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."