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Microsoft's "Mojave Experiment" Teaser Site Goes Live 464

Posted by timothy
from the resculpting-expectations dept.
MojoKid writes "Earlier this week, Microsoft was reported to be arranging a kind of 'blind taste test' to get die-hard Windows XP users to try Vista. They were told that they were trying a new OS, called Mojave. The report went on to suggest that users liked the OS, though they were actually running Vista. Now it appears Microsoft has put up a teaser site, with plans to show the actual video footage next week. Though the footage should at least have some entertainment value, it would be a bit of a reach to expect that the test methodologies were real-world enough such that users had to deal with things like user account control, driver updates, and broad application compatibility."
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Microsoft's "Mojave Experiment" Teaser Site Goes Live

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  • by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Sunday July 27, 2008 @05:57AM (#24356571) Homepage Journal

    Researchers have conducting 'taste tests' have found that recipients of grits in their pants preferred having cold grits poured down their pants rather than hot grits.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Linux is illegal! You are breaking the law, and hurting yourself and your family with your ILLEGAL SOFTWARE. Your ip has been noted and is being forwarded to the SPA with a reccomendation that they investigate your CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. Please destroy all your unpatriotic linux software before the government finally cracks down on you people and you all end up as lampshades or soap.

    • by mpeg4codec (581587) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @11:12AM (#24358665) Homepage

      The real question on everyone's minds is, of course, was Natalie Portman involved? If so, was she naked and/or petrified?

  • makes you wonder (Score:4, Interesting)

    by walshy007 (906710) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @05:58AM (#24356577)

    makes you wonder if they used a stock install of vista, or the upcoming vista sp1 etc. 'here, it's not a pile of crap'
    (with each driver being run having been fully audited by microsoft, and everything tested beforehand to make sure it works)

    A good test would have been to have them install the os themselves, on a box that could be randomly chosen from a large selection each with different hardware, and to see how well they fare with getting it all going.

    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:15AM (#24356673)

      Repeat the experiment with a "Vista Capable" set of hardware, the stuff MS is getting sued over.

      • by JMandingo (325160) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @07:22AM (#24357007)

        I just did another downgrade from Vista to XP this week. A friend bought a brand new PC from Wal-Mart with Vista on it. He couldn't stand the fact that his 5-year-old machine at work running XP was more responsive than his brand new Vista box.

        He wanted the downgrade bad enough that he traded me several XBox games to do the work. That is saying something right there. When I asked him if he liked the features on Vista he looked at me quizzically and scratched his head.

        Never let bling interfere with usability. The "ooh, shiny" of fancy graphics and widgets lasts only a moment. On the other hand, usability issues will become increasingly frustrating over time.

        • Mostly HP, Acer notebooks, but also at least one new Sony (scrabble keyboard). The worst so far was a brand new Toshiba Satellite A300 - couldn't find XP support for the card reader or onboard modem for love nor money... (oh, and the sound driver left the built in mic completely deaf (with no mic boost)). So, watch out if you're upgrading.

          FWIW, built in webcams on most new notebooks work out of the box with no drivers (for which I'm thankful).

          Andy

        • by bdenton42 (1313735) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @09:07AM (#24357567)
          The biggest problem with many discount PCs is that they typically come with very small amounts of RAM, 1 GB (sometimes even 512MB). The difference in Vista between 1 GB and 2 GB is pretty dramatic. There is some difference between 2 GB and 3 GB as well.
          • by westlake (615356) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:15PM (#24359221)
            The biggest problem with many discount PCs is that they typically come with very small amounts of RAM, 1 GB (sometimes even 512MB).
            .

            The $349 Vista Basic desktop at Walmart.com ships with 2 GB RAM

            Walmart.com has 30 Vista desktops and 20 Vista desktops that ship with at least 2 GB RAM. 3 or 4 GB is not uncommon. 64-bit Vista is gaining visibility as well.

            The 512 MB PC runs XP Home or - wait for it - Linux.

            This follows a depressingly familiar pattern. The moment OEM Linux begins to gain some traction, hardware prices fall and the Windows system with eye-popping specs becomes suddenly very affordable.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by David Gerard (12369)

            If you were talking about a Unix running KDE 3.5.9, those numbers would be 256MB, 384MB and 512MB.

        • Re:makes you wonder (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Ilgaz (86384) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @09:20AM (#24357683) Homepage

          I had serious problems on my Quad G5 when I upgraded to Leopard 10.5.0 from Tiger OS X (10.4). I kept reporting bugs to bugreporter.apple.com , stay away from any third party enhancement until something stable ships (from Apple!) and tried my best to report third party quirks.

          It has nothing to do with Vista of course except one thing.

          Apple actually admits the issues (which effects me) and asks for more information, samples of processes, attached USB drives list.

          Now after such love-hate relationship, 10.5.4 (think like SP4) became way better on Tiger in some aspects. You also feel like someone out there cares for your issues. Whether they fix or not, that is another issue. MS have driven people to such paranoia (with Genunine advantage) that people tweaks their paid operating system NOT to send kernel crash reports.

          MS won't admit any issues and does such crazy things like claiming people having problems are actually "psychologically" having them and set a site for it even. The root of problem is that.

          Random, cheap hardware is their problem too. E.g. Apple did a very interesting (not sure if intentional) thing to get rid of broken RAMs. Either 10.3.x or 10.4.x (I guess 10.3) does a RAM test, a hardcore one silently and basically falls to black screen if RAM broken. Would MS dare to do such a thing? Please note that it is an experience and various random Apple service center/sales guys quote. There is no such "We are testing your RAM and will fail if it is broken" status message in installler :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JWSmythe (446288) *

          When I first got my hands on a Vista machine, I was a little excited. I had tried out some betas, but they didn't work very well (surprise, beta). I worked under the assumption that they had fixed up XP, and gave it a pretty skin. Oh, I was so wrong.

          So over a year later, I got a new desktop machine at work. Athlon 64 3800+, 2Gb RAM, SATA drive. For giggles, I let it boot up into Vista. It was something like 20 to 30 minutes to get to the desktop, since it was a first boot. From there

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Charcharodon (611187)
      Vista Sp1 has come and gone five months ago, where have you been?

      (with each driver being run having been fully audited by microsoft, and everything tested beforehand to make sure it works)

      So kind of like an Apple? Do something that everyone raves about, but get put down for it. Sounds fair to me.

    • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:40AM (#24356783) Homepage

      Are you suggesting that Microsoft would actually go through the trouble of "stacking the deck"? The very same Microsoft whose presentations are famous with the likes of Bill Gates plugging in a scanner and getting the BSOD in front of the whole planet? To suggest this would suggest that Microsoft has learned from their mistakes which I find unlikely. In order to learn from your mistakes, you have to first admit to yourself that you even MADE a mistake which is not something Microsoft is known for doing. In fact, this whole exercise is about trying to say "you guys are all just prejudiced against Vista! You never gave it a fair chance!" rather than admitting to themselves that Vista is a mistake and that cutting off WindowsXP is an even bigger one.

      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)

        They were caught doing it in court, so yes they would go to that trouble in heartbeat.

        I'm wondering if it was a 2008 server in a client build with some of the bling switched on... with 90% of the CPU sucking services disabled it ends up a reasonable OS.

        The other way to stack the deck is to run it with at least 4gb of memory and a blazing fast processor. Hand picked hardware with the best drivers goes without saying.

      • It's MS, not Apple (Score:5, Informative)

        by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @08:51AM (#24357461) Journal

        Actually, you have to distinguish between

        1. what MS's PR/propaganda machine does to the outside world, and

        2. what MS does internally.

        I remember the story linked to on Slashdot, where basically to get any new product and technology done at MS, you had to go in front of Bill Gates, hear him say that it's the dumbest thing he ever heard, then tell him that he's wrong and you're sure of it. Pretty much everything that was done at MS past some point, was done by people who told Bill Gates to his face that he's wrong or made a mistake.

        It's not Apple, where everything is supposedly done because of The Great Man Steve Jobs, and everything is because of The Great Man's vision, and He is never wrong. At MS everything was done _in_ _spite_ of Bill Gates's vision to the contrary. Or at least so went that little game internally.

        Their invasion of the Internet, going with DirectX instead of OpenGL, etc, etc, etc, were done by people who went in front of Bill Gates and told him that he's wrong.

        And there were enough cases where they switched directions in mid-flight, instead of ploughing ahead to the hilt. E.g., they weren't going to do any Internet support, they wanted to make their own proprietary network. Some ex-Borland guy went to Bill and told him that it's a mistake, and the rest is history.

        Heck, from the very beginning there's the story of the new guy who went to Bill Gates to tell him that the flood-fill function in MS Basic is crap and needs to be rewritten. So he got asked to write a better one then. Turns out that that function was written by Bill himself.

        Now the PR bullshit they spew on the outside world, is a whole different story. And the kind of PR stunt in TFA _is_ probably their work. Though even that one occasionally admits that an older product had bad parts. E.g., see the Clippy spiel when they finally got rid of that annoyance.

        Or you'll notice that there are more dumb ideas than that, which got silently discontinued. E.g., MS Bob. Now that was a fuckup. I don't see them still pushing it instead of admitting that it didn't work.

        Now mind you, I'm not saying that MS is anywhere near perfect or ideal in any form or shape or aspect. But they do realize that sometimes things don't work as formerly planned, and some are just mistakes. You don't get to be a mega-corporation that size by being keeping doing a mistake just to not admit it.

        But again, admitting it to the outside world, now that's a whole other problem. Of course they're not going to say Vista is crap, as long as they don't have a replacement. But they _are_ already working on Windows 7 and on the SP1 for Vista, and I'd be surprised if they didn't include some of the lessons learned in the design of both.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ozbird (127571)
        Are you suggesting that Microsoft would actually go through the trouble of "stacking the deck"?

        Not at all! It's just a Microsoft certified deck, containing only hearts: 50% aces, 30% kings, 10% queens, 9% jacks and some Balmers - err, jokers. It's a perfect deck - any deviation from expectations is your own fault.
    • by mrscott (548097) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @07:54AM (#24357151)
      Where do I begin? Modded "interesting" because the poster has no clue what he's talking about or because there are so many lemmings on Slashdot? What else would they do? Do a test where it was going to fail?? The upcoming SP1? If you're going to bash something, at least have a clue first. Install the OS themselves? How many normal people are really going to do that? More than likely, they're buying a new computer and it will come with Vista. Which, by the way, will probably be well tested so that there are no driver issues. Is selling a computer with working Windows also considered stacking the deck in your world? I hate going on the offensive, but some of the Vista talk is just... stupid. Do you people really expect MS to just roll over on this? If you do, you're more than just a little naive.
  • Hardware (Score:4, Insightful)

    by somersault (912633) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:00AM (#24356585) Homepage Journal

    They were probably running on top of the range hardware as well, a grahics card with 1GB of RAM, system with 4GB of RAM and a Quad core processor etc.. most people accept that Vista looks nicer, but looks are not everything to those who have to use their computer every day for work.

    Would have been funny if they tried to do this when Vista was first released and one of the tests was 'delete a file' :p

    • Re:Hardware (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:14AM (#24356661)

      >They were probably running on top of the range hardware as well, a grahics card with 1GB of RAM, system with 4GB of RAM and a Quad core processor etc..

      Except that they were not. The linked site says they were running on HP dv2000 with 2Gb RAM.

      • Core Duo 1.8 GHZ, 2G Ram ... Something makes me think that this is still beefier than what most Joe SixPacks are running at home.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jo42 (227475)

        Make the fsckers run it on a 2.4 GHz P4 with 256 MB RAM.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by loraksus (171574)

        I'll put $20 down that their test rig wasn't running an antivirus, since those kinds of apps kill performance like nothing else on Vista.
        Also bet you UAC was off.

        In any case, MS claims this was is a "demo" which suspiciously sounds like "video" or at least a restrictive environment.

        Speaking of controlled environments - the "ooh shiny" does make it seem much faster than it really is if you're not running a side by side comparison. People are more than willing to wait 1.25 seconds to open up "Computer" if 3/4

    • by marcushnk (90744)

      read the teaser site link
      System: HP Pavilion DV 2000 with 2GB ram.

      Not really a supercomputer :-P

      But see my other post... this proves nothing, Vista isn't too bad to use for the first few hours... its medium to long term real world use that shows it to be a complete pig of an OS.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @07:24AM (#24357013) Homepage

      My (limited) Vista experience is on a laptop with Celeron CPU, 1Gb RAM and Intel graphics.

      It seemed to run just fine to me, Aero included.

      I wounldn't have Vista for other reasons but maybe Microsoft is right - people like you need to take a second look.

  • by msgmonkey (599753)

    You see all it requires is for users to be re-educated and they will love Vista. The same way that if only goverments could re-educate the voters they'd have nothing to gripe about.

  • Only Vista? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dword (735428) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:06AM (#24356615)
    Why didn't they give the users multiple flavors of the most colorful operating systems they never tried (Vista, OSX, Kubuntu, etc) and ask them which one they liked best?

    They gave them Vista and asked them if they liked it... That doesn't say much because nobody (most importantly THEY) knows if they'd like OSX more.
    • Re:Only Vista? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 4D6963 (933028) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:13AM (#24356653)

      Why didn't they give the users multiple flavors of the most colorful operating systems they never tried (Vista, OSX, Kubuntu, etc) and ask them which one they liked best?

      Why? Oh I don't know really.. Maybe because Microsoft doesn't want to publish something that says that users like Mac OS X best?

    • by Monoman (8745) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:22AM (#24356701) Homepage

      Great PR job. I KNEW the Iraqi Minister of Information would land on his feet somewhere.

    • Re:Only Vista? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Haeleth (414428) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:53AM (#24356873) Journal

      Why didn't they give the users multiple flavors of the most colorful operating systems they never tried (Vista, OSX, Kubuntu, etc) and ask them which one they liked best?

      Because that question is irrelevant. This isn't about trying to convince people who don't use Windows to use Windows, or about trying to convince people that Windows is the best OS ever. The message Microsoft is going for is simple: "If you like XP, you'll like Vista too."

      (And I happen to agree with them: I'm not particularly fond of Windows, but having used Vista, I can't see where all the hate is coming from. My personal ranking is Linux > OS X > Vista > XP.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyYar (622222)

      That doesn't say much because nobody (most importantly THEY) knows if they'd like OSX more.

      IMHO, they'd have nothing to worry about. People who are happy with MS tend to dislike MacOS, if only because it makes them learn some new things.

      "Converts" are people who have either no particular tie to Windows... like my wife who never knows whether she's on Mac or Windows when talking to tech support. "Is there an Apple at the top left, ma'am?" Either that or people who for whatever reason are so thoroughly disgusted with Windows that they actively seek out an alternative.

  • Seems desperate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dice Fivefold (640696) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:11AM (#24356641)

    I think this is a bad move by Microsoft. It only makes them seem desperate. By making this viral campaign, they openly admit that vista so far has failed in the consumer market.

    This campaign really focus on the wrong issues. The main complaints over vista has never been that it isn't shiny and dazzling enough. The problems was that it makes older hardware painfully slow, the UAC annoyance, incompatible drivers etc. These are not things that a user notices in a 10 minute demo. This campaign shows nothing.

    • It's a normal move for them. They have very little in the way of savoir faire when it comes to dealing with consumers.

      Exhibit A is the Zune software screen that looks like group sex. I mean, WTF is this trying to say...

      http://www.ryanblock.com/wp/files/zune-error.jpg [ryanblock.com]

    • by mrscott (548097)
      Been using Vista for a long while now...

      UAC isn't that bad anymore. Annoying at the beginning, but you get used to it and it's not really all that intrusive.

      Vista was handily panned in its initial reviews. The average computer user is afraid of it based on what they've heard from friends and the media. This campaign is intended to change the perception of the product, not to *show* anything.

      I will give you "makes older hardware painfully slow" but that's it. Most people will get it with a new compute

  • They have a point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Charcharodon (611187) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:14AM (#24356663)
    Yawn.... the first 100 posts of "Why I hate Vista and MS is the devil, any other OS is better post" will prove their point.

    75% of the whiners haven't ever installed it, and the other 25% tried to put it on a 6 year old budget "Dude I got Dell" computer the first month after it went public.

    I don't even think there is even a dead horse anymore to beat. You guys are just masterbating now.

    • Re:They have a point (Score:5, Informative)

      by SirSmiley (845591) <siraraya@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:32AM (#24356747)
      I recently installed vista ultimate 64 bit on my athlon 3800 dual core and upgraded to 4 gig of ram so i needed a 64 bit os to take full advantage...the 32 bit xp could only recognize 3.37 gig...im thinking of going back to xp and using the 3.37 gig because vista is definitely using more ram and the performance is actually worse. Bootup time is simply unacceptable, it is about three times longer than xp if not four. That is with a 32meg cache on a new 500 gig sata2 seagate barracuda v 11 drive. Running apps take on average 2-4 times longer to open
      • Give Linux a try, perhaps?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Danzigism (881294)
        i have the 32bit version running on a 2.4ghz core 2 duo with 2gb of RAM and a simple geforce 7900 card and it runs incredibly well. for AMDs, I highly recommend the 64bit version. i've seen it boot up in less than 30 seconds on some AMDs. but i wouldn't even bother using the 32bit version because the difference is definitely noticable. this isn't microsoft's fault though. software manufacturer's need to step up to the plate and get the 64bit architecture rolling because it's been on the shelves for the past
      • by mpeskett (1221084)
        Could get yourself the 64-bit version of XP... except they probably aren't selling it any more.

        Still, you could get it from other sources.
      • by mrscott (548097)
        First of all, Vista is DESIGNED to use more RAM. It tries to anticipate your needs and load things into RAM ahead of time. And yes, Vista does have a lot more overhead, but 4GB is plenty sufficient!

        On the slow boot up - not good, but the RAM thing - by design.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by datapharmer (1099455)
      Well I haven' complained yet, but let me chime in. I haven't installed it, I didn't need to. I used it on a brand new acer laptop where it was preinstalled by the manufacturer. The machine is a core 2 duo with 2 GB ram and and X3100 graphics which was the best available onboard chipset from Intel at the time of purchase.

      Problems with Vista that you notice very quickly (but not in 10 minutes):

      1. Windows Firewall, UAC, and Norton (preinstalled) fight constantly over control of the PC. If you go online for
      • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday July 27, 2008 @08:51AM (#24357463)

        Ok, I'm going to call you on these - but first, some background.

        When Vista came out, I didn't immediately jump onto it - I had no need, I was using Macs exclusively at home and XP exclusively at work, I had no spare time to 'play' with an OS.

        In the past year my work role changed drastically - I was no longer the legacy systems developer that I had been for 5 years, I was moving into infrastructure support - so I decided it was time to buy a Windows laptop (Windows on bootcamp is not really decent for heavy usage, Apple haven't done a stellar job with the drivers).

        So I went out and bought an XPS M1530 - 2GB ram, Core2Duo T7500. It came with Vista Home Premium. SP1 got put on as soon as the laptop hit my desk.

        My first thought was 'Ok, get the drivers for XP and lets install XP Pro'. Only I didn't have the time, so I put it off. And then I kept finding other things to do, so it kept getting put off.

        Until, eventually, it was several months later and I realised that Vista wasn't living up to its Slashdot hype - it wasn't getting in my way, I didn't have a slow system, it wasn't crashing, none of my apps were having issues, UAC was staying out of my way and only making an appearance when I *expected* it to make an appearance etc etc. In short, I sat back and realised there wasn't any reason for me to actually go back to XP Pro.

        So here I sit, XPS in front of me, iMac on its pedistool over on one corner of the desk, Macbook Pro on another pedistool on the other corner of the desk, and a Dell Vostro 200 sat under the desk running Windows Server 2008 Standard. And I couldn't be happier.

        Now, to address your points:

        1. If you are having problems with the preinstalled software, that indicates a problem with your OEMs install more than anything - if several applications are all vying for the same job, I would expect a mess on any platform.
        2. The power management works perfectly for me, it tells me when the batteries are low and it places the XPS into the right state for the right battery level. Even when the laptop is sleeping anyway. You can right click on the tray expansion icon and select which System Icons to always display - and Power is one of them (for me its ticked by default).
        3. My XPS seems to happily speed step as required, and the laptop certainly doesn't get as hot as the Macbook Pro does.
        4. I haven't yet had a problem with IE7 - certainly not anything that makes it impossible to use. I tend to use IE, Firefox and Safari about equally on this system.
        5. Wireless works effortlessly for myself - on my travels I tend to roam between several networks (home, work, friends, BT Openzone etc etc) and setting up the new network is painless, and I have never had to reset one up after the first connection.

        So, sorry but your assertion that 'Problems with Vista that you notice very quickly (but not in 10 minutes)' haven't yet applied to myself after several months of usage.

        Now, its sad but all I am expecting in reply to this is the standard 'M$ shill' response - I'm no shill, just someone that hasn't had a problem.

        • by illumin8 (148082) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @02:06PM (#24360199) Journal

          So I went out and bought an XPS M1530 - 2GB ram, Core2Duo T7500. It came with Vista Home Premium. SP1 got put on as soon as the laptop hit my desk.

          I too have noticed that Vista 64 Home Premium SP1 runs fine on top of the line hardware, such as your workstation class notebook. I have it running on an Intel Q6600 quad core, 4GB RAM, Nvidia 8800GT, and it runs admirably.

          The people having problems with Vista seem to have only 1GB RAM or less, and ancient older computers without dedicated graphics cards.

          I won't fault them for hating an OS that runs like molasses when XP runs just fine on anything with 1GB of RAM.

          For those of us that have really top of the line PCs like you and I, sure, we can run it just fine, and for the most part, still have no major problems with it (except I still wonder why it takes 2-3 minutes to delete a lot of files... what the hell is it doing all that time?).

          For the vast majority of PC users that don't upgrade every year and don't need top of the line equipment, there is a night and day difference between XP and Vista.

          Oh, and by the way, I did have to spend about 4 hours turning off every single unnecessary service, background indexing, and hacking the registry to make it decent to play games in, but that was long ago and I've mostly forgotten about all of that effort...

  • 10 minutes? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lucas.Langa (922843) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:16AM (#24356681) Homepage
    So... it just finished booting up?
  • It seems to me that this was NOT users testing a system, but instead was a (10 minute) demo shown to users. So it wouldn't mean anything. All demos always look good (or someone needs to be fired quickly).

    Or did I misunderstand it?

  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:22AM (#24356705) Homepage Journal
    Roseanne Roseannadanna: The violence in our cities must stop! Innocent people are traveling around on the Intertubes and finding themselves assaulted by violent corporations. Now they are using electrical gun-things to shock ordinary citizens when they innocently go to certain places.
    Chevy Chase: Uh, Roseanne, that's a teaser site, not a taser site.
    Roseanne Roseannadanna: Oh. Never mind.
  • Marketing Reboot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dalmiroy2k (768278) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:38AM (#24356775)

    Microsoft may got something here.
    I don't think Vista's requirements are a problem at all for people with at least a 2 year old pc.
    Vista's main problem is marketing related. They didn't stick with only one household version (ultimate) like OS X does, instead they offer you 10 versions like "starter, home basic, home premium" and people gets irritated and confused.
    This Mohave thing looks like a facelift making the product less microsoftish and more Web 2.0/Apple inclined.
    It may work with people who got seducted with a Macbook if they cash in good press, enough ads and TV spots.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      I don't think Vista's requirements are a problem at all for people with at least a 2 year old pc.

      I think you mean desktop PC. Since the majority of new sales are laptops (and a lot of these are low-spec, low-power, machines), and a large number of people didn't upgrade their desktops for well over two years (few non-geeks I know have upgraded machines bought after about 2000/2001 for any reason other than hardware failures, since they've been 'fast enough') the number of really Vista-capable machines is probably a lot smaller than you might expect.

  • sigh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I cant say this really suprised me. Seems like people foam at the mouth if you start talking about vista just because its from microsoft.

    I work with a guy who really prides himself as being an tech god. We were looking at laptops because we both needed one, and of course all of them had vista. I was treated to him bitching how he couldnt find one without it. I asked why he didnt like it and he simply said it was because of all the problems people were having. I asked if it was the fluffy interface or the dr

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Datamonstar (845886)
      I used to be just like your boy there, until yesterday when I took my fist tech call on Vista and was treated to 15 mins of "initializing your desktop" right after setting up the software. This was on a brand new, right out of the box system that should have been as simple as plug it up, turn it on, change the date/time, make a password and start browsing. But no, it took 15 mins to "setup" even though everything was already installed and the desktop was drudgery to navigate with more than 3 windows open. A
  • Desperation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ISurfTooMuch (1010305) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:50AM (#24356855)

    This smacks of some desperation on Microsoft's part. I mean, if they have to avoid telling people they're using Vista, then they're acknowledging there's a negative perception of the OS out there.

    And this, IMHO, is what trips software makers up. If your product is perceived negatively, then you'd damn well better find out why and fix it. I've said this about OpenOffice for a while now. Is it slow? Maybe a little. Not terrible to me, but maybe a little, and there are certainly some people who think so. So try and work on that. The same goes for Vista. For better or worse, people don't like it, so find out why and address those issues. Don't just try to convince people that their opinions are wrong.

    The problem, of course, is that MS has invested tons of money in Vista. Whether it's a turkey or not, it's perceived that way, and MS realizes it, hence this site. But when people have made up their minds, it won't be easy to solve the problem simply by telling them they're wrong. Address their complaints instead, and you might convince them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tknd (979052)

      For better or worse, people don't like it, so find out why and address those issues. Don't just try to convince people that their opinions are wrong.

      First off there are things that Vista does wrong, but there are also things that it does better. The problem they had was they are sitting on years of backwards compatibility and broken concepts that to change them would violate the "consistency" of the OS. This puts them in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

      For example, let's talk security and UAC. In the Windows XP world, some applications were written poorly where they assumed that they had full access to pretty much the entire syst

  • by golodh (893453) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:50AM (#24356857)
    The report does say that the test subjects never had hands-on experience with the OS.

    Having a hands-off experience with an OS is like examining a car in the showroom: its mileage is just great as long as you don't start the engine.

    In addition, my guess is that that Microsoft ensured favourable test conditions (top-of-the-line hardware, plenty of Ram, hardware graphics acceleration, and a nice clean install without crapware).

    This "Mojave" demonstration might be good publicity though, but only as long as people don't start to question what exactly was shown and whether or not Microsoft provided unrealistically favourable test conditions. For one thing seems pretty obvious: Microsoft didn't use a $498 Dell computer from Wallmart as a test platform.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jcr (53032)

      whether or not Microsoft provided unrealistically favourable test conditions.

      Of course they did. The test subjects didn't have to deal with installing or registering it.

      -jcr

    • No need to guess, if you had bothered to follow the link, you would have seen that the hardware used was a HP Pavilion dv2000 with 2 GB RAM. As you can tell from the specs [cnet.com], this is a low-end laptop with only a Core Duo T2400 processor and Intel integrated graphics.

      I can see the purpose behind this kind of test - it's very, very popular to hate Vista even though there are very few actual problems with the OS (especially since SP1). We switched to Vista at work right after it came out and while there were a few rough edges to start with, I never felt like going back to XP. Vista is simply better in every way except performance on low-end systems.

      Of course, with the anti-Vista hatefest still going on, there's little Microsoft can do but try new marketing approaches to get that message across. They're hardly running out of money, after all. Unfortunately this means that Windows 7 will likely be Vista with a new name and some of the rough edges smoothed out, to pull the same trick as the "Mojave Experiment" - give Vista a different name and people might like it.
  • by burni (930725) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:53AM (#24356871)
    This is the question which bothers me when reading about the "mojave experiment", how can it be that those ppl. haven't seen anything of vista and so could not recognize it on sight ?

    I know how Vista would look - as 90% of /.readers did - when it was a beta, a thanks to independent software distributors.

    So what have they changed, that those "experienced users" haven't recognized it as vista, or were they drugged before or even bribed ?

    Was it really Vista or was it Windows Server 2008, which seems to be the better Vista ?

    I think of this as a usual MS market scam, but it reminds me to a similar kind of annoying advertisement IBM was persuing
    for OS/2 Warp 3.0.
    It was on german TV, don't know if it was somewhere else on TV, featuring a small headed blondi-like secretary who was just to dumb to understand how real multitasking would make her work easier, and how OS/2 would push her climax to a new orgasm*)

    By the way if it wouldn't be possible to turn off all colourfullness on WindowsXP I wouldn't use it either and
    stayed with Windows 2000, or I would have poisoned the search dog, burned the wizzard and clamped the paper clip.

    *Warning this is a pleonasm.
  • Just about any OS is nice and fun to use for the first few hours of use.

    Watch how aggravated people become when trying to use "Mojave" in the real world.
    After the first few days they'll be annoyed, after the first few weeks they'll be pissed off and aggravated.
    After a few months they'll want to swap back to XP/Linux etc

  • Why is it that XP 64 bit (apart from lack of driver support) isn't at all bad, and Vista, also presumably based on Server 2003, isn't all that good?

    I run both XP64 and Ubuntu 8.04 on identical hardware side by side (test lab) with a happy absence of problems on either, and the Server 2003 SP hs worked just fine on XP. Microsoft can build something that is solid and just works. So why don't they? (needs a naivete tag here). I would happily run either OS on my notebook but driver support is the problem in bo

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday July 27, 2008 @07:00AM (#24356911) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft's attempts to pull their Edsel out of the mud reminds me of a line from an old Albert Brooks movie:

    "Wouldn't it be great if desperation made us more attractive?"

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @07:13AM (#24356961)

    You remember the coke ads where the "randomly selected" participants invariably chose coke over the other brand? No, really? What did you think you see, a "representative average"? Or just the ones that actually chose coke, no matter whether that was 90 or 10 percent of the people "tested"?

    It's like those "interviews" where they try to show just how dumb the average Joe is. Go out on the street with a world map and let people point out Iraq. Sure, 90% might find it, but when you only show the 10% who search for ages and finally point to India or even Florida, you "show" just how dumb the population is.

    But let's for a moment assume that yes, 90 percent of their participants said that Vista is nice. Ok, it is. Hey, it sure looks great. Especially when you offer nothing to compare it to. Give someone who's hungry a Hamburger and he'll tell you it's great. Especially when you don't offer him some steak at the same time.

  • by yelvington (8169) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @07:27AM (#24357037) Homepage

    The right way to conduct such a test would be to pull a random low-end, Vista-certified PC from the shelf at Wal-Mart or Best Buy and then see what happens, starting with the unboxing process.

    One of the many ways in which Microsoft aimed a BFG9000 at its own feet was certifying hardware incapable of running Vista. Hundreds of thousands of laptops were shipped with 512MB of memory. "First run" on such a system can take up to 45 minutes as Vista actually has to install itself first. Then the machine is so crippled by lack of RAM that even running Solitaire is interrupted by wild disk activity accompanied by random lockups of the user interface.

    If you want to run Vista, you need to spend the price of an Macintosh on the hardware. And if you're going to do that, you might as well get a Mac in the first place.

    There's nothing wrong with those half-gig laptops, by the way. They're great when running Ubuntu.

  • I'm sure that with top 'o the line hardware and huge amounts of resources (CPU speed, memory, disk space) then Vista will run very nicely.

    However, I don't feel the need to go through a huge upheaval: replacing pretty much every component of my machine and learning a different set of "stuff" just to run the same old applications that I use daily.

    The machine I have runs very nicely with XP on 512MB and a modest 1.2GHz processor. I've been running it like this for years with no complaints, problems or comp

  • OK, poor call by Microsoft. Seems like a pretty pants way of recovering from a bad situation... but surely there is some logic to trying to avert Vista prejudice. I have not used Vista extensively... I switched to Linux in the Windows XP era and haven't looked back... but I have to admit that I have become afflicted by Vista prejudice promoted by the tech community. Have I properly trialled Vista before reaching my conclusion of it being the spawn of Hell? No. Have the majority of Vista-haters out there?
  • vista works fine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DaveGod (703167) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @08:08AM (#24357219)

    I have a lot of difficulty matching my Vista experience with the meme. People seem remarkably enthusiastic to dismiss the OS and complain about lack of compatibility and sluggishness in particular. My impression was going 64 bit bordered on masochism.

    Having started out on SP1 with common, modern hardware, I have none of these apparently certain problems - indeed the reverse has held true. Vista boots noticeably faster and is much more snappy in use. All of my hardware had Vista drivers. I can't see why MS bothered with the 32bit version since 64 happily runs everything I've thrown at it. UAC was a nuisance for the first week but experienced users can revert to a proper account management and novices can get some of it's security from UAC.

    I can see why businesses are sticking with XP. There isn't justification to risk any headaches. There's not enough value for home users with XP already on their machines. Advanced users may have specific reason [wikipedia.org] to avoid it even on new machines.

    It's fully justified to critisise MS for releasing a product that fails to push us substantially further forward than the 5 years+ since XP. But for Joe home user buying a new PC, I think the tech enthusiast community are doing them a disservice with our Vista vitriol. We encourage them to decide between Vista or XP, and to pick the weaker of the two. The choice should be Vista or Linux.

  • Double oops (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stan Vassilev (939229) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @08:51AM (#24357471)

    This campaign has two problems:

    1. It wrecks the illusion that Microsoft believes "Vista is the most successful Windows release ever". Have you seen them talk about Vista in public? They cite sales statistics and call it their most well received release ever. Why then do that campaign in the first place, and that late into the cycle?

    2. Microsoft underestimated the power of technical users forming the opinion of their less technical friends, clients, family. The marketing of Vista (the "wow" begins now and so on) was targeted to the non-technical folks, while ignoring to address the concerns raised by the more technical people they communicate with on a daily basis. This campaign fails in that as well, so it'll have a very minimal effect on Vista's PR.

  • by feyd-rautha (1256602) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @09:06AM (#24357563)
    You can significantly reduce the amount of memory that Vista uses by tweaking the startup services. I stumbled across an excellent site [blackviper.com] that has a table of all the default Vista services and what they do, with a categorized breakdown of what you should and should not disable.
  • by Innomin8 (1096119) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @09:20AM (#24357687)

    I am one of those who falls into the "die hard XP" group.

    I DID try Vista. I gave it a fair dinkum go, and here's my story. I even sang it's praises for a short time (up until about point 4, which was less than 1 month in)

    - Bought Vista, and an extra 1GB of memory, as I knew I'd need it.

    - Installed Vista, installation and activation went smoothly.

    - Had pain with sound card drivers (Creative SB Audigy 2). Couldn't change between headphones / speakers without relaunching every application that played sound. Very annoying.

    - World of Warcraft (and other games) could not be run in Window mode without huge performance penalties. Found could alt-tab out of full screen with little of the normal delay you get when alt-tabbing out

    - Discovered leaving a full screen 3D app alt-tabbed for more than a few minutes resulted in that app being inaccessible, requiring process kill.

    - Decided to upgrade video card to get a performance boost. Vista required activation because I changed video cards. Couldn't be activated over the net, had to call Microsoft directly during business hours to get it turned back on. Ended up having to call from work and use remote desktop to enter the code supplied. WTF?

    - A few days later, decided to get a second identical video card to get better performance (yay SLI!) No activation needed this time thankfully.

    - Discovered Vista wouldn't run my video cards in SLI mode. Discovered BIOS update to fix this... installed it.

    - Discovered despite the fix, Vista still wasn't running anything in SLI mode.

    - Installed Ubuntu to dual-boot into. Discovered Ubuntu would quite happily run my video cards in SLI mode.

    - Spent several nights googling, and testing things to get SLI working

    - Formatted, re-installed Windows XP... no problems since.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @09:50AM (#24357913)

    I generally like Vista. Its flawed though and i hope that Microsoft will fix the silly memory management which just gobbles of all of your ram and never releases it to applications (they say it does... but it does not)

    Going back to XP... is a bit primitive feeling. Vista has some nice UI enhancements, but i would rather see Microsoft do more with it. Its anoying to always switch folders to detail list mode, and some just show the music details... this is very anoying.

    Even if you switch a folder to show a detail list... It would be nice for Vista to auto adjust each information column to display the information properly. I know you can right click on it, and have it adjust... but you need to do this for every folder.

    XP is too barebones, and Vista is too bloated.

    But i do like vista... i dont love it... and often i hate it.... but i tend to like it.

    The DRM shit has to go, and they need to focus on system performance and ui rather than worry about stupid shit like weather or not i can steel movies or music from their data pathways. Especially when its at the cost of performance. Any smart computer user would know that performance is very important. Microsoft needs to get that in their head. The OS is not an interface to giant corporations, it is my desktop.

    I know MS says in order to get blu-ray on windows, they had to encrypt the video pathways, thus rendering millions of crt monitors, landfill material. I find this disgusting, especially from BILL GATES, who is supposedly a humanitarian with an interest in helping man and the environment. Well Bill, you just dumped a shitload of CRT's into the ocean.

    Blu-ray would have come to windows no matter what. The entire world runs windows... i think Sony would have to live with that.

    Rip the DRM shit out now. Its bad for the environment, the user, and the performance of your OS. When you're more concerned with protecting IP, than PC performance, you are no longer writing an OS in my opinion.

    I did say i enjoyed vista right? hehe.. I do... its got to evolve into a lighter, leaner, faster, meaner os. MS needs to make a killer OS. Vista was not it, but perhaps a step towards it. We can only hope.

  • Poor test (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LingNoi (1066278) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @09:53AM (#24357941)

    Firstly it's Microsoft selecting people, like they select people on their getthefacts site.

    Secondly, asking people if they like an operating system... it's not like most people are going to be dicks and say "it sucks" to someone's face. If I was there I'd probably be encouraging and tell them I liked it too, doesn't mean I wouldn't switch from Ubuntu though.

  • by chrispycreeme (550607) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @10:08AM (#24358027)

    How could anyone NOT know what Vista looks like (and acts) at this point? Why do I picture 99 out of 100 of the users in these videos sitting down at the machine and saying "This sure as hell looks like Vista" and then getting frustrated and leaving.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shados (741919)

      Well, Windows 7 looks exactly like Vista, UI wise... Win98 and 2k looked a lot alike too. So it would make sense.

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @10:42AM (#24358351) Homepage

    Very clever piece of PR on Microsoft's part. Nobody said ever said they weren't great at PR.

    Speaking of blind taste tests, a funny thing happened a long time ago... my son was about six years old, we were at a mall where they were inviting people to "take the Pepsi challenge." My son was all excited, and so we lined up. They put two plastic cups in front of him. He tasted both. They asked which one he liked better.

    "I like this one better," he said with a great air of seriousness, but, unfortunately for Pepsi, he went on solemnly, "because it's colder and it has more bubbles in it." The presenters tried to bull ahead ("You chose Pepsi!") but it was too late... everyone within earshot was cracking up.

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