I can't believe its Vista!

Microsoft's latest plan to get people to buy Vista (or more accurately, to buy and use Vista instead of paying for it and then downgrading to XP) seems to have been inspired by those 'taste-test' type campaigns for cola, margarine and so on

Tags: Microsoft CorporationSoftware upgrade
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By  Mark Sutton Published  July 30, 2008

Microsoft's latest plan to get people to buy Vista (or more accurately, to buy and use Vista instead of paying for it and then downgrading to XP) seems to have been inspired by those 'taste-test' type campaigns for cola, margarine and so on.

The Mojave Experiment took individuals that were skeptical about Vista, but had never seen the operating system in action. Then it showed them a video of what they thought was the next generation of Windows - made up codename 'Mojave' - and asked them what they thought of it.

And as you've probably guessed - they all really liked the look of it - and boy did they feel silly when they found out that it was Vista all along!

Except... in those margarine or cola adverts, the customers really got a taste of the product. With the Mojave experiment, all joe public got was a look at a video of the product, rather than hands-on experience - and any software can be made to look good in a video demo.

There's no denying that Microsoft needs to do something about Vista's reputation. After all, why did these people have negative feelings about Vista if they hadn't used it themselves? The answer - bad word of mouth - a marketing nightmare which is very difficult to overcome.

This 'experiment' might make some consumers rethink buying a Vista PC, but in general, if they want a new PC (and that's the only time most consumers upgrade the OS) then they're going to get Vista whether they want it or not, unless they go buy a Mac.

The real problem is with the business decision makers, who aren't taking to Vista in great numbers either. With a global economy in recession, spending IT budget on an operating system upgrade might take a lot of justifying to the boss, particularly if the boss has heard bad things about Vista too.

Add to that Microsoft's promise to support Windows XP to 2014, and the fact that Windows 7 is supposed to launch in under 18 months time, and I'd say that Microsoft needs to come up with something a bit better than a taste test to convince corporate buyers not to just sit and wait for the next OS to come along.

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