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James Senior at Microsoft: Like a kid in a candy store

Mojave Experiment is go

Mojave Experiment is go

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The Mojave Experiment is now live at http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/ and I love it.  As someone who launched Vista in the UK and evangelised, enthused and talked about it from day 1 I’ve had to deal with the whole perception vs. reality thing.  It’s been tough because the negativity and misinformation tends to spread like wildfire and dealing with that without support from a larger campaign that tells a better story means fighting an uphill battle.

Something that the videos highlight is the that the majority of people have not actually tried Vista and their negativity is based on second hand news.  This is something I’ve been talking about for a while now.  Here’s what I said back then:

“It also supports what I find talking to customers out there in the field - those who have a negative perception either tried Vista in the early days and had problems or haven't actually tried it and have based their upgrade policy based on what they hear or read in the press.  To those people, I challenge them to have another look.”

If I sit down with anyone I can - without fail - show them things that will impress them in Windows Vista.  But I’m only one person.  Microsoft don’t do a good enough job telling the story at scale – hopefully that's something we can address this year.

Viral and I were talking about the whole perception problem last night over dinner: we spend lots of time talking about the “how” and the “what” when it comes to products and the company - but we don’t often get the “why” right.  This is a problem because the “why” is often the most crucial part – it’s what defines the company; goals, ethos and vision.  We need a “why” so we can agree or disagree with where a product or service is taking us – it’s something we can relate to and buy-in to.

Microsoft needs to remind people where it has come from, what it has achieved and where it is going every single day.  Back in the day, when the mission was to put “a PC on every desk and in every home”, it was a big answer to “why” Microsoft and what the company was striving for.  People could get what Microsoft was all about and since then, the company has achieved that goal and changed the course of history. 

Since then, our mission has to allow people to realise their full potential – it’s a good mission but Microsoft need to remind itself and it’s customers about it, and what it means.  This will help to answer that “why” question.  Things like the Mojave help to demonstrate “why” – but it needs scale, bring it on I say!

Comments
  • "Something that the videos highlight is the that the majority of people have not actually tried Vista and their negativity is based on second hand news."

    James,

    The subjects involved in this "experiment" still haven't actually tried Vista. The whole thing is pointless. MS should have given them all a copy of "Mojave" for a week and then filmed their feedback.

    Jamie

  • Sorry I should have written "seen".  Does that help?

    James

  • Looks like, according to the wise guy who wrote this blog, that the solution should be to have a Microsoft VISTA tutor at home all the time so he/she can guide us stupid users through ALL the annoying problems we need to face on daily basis with this "wonderful" product.

    By the way, MOJAVE? VEEEEERY scientific!!!!!!!! congratulations guys, you managed to embarrass yourself one more time.

  • Hey Eddie,  There's no science, we did that all back in the end user testing during the development of the product.  

    Obviously we can't have a "Vista tutor" with every customer, but I'm interested to hear how you would educate people about the features in Vista.  What's your take?

    James

  • There are products on the market that, for the average user, does not require anyone to educate them on the features for them to like it.  

    Also, I might really like a Porsche. The look, feel, the speed, the excitement. However, my concern in the cost. Distracting me from my concerns is not the same as addressing them.

  • Hi Nick

    thanks for your comment.  For the average user who uses average functionality, they can make their way round Vista (or other OS) fine.  It's those gems like Media Center or Movie Maker which for consumers grab the attention and create that "I didn't know it could do that" moment.  

    I like you porsche line :)

    James

  • The mojave experiment is a total sham!  I am a developer and when i was forced to buy a machine with "mojave" on it my productivity level was drastically reduced because it was such a bad operating system.

    The only way I could get it to work acceptably but still slow enough to turn me into a mac guy, was to turn off all the pretty graphics, indexing service, firewall, security settings and the hp proprietary software.

    even then, my machine runs hot enough to fry an egg on, and my applications crash all the time - most notably internet explorer, flash cs3, photoshop, and dreamweaver.

    I don't know why I'm even attempting to comment here because everything sponsored by microsoft is sensored if it does not stroke the ego of microsoft.

  • The Mojave experiment was good until they made the subjects look like idiots.

    That being said people can be made to look that way when you control the situation. Based on the promo it looks like a Vista trained person showing the "new and improved" windows to someone who obviously has never seen Vista. When in such carefully selected and guided hands you can make something which has been of great concern to the general IT populace (outside of Microsoft) seem like a walk in the park (with fairies).

    I am quite sure if you had the subject take home a copy of "Mojave" and attempt to do what they would normally do in XP or 2000 they will find themselves in a pickle. Games anyone? - Oh sure but let me turn down the response time. How about a VPN connection? - Absolutely just if you can find out where the new and improved icon is!

    The problem isn't the bad rep of Vista, the problem is Vista itself. Sure rumors hurt the situation, but remember the ones who went in head first only to back out to XPPSP2.

  • @Trevor

    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience.  When did you get your PC?  Reason I ask is that driver/app compat has come a long way over the past year and so people who had a bad experience in the past can have a much better one today.

    @Shaun

    I think the subjects were chosen at random, although I'm not sure.  The idea *was* to pick people who had never seen Vista and only *heard* about it through other people - that was the point.  I agree you can make anything look a walk in the park if you have an expert on hand to show them features.  Apple have used this tactic in their retail stores effectively with the "Genius Bar".  Having said that, being able to launch Media Center, for example, and show what it can do doesn't require an expert.  

    James

  • Unreal.  Microsoft releases a crappy OS with a heap of incompatibility issues early, then attempts to show they've got a great OS by mocking the people who listen to the resounding "Vista sucks" from nearly every workplace worldwide.

    Vista looks great, yes, but that isn't the problem.  A controlled demonstration of Vista will elicit the responses displayed.  It's once the customer gets their computer home and suddenly can't run their favourite applications that all hell breaks loose.

    Microsoft can't help but release absolute crap sometimes, and Apple deserves the market share while Microsoft can't listen to the public rather than berating them.

  • The tactic used for this add campaign is quite decietful on many levels. Good ol' microsoft antics.

    First, Microsoft decieves a few random shmoes who have never even seen vista before. They show them the OS in a controlled environment, which obviously will avoid any problems current users face in the real world.

    Second, Microsoft decieves the audience, pretending that the the environment which this so called "test" took place in was unbias, not to mention they clearly lied about the number of positive responses on their mojave site. Can you find all the responses? What about the negative clips? In fact, theres only some 30 clips on the mojave website which claims over 80 positive so called reviews.

    I'm sorry, but this entire add campaign makes me ill.

  • Rhett,

    Vista isn't a crappy OS.  

    98% of apps are compatible with Vista.

  • Rhett,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Vista isn't a crappy OS.  

    I'm taking a guess that I speak to more customers than you do about Vista, both work and home - they like it.

    98% of apps are compatible with Vista.

    Apple nor Microsoft will never release perfect software - get over it.

  • Rhett,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Vista isn't a crappy OS.  

    I'm taking a guess that I speak to more customers than you do about Vista, both work and home - they like it.

    98% of apps are compatible with Vista.

    Apple nor Microsoft will never release perfect software - get over it.

  • Rhett,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Vista isn't a crappy OS.  

    Majority of workplaces worldwide don't think "Vista sucks", the ones who have deployed actually did so because they liked it.

    98% of apps are compatible with Vista.

    Apple and Microsoft will never release perfect software - get over it.

    James

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