Saturday, August 23, 2008

What's So Bad About The "Mojave Experiment"?

I was reminded recently of Microsoft's "Mojave Experiment" while reading an article about how Microsoft has hired Jerry Seinfeld as a pitchman. I guess if Apple has a couple of minor comedians making you look bad, you go and hire a comedian with real star power to retaliate. I had heard about the Mojave Experiment on the TWiT and/or Windows Weekly podcast, but I had never read about it. When I googled "Mojave Experiment", I found mostly Mojave Experiment haters. Seems people hate on Mojave the way they hate on Vista.

For the so-called Mojave Experiment, Windows asked XP users what they thought of Vista. Predictably, they hated it. They then showed them a "new and improved" OS that was actually Vista. People loved it! What does this tell us? It tells us that these people had never seen Vista because most of them didn't recognize the "new and improved" Mojave OS was Vista. It tells us they "hated" Vista mainly because they'd heard they should hate it from people who supposedly were "in the know." I've noticed that a lot of these public Vista haters who brag of their PC prowess include phrases like "stick with OS X" and "on my Linux install..."

Hhhhmmmm...... Maybe Mac fanboys and Linux geeks aren't the most neutral commenters on any Microsoft products? I've never used a Mac, but I'm sure they're great. Of course, if Microsoft maintained a closed system where they exercise draconian control of the hardware and the software, their products might run just as well as Apples, but then they'd really get bashed for their dictatorial business policies. As Paul Thurrott likes to point out, millions and millions of people boot up a huge variety of hardware running an even more enormous variety of software every day on millions and millions of Windows machines and they run! When you think about it, it is a miracle. I have used Linux and am convinced that while it is interesting that it is way beyond the capabilities and interest level of the average computer user. People aren't going to adopt Linux until they can just hit a button labeled "install" to download new software and don't have to worry about finding the right variety of package. In the meantime, Linux is for professional geeks and hobbyists.

So what do the Mojave Experiment bashers quibble with? One complained that the Mojave Experiment wasn't scientific and he hates bad "science." C'mon! It isn't science! It is marketing! The word "experiment" doesn't make it science. He complains of the "placebo effect"; i.e., if you tell people something is new and improved, then they'll do their best to perceive it as such. So what? These are people who perceived Vista as "terrible" and gave it a 0 out of 10. Microsoft already told them that Vista was "new and improved" and they still gave it a 0 before being exposed to it. The point is that if you don't tell them that the "new and improved" OS is the one they hate, they don't hate it. Another professional journalist "dissected" the Mojave Experiment. He concluded that you were seeing the result of a good sales pitch. It is naive to think the Vista hating isn't in part related to an equally good sales pitch. Seen any funny Apple ads lately?

No comments:

Post a Comment