Microsoft has offered a fairly weak (so far, more is coming) answer to the Vista backlash with the Mojave Experiment, which plays a small trick on users who have never used Windows Vista. After getting their initial assessments of Vista, often based simply on what they’ve heard (unclear whether that’s in the media or word of mouth), Microsoft shows them a ten-minute demo of “Mojave,” which is really Vista. Smile, You’re on Candid Kernel.
Of course, the participants are surprised, and we perhaps should not expect a huge amount of excitement about operating systems from folks who were so ignorant or uninterested in them enough to not recognize the ruse. Clearly some of the featured users had a change of heart, but the reactions still seemed underwhelming, mostly better acceptance. Furthermore, most of Vista’s issues stem around older PCs with legacy hardware, and any operating system is going to do a better job on a controlled system. I’ll bet you a service pack that the laptop on which Vista was shown was packing a serious processor and video memory.
While 84 percent of those who participated were XP users — those who are the hardest to sway to Vista — 14 percent of those were from people using even older versions of Windows. I’d certainly hope Vista could impress those users. In addition, 22 percent were Mac users, but Microsoft doesn’t say what version of Mac OS they were using. It could be Mac OS 9 if they included pre-XP users. In addition, among the many — oft-repeated — sound bites presented in the clip montage, we don’t know which came from users of which operating systems.
So, small point taken, Microsoft. Don’t believe everything you hear or read (unless you read it here,of course.). The next questions, though,, are how do you find these tainted users, how do you expose them to Vista, and how do you ensure that their real world experiences better match to the ideals of “Mojave.”