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New MS ads to rely on 'blind' tests, edginess

updated 10:10 am EDT, Fri July 25, 2008

MS Mojave and Edgy Ads

Microsoft's just-launched Windows Vista image campaign should include videos that hide the Vista name and rely on users' actual experiences to promote the operating system, the company tells CNET in an interview. Similar to a blind taste test, the software developer has conducted a series of demonstrations where it gave Vista the fake name "Mojave" and asked XP users hesitant about the upgrade to try a purportedly "new" operating system. Over 90 percent had a positive reaction without preconceptions affecting their judgment, Microsoft claims.

The company isn't clear on just what these users were able to test while on camera. Many of the problems raised upon Vista's launch in January 2007 centered around framework issues rather than the visible interface, such as backwards compatibility with software, a lack of drivers for hardware, and sluggish performance.

Microsoft addressed a number of these issues with Vista Service Pack 1 but continues to encounter resistance from businesses and from some PC makers. Corporate buyers have said they rely on custom or legacy software that won't work with the newer code, while Dell and other major vendors have taken to keeping Windows XP through a loophole in Windows licensing that allows them to pre-install Windows XP and leave Vista as an installable option.

Some of the video footage should form part of the larger campaign from Microsoft, which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and will reportedly include "edgy" ads from the well-known marketing firm Crispin Porter and Bogusky, although Microsoft has declined to provide specifics on these ads beyond what has already been revealed so far.

The Redmond, Washington-based company has previously said the campaign is an attempt to counter Apple's image of Vista as flawed but feels that the campaign is necessary now rather than later, as Windows 7's 2010 release wouldn't come in time to improve the perception of Microsoft in the public eye.

"I've got to start having that discussion [about Vista] in the marketplace," Microsoft's Windows divsion chief Bill Veghte says. "People feel guilty [about it]. It's wrong."



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +4

    amazing.

    that the world's largest computer company with a record market share has to dig their way out of such a big hole.

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    +3

    Yeah, right

    I don't believe this for a second. It's like my old luthier teacher once said "You can't polish a t***." Renaming is not going to change how it operates. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck.

    And what kind of hardware was used? I bet it was very high end specs.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +6

    lol

    Um, in real life, most people ARE frustrated with Vista, due to bloated size and system requirements, confusing multiple (expensive) licensing information, "security" measures that cripples productivity, slow interface, and many other poorly cobbled together "features" of Vista that are difficult to use.

    Only actors would have positive reaction to Windows Mistake Edition vista.

  1. horvatic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002

    +4

    Change to Mojave

    Maybe they need to change Windows Vista to Windows Mojave? I think if they see the word Windows, they will run for the hills. This doesn't prove anything, except they tested a bunch of people who knew nothing about Windows or computers for that matter. Anyone familiar with Windows will recognize the interface immediately.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -18

    ....

    Myself and many others have been using Vista since its launch and I've never had a problem. Not sure how you explain that with your polished t*** theory.

    Glad your little impressionable minds haven't been affected by the Apple PR department.

  1. revco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    +7

    controlled

    It's all done in a controlled environment. Let them take a copy home and run it on their PCs and report their experiences a week later. Then lets hear about their "positive reactions".

  1. Heavydevelopment

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +2

    Vista: MS's Stalingrad

    Vista, I feel, is Microsoft's Stalingrad. MS is fighting too many wars on too many fronts. Gaming, media, OS, hardware, online search...they seem to have their hand in anything that makes a profit--but always copying and not innovating. Consequently they can't fight any one front with full resources. Vista is a prime example of how far they have fallen. It has been a horrible PR disaster from which I don't think they'll recover. I do not know anyone one of my friend's that has upgraded.....although I do know people that have switched from Windows to Mac and OS X. MS would be smart to focus their efforts and product mix on business as Linux (servers) and even Apple (user friendly work stations) are making inroads there. IBM did this when they abandoned OS2 and Lotus Office Suite--even though they had a far superior product to MS. They knew what their bread and butter was.

  1. Demonike

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    -4

    no ideal op-sys

    I'm sure there are exaggerations in this Vista-saga, like everything the mass media delivers. The stories have to sell, so they frequently feel comfortable making and elephant out of a bee. I'm also sure, there are many Vista users who are absolutely satisfied with their experience. As there are frustrated Mac users. I've been a Mac user since 1993 and I cannot say the journey has been completely flawless.
    But all this public boasting sure helps make a prejudice first impression on potential users.

  1. loudpedal

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +2

    How?

    How would they have a blind windows test? As soon as people saw the "Start" menu in the lower left corner and the open window bar along the bottom it's gotta be a dead-nuts giveaway. And the dock at the bottom, hmmmm...

    A lot of people I know who have tried Macs for an hour in the Apple store don't like it just because it's different. If they live with it for a week and notice things like stability and the ease of finding things they want, they love it.

    I suspect (as others have said) that these tests were set up and the resulting footage were edited to put Vista in the best light and the Mac in the worst. It may come across as the big, mega software company trying to crush the little guy, while Apple commercials poke light-hearted fun at MS. It could have the opposite reaction that they're hoping for in many people's minds.

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    +2

    I hate MS but...

    I am primarily and apple and ubuntu (don't make fun of me, my time is valuable, and ubuntu requires the least amount of work...I used to use SUSE...), but Vista is not that bad.

    Granted, I run vista pro via vmware fusion on a macbook pro with 2GB of memory, and a mac pro with 8GB...and it runs fine. Would love to see Aero and how it impacts performance (and then shut it off)

    I have no problem with the speed security or interface.

    It is a little slower running legacy programs than XP, but performance on newer .Net apps is much faster.

    It is not horrible and awful...it is just not one of their better products.

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