Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft Windows’

What’s Wrong With Microsoft’s ‘Mojave Experiment’?

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Mike Elgan has written an excellent article regarding Microsoft’s so-called “Mojave Experiment”.

This is not simple Microsoft-bashing (of which I am not fond). It’s a well-thought out article, and a good discussion of how companies and marketers should relate to customers, and how not to.

Microsoft held a series of videotaped focus groups and told attendees — all non-Vista users — they would be shown a future version of Windows called “Mojave.”

First, they were asked what they thought of Windows Vista, and many comments were negative. A Microsoft representative showed them a variety of specific features of “Mojave,” and comments were positive. Then, Microsoft told them “Mojave” was in fact Vista, and some attendees said the Experiment had changed their thinking about Vista.

Microsoft gathered the most favorable comments and placed them on a site called The Mohave Experiment.

Since Microsoft cast this marketing push as an “Experiment” — i.e., science — I would like to hereby publicly challenge Microsoft to answer the following questions:

? The Mojave Experiment involved 120 people. But the Web site shows 55 people saying nice things about Vista. What did the other 65 people think?

? Most or all Mojave Experiment videos posted to date feature an expert or marketing person showing neato features to someone. If Vista is so great, why didn’t you let people touch the computers?

Go read the whole thing — it’s not that long… 🙂

Alas, poor Vista

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Just looking at my site statistics (using the really amazing Woopra, which you should check out if you have a web site), and I noticed the OS breakdown for visitors to my site. Here’s the top four systems:

  • Windows XP: 38.3%
  • Windows Server 2003: 36.9%
  • Mac: 11.7%
  • Windows Vista: 7.47%

Beyond my mild annoyance that they break down every type of Windows, but lump all Mac OSes under one number, I was a bit amused by the fact that Macs outnumber Vista. Two variants of Windows at least five years old collectively outnumber Microsoft’s new flagship product ten to one.

Of course my little slice of the web isn’t going to perfectly reflect worldwide statistics, but it is one more piece of anecdotal sadness for the Regents of Redmond. I saw an article a while back (probably Joel Spolsky) suggesting that if MS sat back and did nothing but bleed money keeping themselves open, it would take then ten years to go out of business. Despite that impressive buffer, they had better get on the ball and try something new — ’cause whatever they’re doing, it’s not working.

My first thought is: get rid of Ballmer — the man’s a bully. Microsoft has used its near-monopoly like a bludgeon, but as time passes they are once again more and more at the mercy of market forces and individual consumers. Clearly he is having a hard time adjusting to that reality.

Or you could just say that Vista is Microsoft’s Copland… but then, I always thought Windows Me was Microsoft’s Copland. Heh. Showoffs.

When is a Mac not a Mac?

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Of the members of my immediate family, the majority of us are Mac people. Of the exceptions, one brother has a Windows machine because he likes games Pretty much all he does on it is play Everquest or online poker. Another brother has used Windows for years because obviously it’s a better computer. <Insert Mac stereotype(s) here. They’re not “real” computers. They’re too expensive. There’s no software for them. They’re no better nor more stable than Windows, just different….> If he ever overhead me talking to my Mac-using brother about some issue we were having, he would laugh and mock the fact that our “amazing computers” were actually having problems.

Recently, however, he broke down and bought an iMac, because his kids are in school now, and the school apparently is all-Mac. Shortly after this (right around Christmas) he and I had a conversation in which I revealed to him the startling fact that, yes, he can buy Microsoft Office for OS X, and that in fact, Yes, he can actually run Windows on the thing if he so chooses. He asked me a lot of questions, and I was happy to answer them.

He has installed Windows XP on the Mac, using Boot Camp — primarily to run Microsoft Money1. Since our conversation at Christmas, he has called me a few times for tech support.

Here’s the ironic part:

Every call has been a question about how to get this or that working in Windows. As far as I can tell the OS X part has been relatively trouble-free, because he hasn’t called me about any of that.

Welcome to the fold, Brother.

1: I will certainly conceded that one — OS X is lacking in really good comprehensive personal finance software. Quicken for Mac doesn’t compare to Quicken for Windows, and MS Money doesn’t exist for OS X.