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Microsoft Mojave 'outs' secret Vista lovers

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Problem is, few doubted Windows Vista had eye candy. It certainly looked better than Windows XP and it's fair to say it's in the OS X ballpark, thanks to juicy, reflective graphics, media capabilities, and widgetized functionality outside the browser.

The real job of work for Mojave, and the reason Microsoft is trying to alter public perceptions at this stage, lies in the need to quickly move users off old versions of Windows and prevent losses to Apple.

According to the Mojave Experiment site - and beware, the numbers don't exactly add up - users of Windows XP plus a surprisingly large number of users on pre-Windows XP systems - were the majority of participants. There was also a contingent of Apple users.

While legacy versions of Windows and competition from Apple are not new challenges, there's an extra few problems this time around. Upgrades are being made harder now that you have OEMs like Dell still selling Windows XP and making Windows Vista available as an upgrade option. Also, Apple was a long way behind on the desktop, but its now enjoying a surge in sales.

And here we get to the real crux of the Mojave Experiment: the need to address failing Microsoft targets for upgrades and conversions to Windows Vista.

The original target for Windows Vista was so simple it was a no brainer: in an ever expanding-PC market, outsell Windows XP. According to a Microsoft-sponsored IDC report in 2006, Microsoft wanted to have 100 million machines running Windows Vista a year after the January 2007 launch. Then 200 million by January 2009.

Microsoft claimed to have sold 100 million Windows Vista licenses by January 2008 and - as of the end of its fiscal year - 180 million.

On paper, therefore, 200 million by the January 2009 should be a breeze. It took two and a half years for Windows XP to break the 200 million mark - 210 million by March 2004.

Licenses versus users

Not quite. That 180 million total is licenses sold and does not equate to end users, especially not when companies are downgrading to Windows XP and Dell is offering Windows XP with the option to later upgrade to Windows Vista. In these cases, Vista licenses are getting purchased. They are being bought by OEMs. Joe Wilcox provides more of a break down here.

Microsoft is behind the curve on Windows Vista upgrades thanks to the product's short comings, OEMs disrupting the upgrade cycle, and Apple proving more than an irritating distraction to end users.

The Windows Vista SP 1 represents a second bite at the cherry for Microsoft. And the Mojave Experiment, complete with a muscular upbraiding of those who disagree with it on Windows Vista, is marketing's attempt to capitalize on that.®

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