Windows Vista has embarked on a new course from Windows Codename 'Perception' to the final product labeled 'Reality.' In the past, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer dismissed claims that the latest Windows client failed as a product. And commercially, Vista has fared rather well, selling what the software giant claims to be in excess of 180 million licenses (although the company traditionally counts all the copies of the operating system shipped, including those that went to its retail and OEM partners, and not all the platforms actually acquired by consumers). But at the same time Vista has failed to rise to the expectations of the original Longhorn project, or to the standard that was Windows XP SP2.
As far as Microsoft is concerned, Vista was never THE problem. This despite the fact that Chairman Bill Gates did indicate at CES 2008, that Vista could have done with a tad more baking time before it was released. End users, hardware manufacturers and software developers are responsible, in Microsoft's view, for the problems associated with Vista, and in this regard the company's limping marketing and evangelism efforts. But never Vista.
Even when the Redmond company admitted to the existence of some issues, it downplayed the matters to just isolated scenarios, and refuted reports that they were generalized. Still, the company was a little hesitant to applaud Service Pack 1 as the universal panacea for Vista RTM, especially in terms of performance, or to praise the plethora of new compatible software and added drivers in terms of support. The Redmond company simply claimed that the evolution that had to be introduced with Windows Vista catalyzed natural, inherent glitches.
But after a year and a half since the launch of Windows Vista, Microsoft is hard at work yet again to market the operating system, even though the company seemed to have given up after the death of the Wow. This time around a simple experiment dubbed Mojave
has caused quite a stir, generating both praises and criticism, with the latter ending up prevailing. But whether applauded or booed, the Windows Codename Mojave fills a marketing gap for Vista, perpetuated by Microsoft being mute on its operating system. Windows Codename 'Perception'
Mojave is not the next version of Windows. And Mojave is not a part of the Crispin Porter and Bogusky marketing campaign for Vista designed as a response to Apple's Get a Mac ads. Mojave is nothing more than what it claims to be. A simple experiment involving some 140 barely literate and Vista prejudiced XP, OS X, and Linux users being won over by a 10 minute demonstration of the operating system.
With the Windows Codenamed Mojave experiment Microsoft makes the first step at challenging the public perception of Windows Vista. The Redmond company has continuously claimed that its latest operating system has been hurt not as much by its own faults as by the generalized perception that it brought no additional value to what XP had to offer, being in fact inferior to its predecessor. Sure, Vista is selling by the millions, but those sales come as a consequence of the operating system being preloaded on new OEM machines, which in their turn sell by the millions. The vast majority of Windows XP users indicate a great deal of reluctance in upgrading to Windows Vista, with customers in the corporate environment moving extremely slow in terms of performing migrations to the new operating system, many of them taking advantage of the downgrade rights of the platform.
"We know that software that is made for this world is made to be compatible with your whole life, whether at work or at play, on home or on the go. Free the people: That is what we do, that is what we do every day--that is the value that we create for the world today. This is what Windows will stand for. And I invite all of you (...) to participate in that journey with me, to go forward, celebrate the experience of Windows with Windows Vista today, and the vision of where Windows is going tomorrow. We need to make our collective voices heard again, starting now. Together we are going to help (...) do things that they never thought possible, because that, more than anything else, is what you, we, and Windows stand for," read selected remarks from Brad Brooks, corporate vice president, Windows Consumer Product Marketing, from his speech at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference 2008. The Real Windows Vista Story
This is what Microsoft claims is the biggest problem with Windows Vista. Not the lacking drivers, the hardware and software incompatibility, or the poor performance. The company actually believes that it has allowed competitors, specifically Apple, and end users to spawn a fictive and untrue perspective over Vista. And it is determined to bring the truth to center stage. And the truth of course is not Windows Vista RTM, but Vista SP1
, which is a different thing altogether. Codename Reality
Windows Codenamed Mojave was praised mainly for being an example of Microsoft actively involving itself in what so far has been the marketing monologue with Apple as the director. And right it should be. A marketing dialog focused on Windows Vista means that the Redmond company would get its truth out, which hasn't happened as of yet. Microsoft is no longer dormant, but this is not necessarily good. Through its inactivity the software giant ensured that it did nothing to hurt itself. But now it's willing to take chances.
Still, the company has to be well aware that everything it does can backfire. Windows Mojave, while deemed a simple experiment, generated consistent criticism, from attacks to the select group Microsoft used to demo Vista, to the disputing of the relevance of the demonstrations and of the entire initiative. Various critical voices called Mojave itself a failure, and Microsoft's approach a veritable marketing faux-pas and an advertising disaster.
And, in fact, there are inconsistencies, such as the machine used in the demos, an HP Pavilion DV2500 with 2GB of RAM, Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7500 2.20GHz, and running 32-bit Windows Vista Ultimate. The machine is incongruent with Microsoft's official system requirements
for Windows Vista which indicate that the Home Basic SKU will run fine at 512 MB RAM, while for the other editions 1 GB of system memory will be sufficient. Then why a demo machine with 2 GB?Mojave's True Purpose
Mojave is not meant to wash away Vista's sins, or to reinvent the operating system, or to even change the perception of the latest Windows client. What it is designed to do is get potential consumers to think twice... To give Windows Vista a second chance. That is, after all, what Microsoft has been asking for after the release of SP1, for consumers to take a second look at Vista. And let the operating system convince them. This is why Mojave is actually Vista.