updated 09:05 am EDT, Tue July 22, 2008
Microsoft pro-Vista Ads
Microsoft has begun the early phase of its new ad campaign designed to counter Apple's control of Vista's image, according to ZDNet. The first fruit of the ad is a web ad campaign that aims to combat what Microsoft believes are misconceptions about its most recent version of Windows, suggesting that those who believe Vista fundamentally flawed are those who would also have believed the world was flat. The campaign is so far subtle and makes no direct references to challengers.
However, the ads now link to a recently established Vista progress page that now acknowledges early mistakes with the software, stating that compatibility and performance were problems early on but claiming that Vista Service Pack 1 and other updates have since mended the operating system.
"We know a few of you were disappointed by your early encounter," the company says. "Printers didn't work. Games felt sluggish. You told us—loudly at times—that the latest Windows wasn't always living up to your high expectations for a Microsoft product."
The company also directly attacks Mac OS X, claiming that Leopard has 89 percent more vulnerabilities than Vista by citing a report on the number of discovered flaws from the US Department of Homeland Security's National Vulnerability Database. The list stems from early 2008 and doesn't appear to reflect either subsequent Mac OS X updates or Windows XP Service Pack 3, which rolls up many of the post-SP2 updates and is widely believed to signficantly close the claimed security gap between XP and Vista.
Microsoft further downplays notions that Vista is "just a prettier version of Windows XP" and points both to new media and security features as well as perception; about 71 percent of customers using Vista like it more than whatever their previous operating system might have been, the company claims without citing a source. It also argues that those who actually used Vista are "two to three times" more likely to have a positive outlook for the software.
The ad campaign is believed to expand in the near future and will likely spread to other mediums outside of the web, though how and in what direction hasn't been outlined by the Redmond, Washington-based developer.