The Mojave Experiment

By now you’ve all heard of the latest push in Microsoft’s dead-serious Vista “re-education” campaign. Basically, they took 22 people who had never used Vista and showed them a prototype of the next Windows version, codenamed Mojave… which was really just Vista in disguise.

Here’s the smugly congratulatory video. I’m not impressed: showing 22 imbeciles who have managed to avoid even seeing one of the most pervasive and highly publicized operating systems in the world “changing their minds” after a few minutes with Mojave is rotely predictable and means nothing.

I mean, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Vista impresses immediately with a few good new features and some excellent Aero bling, but it consistently grates and irritates over time.

Vista’s not a terrible OS. It’s pretty okay in a lot of ways. But I find something just bile-churning about Microsoft launching a multi-million dollar campaign to downplay Vista’s issues and paint the detractors as unreasonable imbeciles and luddites.

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27 Responses to The Mojave Experiment

  1. GaryG says:

    #18: “I have switched UAC off on my Vista desktop as I do a lot of renaming, deleting of files it was driving me nuts”

    That’s got to be the ultimate fail for any security system: When it’s so intrusive people decide not to use it at all.

    And, while we’re noting these things, I’ve *never* had a BSOD in XP (and I use a lot of weird music software ie. not just “internet and a bit of word processing…”)

  2. Anonymous says:

    One person did not appreciate the old switcheroo:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtXRnel2GT8

  3. Halloween Jack says:

    Vista: Damned by faint praise.

  4. CraziestGadgetsdotcom says:

    This is like judging a movie by the trailer.

  5. harpdevil says:

    Vista “represents things we could only dream of a few years back”? No, a few years back you could get all those features but better performing and better integrated in OSX Tiger.

  6. bardfinn says:

    I’ve studiously avoided even being in the same room as a machine running Vista – I’ve never sat down and interfaced with one.

    Does that make my geek cred more or less valued?

  7. semiotix says:

    I’m not impressed: showing 22 imbeciles who have managed to avoid even seeing one of the most pervasive and highly publicized operating systems in the world

    Well, I’m not an imbecile, and I’ve never even seen Vista, but then, you see…

    *puffs out chest*
    *squares shoulders*
    *raises voice*

    I use a Mac!

  8. harpdevil says:

    @15
    “I think A LOT of peoples’ problems with Vista stem from the fact a lot of people put it on machines that just weren’t designed to handle it.”

    Then surely that is a design fault by microsoft, designing a system that will only run well on a niche amount of systems rather than a wide spectrum.

  9. John Brownlee says:

    If you read gadget blogs, you MUST know what Vista at least LOOKS like.

  10. RedShirt77 says:

    I Have vista on my home laptop, which leads to me using my work laptop.

    Can’t microsoft spend millions of dollars fixing Vista?

    Putting “save as” back where it is easy to find, similarly move “shutdown”, and take away the multiple warnings for doing everything associated with the internet, etc. Release a new version with the name changed.

    Spare us all the PR crap to explain why they clearly released the program before it was fully tested and the kinks were worked out.

  11. bex says:

    The only real problem I have with vista is the idiotic and designed by a drunk chimpanzee UAC

    Microsoft should just steal the Mac way of doing it Everyone must have a security password regardless of if you need one to log in and when you need to install programs and such a box pops up and asks for the password

    I have switched UAC off on my Vista desktop as I do a lot of renaming, deleting of files it was driving me nuts

  12. mkultra says:

    I’m a devoted Mac user who hates ms etc etc blah blah, but I have had a couple of windows machines to serve as glorified xboxen.

    I’ve had some xp machines, and my current one is a Vista box. After I disabled the eyecandy, I honestly don’t see anything about it that’s worse than XP. What am I missing? (mind you, I never try to do anything productive with it.)

  13. Mike says:

    Heh, it’s unlike Apple’s multi-million dollar campaign to downplay Mac’s issues and paint PC users as unreasonable imbeciles and corporate stiff shirts.

    I think Apple makes a fine product but I have to say that they take the cake on bile induction, my friend.

  14. John Brownlee says:

    Mike, agreed, but that’s old news: I find the Mac vs PC ads just as nauseatingly insufferable, but I can only bang that drum so many times. I mean, is this the future of OS marketing? Jesus.

  15. rageahol says:

    “I find something just bile-churning about Microsoft”

    I concur.

    I have been fortunate enough to have only seen Vista once, and once i realized it was vista i refused to touch it (it also was one reason i quit that job).

  16. brianary says:

    Wil Shipley really dismantled the crappy “science” behind this ad campaign.

    http://wilshipley.com/blog/2008/07/mojave-experiment-bad-science-bad.html

  17. Tensegrity says:

    @9 brianary

    Great link. Wow, shipley really nails it here:

    …the problems that Vista has become famous for are not the kinds of problems you encounter in a few minutes of playing with it in a controlled environment…This study has told us exactly what we already knew: that, initially, people like Vista. (Initially, people like having sex without condoms, too… it’s simply not a very good criterion all by itself.)

  18. mdhatter says:

    The vista story really puts the ‘epic’ in ‘epic fail’

  19. The Morgan says:

    I use Vista 64 on my home machine, it’s quite simply the most stable system I’ve ever used – and I use it a lot, for gaming, video editing, programming, and so on. It has *never* crashed, which I can’t say for the OSX machine I use in the office.

    I’ve also never had any hardware or software incompatibilities, which I confess I was a bit nervous about before going with 64.

    So why does everyone hate on it?

    Two things, I think:
    #1 Apple’s attack ads.
    #2 The huge over-representation of Apple users amongst inlufential bloggers. (Can you name an “A-lister” who doesn’t use OSX?)

    Microsoft have been badly losing — almost comically so — a PR war here, I’m not going to criticise them for finally trying to claw back some of that lost ground.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The reality is that Vista is a decent OS. I am a professional IT Systems Engineer (400 systems under my domain) and I use Vista on my home system.

    At the corporate level it is more of a pain, but The stability of the OS is amazing. Give Vista a few weeks and you will realize that BSOD, and the power management is much better. I have to restart my system every 2 weeks or so.

  21. John Brownlee says:

    I think having sex without condoms is a very good criterion by itself. In fact, I understand it’s the engagement ring of our generation.

  22. bardfinn says:

    What do you mean, the stone is glass and the metal is chrome-plated bronze?

  23. SamF says:

    I’m with #11. And no, I’m not a paid MS shill (wait, I shouldn’t have said that, now they’ll KNOW I’m a paid MS shill! Better cover up my tattoos!)

    Kidding aside, I have Vista on my laptop, and I have no problems with it. I have a few programs that I have to “authorize” the first time I run them, but that’s easily fixed by changing the properties on the icon just once (yeah, it’s an extra step, but it means that nothing that runs on my machine is something I didn’t start myself). I’ve only had the BSOD once since I got the laptop in February, and this thing is constantly on (and it has one of those Nvidia chips that will or won’t get too hot…mine does.)

    I think MS really shot themselves in the sack when they bowed to Intel and lowered the system specs on Vista. I think A LOT of peoples’ problems with Vista stem from the fact a lot of people put it on machines that just weren’t designed to handle it. I have a feeling that MS’s next OS will have fairly stiff system specs. And as for the UAC…people want their systems to be super-secure, but they don’t want to take any active role in securing it. Again, I think the next OS will have UAC, but it’ll be like the firewall where you’ll be able to easily turn it off or on.

  24. searconflex says:

    I don’t have much of an opinion on Vista. What I do know is that the few seconds of song at the end of the ad is by a New Zealand band called The Ruby Suns and THEY ARE AWESOME!_||$$(!)=++=!@!*

  25. Green House Brand says:

    the main reason vista sucks is the tier system. home basic, home premium, business, and ultimate. they should only sell one version, people choosing an OS dont want to have to then choose which version of the OS. why bother selling a basic version that strips all thats ‘good’ from vista? seems like a waste of time.

    I cheaped out and bought a decent dell and didnt want to pay extra for XP so i just went with vista basic. i dont want all the bloated features or the glossy eye candy. ive had it for nearly a year and kept vista on it, out of convenience.

    the UAC is a joke, the integrated security sucks. the system settings UI (control panel, power options, admin options, and win explorer) are all horribly laid out. i cringe every time i have to open the control panel.

    of which Shipley clearly spells out are not problems you notice within the first hour or 2 of using vista.

  26. bardfinn says:

    I am a former professional IT systems support grunt / systems administrator. The “Former” part is because someone gave me a Mac to use.

    My workstation at my (non-IT) job is an XP machine, which also happens to be a web application server. Current uptime: Three weeks. The last reboot was for an operating system patch requiring reboot.

    My home computer is a Mac. Current uptime, not counting two operating system patches necessitating a restart: Four months. Age of system: Four months. The Mac before that ran for six years and kernel panicked twice in that time, (once from the cooling fan on the CPU freezing up) and the OS froze up requiring a power cycle fewer than ten times.

    The machine before that was a WindowsXP machine, which required more than one hundred reboots in the first two months of ownership merely for operating system updates, and could run for roughly a week maximum before locking up in a kernel race condition. I sure do miss playing Quake III Team Arena on it! But that is the only thing I miss.

    I am unimpressed by two-week uptimes.

  27. aj says:

    They did something like this for New Coke.

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