Not surprisingly, Microsoft's recent "blind taste test" of Windows Vista has yielded the kind of PR bonanza that Microsoft couldn't beg, borrow, or steal just a few weeks ago. This week, the company released a slew of videos showing some of the 140 consumers videotaped in San Francisco using Vista for the first time. But the users weren't told they were using Vista, as they were selected specifically because they believed that Vista wasn't any good. Instead, these people believed they were using a future Windows version, code-named Windows "Mojave."
The comments made by these individuals are emblematic of the problems Microsoft now faces when it tries to market Vista to a world that, apparently, has already made up its mind about the OS. "I heard negative things; I never tried it myself," one woman says.
"I wouldn't touch the thing." "It's horrible, it has so many problems." "I've heard nothing but bad things about Vista, really." On and on it goes. On a scale from 1 to 10, the average pre-rating for Vista was 4.4, Microsoft says.
Then, the users were shown "Mohave" and walked through (Vista) features like backup and restore, parental controls, recording TV, and making DVD movies. The comments changed dramatically. "Wow!" "I like that security feature." (Breathlessly) "That's great." "It's awesome." "Really cool." "It's really impressive." "It's totally different from what I heard it would be like." "It's an awesome program, but you have to see it for yourself." The average rating after the hands-on demonstration was 8.5. "Many would have rated it higher, but they wanted more time to play with it themselves," Microsoft notes.
Most tellingly, perhaps, not one of the 140 participants rated Vista lower than their initial pre-rating after having actually used the OS. And 94 percent of respondents rated Vista more highly.
Microsoft should have done something like this say, 6 months ago, at least. Vista has suffered an inordinate amount of bad press based on staggering misperceptions, vacuous sniping and groundless complaints – almost all originating from the extreme anti-Microsoft sect. The notorious ‘switcher’ ads ran by Apple have gone a good way in fanning those flames, further unfairly tainting people’s impressions of Vista. The Apple
fanatics lemmings who live cosily in their chamber of blissful ignorance and unjustified pomposity make up a good portion of that sect, of course. Don’t worry: you’re not alone - I hate them too!
But seriously, I don’t consider myself a Microsoft-lover and I recognise that Vista isn’t perfect. Still, the Vista-haters out there who go around touting their mindless misperceptions just kill me. Suffice to say that Vista-haters who carelessly strike up a conversation to try and indoctrinate me around to their way of thinking, invariably wish they never started.