Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Mojave Experiment: Microsoft strikes back

Vista isn't selling as well as it should have been. That's the hard truth that Microsoft has been battling with for quite a while now. I've written about this before, saying that it is a matter of perception users have as opposed to Vista really being that horrible. Why then does this perception exist? That's because of a few well-known tech bloggers and columnists who mistakenly write that Vista sucks. People read them, believe them, and spread them, despite not have encountered Vista first hand to judge for themselves. Also, many people don't consider that since Vista's launch, many problems have been fixed and the state of it today is vastly improved from its launch days.

But the other half of the equation is a problem that lies with Microsoft: they did not do sufficient and aggressive marketing to sell Vista. Thankfully, this is all about to change. Microsoft has since realised this (albeit a tad late) and has recently launched an innovative and smart marketing campaign in the US entitled 'The Mojave Experiment' to deal with this perception problem that I've mentioned.

It's a controversial marketing strategy they have adopted, but I think it's good. At San Francisco, Microsoft employees headed to the streets and found Windows XP users who had negative impressions of Vista. These willing participants were put on video, asked about their Vista impressions, and then shown a "new" operating system, codenamed Mojave. They then tested out Mojave, and more than 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they saw. Then they were told that Mojave was actually Windows Vista!

This experiment does prove a point: that people are actually dumb enough to believe that Vista sucks when they haven't even tried their hands on it.

This experiment is just the start of more aggressive Vista marketing to 'resuscitate Vista's image as well as lend strength to the Windows platform among stepped-up competition from Apple and Google', as written in a cnet article. I'm glad that at least Microsoft is doing something about Vista, but this should have been done eons ago.

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