The Mojave Experiment

For more information about the Windows Springboard Series visit http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=8418918.

I have spent the past two years telling people how much I love Microsoft Windows Vista; it is not because Microsoft pays me to do so (they do not), but because I truly believe it is the best operating system on the market for desktop (and laptop… and tablet… and media center) PC users.  It has often been an uphill battle, but not been because of the technology; there are several reasons for it, and any time I speak to a group about Vista I like to ask why they have such negative feelings about Vista.  The answers are not surprising because I hear the same ones every time I ask the question, in no particular order:

  • Not stable / crashes
  • Too expensive to consider
  • Requires too much new hardware
  • Drivers not available
  • Software is not compatible
  • People tell me it is a lousy operating system.

The last reason is probably the most damaging one.  We all know how powerful word of mouth advertising can be, but it goes both ways; negative word of mouth can damage even the best product.  However we also know that you cannot always believe everything you hear.  (I have found Windows Vista to be far and away more stable than Windows XP (or any previous operating system) ever was, even after two service packs (I never installed SP3) and countless patches.)

The problem with word of mouth is that you have to know the whole story; I do not know who the people are who are talking bad about Vista, but the affect has been real.  When Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft) addressed the MVP Summit attendees in April he referred to Vista as 'a work in progress' but not because the technology is not stable, rather because the adoption rate is lower than expectations.

(I suspect that Microsoft bit itself in the gluteus maximus when it released the beta 2 release of Vista to such a wide audience.  Although the pre-release versions (right through RC1) were solid and a good way to get familiarized with the product, the code had not been cleaned up, and it was still clunky.  Literally millions of pre-release time-bomb copies were distributed and downloaded, possibly without everyone understanding the purpose of beta versions.)

So are you one of the people who have not upgraded to Vista 'because of what I heard…?'  If you are I would like to introduce you to the Mojave Experiment.  Microsoft conducted interviews with people just like you… some XP users, some Mac and Linux users.  They asked the people to rate Windows Vista (the average score was 4.4).  They then showed them the 'next version of Windows' codename Mojave.  Most of the people were impressed by the features, stability, and power of Mojave.  When they were asked to rate Mojave following the demo the average score was 8.5.  How surprised do you think they were to find out that Mojave is Windows Vista?

That's right, Microsoft did the old switcheroo… they showed the skeptical Vista but called it something else, taking their preconceived notions out of the equation.  It was a hit.  Most of these interviews were videotaped so we can see their reactions.  You can see many of them at http://www.mojaveexperiment.com

It is too bad that the sampling was only 140 people… because from my experience there are going to be a lot of people who will see this site who will dismiss it as a sham… but if they had been in the room they would have been convinced.

Are you one of them?  Let's have a conversation and see what preconceived notions you have.  Maybe I can convince you to try Vista as well!  Who knows?  I might even give you a copy to try… but for that to happen you have to post a comment to one of my Springboard articles telling me what those preconceived notions are, and what is preventing you from switching.

For more information about the Windows Springboard Series visit http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=8418918.

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