Feeds

Microsoft Mojave 'outs' secret Vista lovers

Old battle, new cry

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Analysis If you listen very carefully, you'll hear a new beat coming from the drums in Microsoft's marketing department these days.

After two years in embarrassed silence, people have come out pumped up and taking no prisoners.

The message has come from the top and is beginning to percolate. "Windows Vista is great, just misunderstood," Redmond says. "Apple has twisted the facts and mislead gullible users, and analysts that criticize Windows Vista are either crazy or unreliable. Who can you trust? Microsoft."

The latest manifestation in this unfolding campaign is the Mojave Experiment, where Microsoft tricked ordinary people into liking Windows Vista, caught their reactions on "secret" camera and then posted them online. This follows the hardballing of analysts it disagrees with. We've been promised there's more to come. Can't wait.

Why, now that we're into Vista's second year and after the first Service Pack has launched, is Microsoft getting gung ho, especially if - as it claims - license sales are set to bust those of Windows XP?

The reason is that while the campaign is new, the issues for Microsoft are timeless, and it hasn't done itself any favors.

Windows Vista prior to SP 1 failed to meet the needs of ordinary users. And no amount of blaming Apple, analysts or stooopid users was going to change that.

A major block was the lack of third-party hardware or software support. What good is a PC operating system if there's no applications or peripherals to work with it?

Tellingly, Mojave seeks to address this. The web site notes there now exists 5,500 compatible devices and 3,500 software programs for Vista. But that's half as many devices as the company bragged about a year ago. Six months after Microsoft's January 2007 "consumer launch," it said 10,000 devices and 1,900 applications. No, we're not sure about the 10,000 number either, but it's possible Microsoft changed the metrics along the way.

Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner at the time of giving out the second set of numbers to partners last summer said: "We've made a big turn around on the application compatibility story, and we're just getting started."

The other big hurdle has been in getting Windows Vista to run properly on the average PC. Microsoft as good as admitted there was a problem with its Vista-ready and Vista-capable programs, and it has been in firefighting mode ever since, offering advice on how to speed up your PC to run Windows Vista.

The Mojave Experiment makes a point of saying it's using Windows Vista Ultimate on a regular, 2GB RAM, Intel Core 2 Due Hewlett-Packard PC. Nothing fancy there.

Bit fiddler

Except that as one former Microsoft Valued Professional pointed out in response to a blog from Windows client team communications director Chris Flores on Mojave, reality is different from a test machine. As we all know, most PCs soon begin to slow down in the real world.

"I am very capable of taking midline hardware and making XP screamingly fast on it, out of box. Once I start loading software and Active X objects and web components and spyware and spyware fighters well then everything gets sloowwww," the ex-MVP said. "Wanna see fast? Install [Windows] 98 on modern hardware, doesn't mean it's a secure or well-built OS."

It remains to be seen whether the Mojave Experiment will tackle these challenges. From what we can see in these very edited videos, there's a lot of focus on wowing users with eye candy. It's pitching against Windows XP and Apple on "look and feel", "new features" and "completeness", by picking on things like Gadgets and the Media Center.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?