MSNBC: ‘Mojave Experiment’ shows how bad things have gotten for Microsoft

“This is how bad things have gotten for Microsoft Corp.: The software behemoth has a virtual monopoly in computer operating systems, and yet it still can’t get people to buy the latest version of its flagship product, Windows,” Allison Linn writes for MSNBC.

“The company knows it has a problem, and it has decided to address it directly with an ad campaign arguing that the product isn’t as bad as people think it is. To their detriment, they’ve fumbled that, too,” Linn writes.

“A new campaign, called the ‘Mojave Experiment,’ shows a series of regular users who seem to like Windows Vista a lot — as long as they don’t think it’s Windows Vista,” Linn writes.

“We don’t actually see much footage of people trying Windows Vista, so we don’t know how much they actually did themselves, versus how much they were shown by an experienced marketer,” Linn writes. “We also don’t know whether the subjects were able to directly address the issues users have complained about, such as sluggishness with older or cheaper computers, or incompatibility with existing products.”

“Plus, we don’t know whether the people they show are a representative sample of the public,” Linn writes. “In short, we feel manipulated, not convinced.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike from Atlanta” for the heads up.]


  1. From the MSNBC article:

    “Microsoft takes a page from movie promoters and pulls a one-liner from a long review of Vista. The company boasts that The New York Times “raved” about the operating system when it first came out, writing “Windows Vista is beautiful.”

    In fact, the Times was talking about the actual physical appearance of Vista, not the compatibility issues and other problems users have complained about. The actual article’s headline reads: “Vista Wins on Looks. As for Lacks …” “

  2. New slogan:
    “Windows Vista. It doesn’t suck as bad as you think. Honest.”

    Live from the back room in a mall near you:

    “Hey, come here. Yeah, I’m talking to you dipshit. Now sit down and watch this convincing demonstration. Hold on. I need to reboot. I said sit down or you’ll have to return the money we gave you. O.K., now watch these Microsoft employ . . . um, I mean average people off the street enjoy the most fabulous and exciting innovations ever in computer user interfaces. I don’t think you’re paying attention. HEY! WE’VE GOT A RUNNER! CODE NINE! I REPEAT WE’VE GOT A CODE NINE! Who took my Taser?”

  3. “Allison Linn writes for MSNBC”

    I guess Allison wanted a new Job because MSNBC does not create critical Stories about Microsoft.

    I fact they did use a generic iPodish looking image in the Podcast graphics. Till MS complained now the image is clearly a Zune.

  4. Hang on. Doesn’t the MS part of MSNBC stand for MicroSoft?

    PMSL. Now they are slating their own products.

    I love it!!!!

    This is fantastic ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Zune Tang, What’s your take on this one kid?

  5. If they really wanted to make this a legitimate experiment, they should have given people a copy of “Mojave” and a camera and let them install it on their own computers and try to use it with their existing peripherals. Anything can look great in a controlled environment; Macs work well because they ARE a controlled hardware/software environment.

  6. CYxodus, when you are in as deep a hole as they are, you have little left BUT “desperation tactics”. They introduced Vista well ahead of when Apple introduced Leopard and couldn’t get any traction against Tiger. Then along came Leopard and they STILL couldn’t get any traction. What are they supposed to do??? First thing they tried was announcing they were already working on Vista’s “replacement”. To which Apple announced that “Snow Leopard” would be essentially a “clean-up” OS, fixing a long list of annoyances and dumping PPC systems – No New Features (well, mostly). And they still can’t manufacture any traction for Vista!
    This is about as deadly a response to a new product as they could ever imagine. The market was theirs to lose … so they did. What’s Apple? A niche player selling expensive models – worth every penny, perhaps, but still priced near the top of everyone else’s lines. Apple has had little traction in the larger Enterprise market, relying on sales directly to consumers. Suddenly the Enterprise is waking up to the fact that OSX=Unix and that there really is little difficulty in supporting a multi-platform house – despite what the panicky IT drones have been claiming, to maintain Job Security, for many years.
    So, yeah. MS is getting desperate. They are a year or more away from any hope of regaining traction. Apple will grow by a couple more % in that time – and that’s a conservative guesstimate. Who knows what it will actually be, given the new “markets” that are opening up to them. Like Enterprise. Like some foreign markets that have been under-served until recently. Once Apple GAINS traction in these markets, the best MS can hope for is to slow their growth – forget about taking it back.
    That’s just my opinion, of course.

  7. “Allison Linn writes for MSNBC”

    Update. Allison Linn polishes the plumbing with a toothbrush twelve hours a day inside the Redmond Gulag. Her family and friends were told that she was sent away to a nice family with a farm somewhere so that she could run and play and be forever happy.

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