Microsoft Challenge Users to “Take the Pepsi Challenge”

Windows Vista New Ad Campaign

Microsoft looks to 'Mojave' to revive Vista's image | Beyond Binary – A blog by Ina Fried – CNET News.com An interesting story over News.com. Apparently Microsoft recently traveled to San Francisco and videotaped a bunch of Vista skeptics about Vista the OS. Then they showed these skeptics a “new” operating system code named “Mojave” and got their feedback on it.

What the skeptics didn’t know was that they were actually being shown Windows Vista. Surprisingly 90 percent gave positive feedback on the new OS.

From CNET:

“In the weeks ahead, we’ll launch a campaign to address any lingering doubts our customers may have about Windows Vista,” Ballmer wrote. “And later this year, you’ll see a more comprehensive effort to redefine the meaning and value of Windows for our customers.”

What gives the Mojave project its power, though, is the fact that it isn’t Ballmer or someone else at Microsoft saying that Vista has gotten a bad rap. It’s everyday people.

With scenes reminiscent of both Apple’s “real people” campaign of a few years back as well as classic commercials from Folgers and others, the Mojave project could prove a formidable weapon.”

Personally this reminds me a bit of Pepsi’s “Pepsi Challenge” PR campaign where they tried to get people to blind taste test Pepsi vs. Coke.

If Microsoft is right and Vista has gotten a bad rap mostly from a very clever and pervasive anti-PC Apple advertising campaign, then taking it to the streets and getting people to experience Vista first hand might be a valuable tool.

For what it is worth, my own opinions on Vista are largely positive, although with a caveat. When Vista first came out I upgraded one of my old PCs from XP to Vista. The experience was not good. In large part I think that my bad experience was due to the fact that Vista did not play so well with lots of the old hardware, drivers, etc.

When I bought a *new* PC from Dell with Vista installed (a relatively moderately priced PC at about $1,100) my experience was vastly different. I had a far improved experience over XP and thus far I’ve been very impressed with Vista vs. the old Windows XP.

My advice to anyone wondering if they should upgrade to Vista would be this. Don’t necessarily upgrade your current PC, but when you decide to upgrade your current PC to a *new* PC, this would be a great time also to upgrade to Vista.

Certainly Vista is not error free. But either is my Mac. Nevertheless, Vista produces 90% less errors for me than XP did. I rarely have to reboot my PC. My PC tends to start up every time now. Windows Media Center works far, far, better and seamlessly handles my large 100,000 plus mp3 library.

Microsoft’s “try it, you might like it” campaign is probably smart. Vista has largely gotten a bad rap. In part from early adopters upgrading on existing PCs and having poor experiences and in part from Apple capitalizing on the instability of previous versions of Microsoft’s OS that still very much resonate with users.

So maybe now is the time to move to Vista if you haven’t already. Not only is it a better OS than XP but pirates are pretty cool and lots of pirates use Vista, or so I’m told. 😉

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  1. My PC tends to start up every time now.

    Man, talk about damning with faint praise. (I realize your experience has been positive but that sentence leapt out at me.)

  2. I’ll continue to pass – every machine I’ve run Vista on it’s been a dog – including machines it shipped with that get a ‘5’ on the Microsoft system test in Vista.

  3. I’ve tried Vista on 3 or 4 machines now, they all received scores of 4 or 5 by Vista’s experience tester, every one of them was a dog. I reverted back to XP after a few months of use on each one. Mostly had to reboot every day to avoid really painful slowdowns – initial use of the machine was speedy but quickly degenerated for some reason.

  4. gotshoo.com says:

    I’ve got Vista running on a workstation (previously upgraded from xp) and a laptop. Both run great, the workstation is a little slower -its about 3 yrs old, but lockups or the need to reboot – I couldn’t tell you the last time it’s happened.

    There are still some spots in the OS that the response time could be much better; like copying a file.

    The key to Vista though is to have a lot of RAM.

  5. Tracer says:

    I’m a hardcore PC user. My machine is a continually evolving beast with the latest hardware. I run XP x64. I tried Vista x64 Ultimate.
    Keep in mind this is PRIOR to SP1 when my machine was a 2.4Ghz Dual core with 4GB of Ram.

    Being Digital Photographers, here is what killed me and made me go back to XP.

    Dumping my 4GB Sandisk Extreme IV cards on XP: 38MB/sec, on Vista? 2MB/sec. After a bunch of patches, 20MB/sec.

    Exporting Sets from Adobe Lightroom took about 2x longer on Vista than XP.

    These numbers where when NOT listening to music. They got worse if I was streaming an online radio station.

    Yes, a lot of these things were fixed in SP1. But I just didn’t care enough to try again.

  6. dataGuy says:

    My main problem with Vista is the built-in DRM. Something I’m sure they did not demo to the room of “skeptics” before getting their feedback. 😉

  7. Vista on my Dell laptop is now a fairly pleasant experience since I dropped the PC, killed the hard disk and replaced it, installing a clean OEM copy of Vista at the same time. It became apparent that my efforts to remove Dell crapware had been less successful than I’d thought. My machine now boots in under a minute (and starts from hibernate in about 15 secs) and is generally rather snappy. All in all, I’d say the manufacturers, in their drive for sales, are doing MS no long-term favours.

    I would still prefer XP, but creating an install disk with SATA drivers defeated me.

    So while I see little benefit to Vista, I can’t say I see much to support the opposite view.

    If that reads like damning with faint praise, there’s an element of that, I guess. But it’s praise of a sort nonetheless.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Vista is not for me.
    After seven months with Vista on my new notebook I have now made up my mind to install XP and take off Vista. I am have been working with computers and PCs for the past 40 years. My experience with Vista was less than satisfying and did not meet my expectations. My PC is downloading about 10 MB of updates from Microsoft every other day. My PC is slowing down more and more and is doing things that can only be controlled by registry updates. Loading of programs takes very long, initially it was fast but now even quick start programs take 15 – 20 seconds to load.