with the Mac/PC ads it ran as a part of their “switcher” campaign. And what did Microsoft do about it? Nothing.

Well, it might as well have been nothing. They launched a pathetic “Fact or Fiction” campaign that now appears to have disappeared from the Internet, but that was it for a long time. And so, perception became fact, and people clung to Windows XP (forgetting that it had it’s fair share of problems for the first couple of years after it launched).

Finally Fighting Back

Recently, Microsoft finally realized that the status quo wouldn’t change without some action on their part. So, they hired one of the hottest ad agencies in the country, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, to try and change people’s minds.

We haven’t seen anything come of this new campaign yet, but Microsoft doesn’t appear to be waiting. They’ve recently launch a website The Mojave Experiment, where they show video of Vista haters experiencing a new Microsoft OS (codenamed Mojave) and overwhelmingly loving it, only to find out it was, in fact, Windows Vista.

Mojave has created a lot of talk in the tech sector of the web, much of it negative. People are saying it’s everything from trickery to bad science. In reality, it’s a marketing campaign. Microsoft hasn’t claimed this to be a scientific study or a controlled experiment, so holding it up to that standard seems a bit unrealistic.

I’m trying to be more pragmatic about technology and less of a fanboy in my old age, since everything has its pluses and minuses. So, I need to give Microsoft credit when they’ve earned it (their development platform) and call out Apple when they deserve it (the Mobile Me disaster).

So, what do you think of Vista?

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