September 18th, 2008

Countering Negative Perceptions

Last night I was watching TV while sitting in front of my computer, of course.  A Microsoft ad for Vista came on and it caught my attention.  The premise of the spot is that if people really knew how to use Vista, they would love it.  In hidden camera, focus group-style interactions, a host demonstrates a “new version of Windows,” Windows Mojave.  And, of course, people love Mojave and think it is perfect.  Big reveal: it is actually Vista!  The spot directs the viewer to for a Vista demonstration.  I went to the site immediately, expecting something new and user-friendly from Microsoft.  (Disclaimer: I am an Apple user.)  Also, knowing that Crispin Porter + Bogusky is Microsoft’s new agency, I made an assumption that the site would be great.  Here is the first thing I saw:

Well, I was not off to a very good start.  I have to download Windows software just to see the thing?  Um, no.  I will opt for the non-Silverlight version, whatever that is.

I expected to have an Apple-like experience.  Instead, I got a Microsoft-like experience.  Again.  Rather than immediately getting a list of features that I want to learn more about with a video demonstration option for each, Microsoft has given me a ton of video options where I can watch real people talking about the software during the “experiement.”  There is no indication before I click on each of these videos as to what feature might be discussed.  Then, the video open is QuickTime, where I have to click to play.  Didn’t I already select the video to play?  And, why doesn’t it play in the website?  This seems too complicated.

I didn’t want to give up too quickly.  So, I attempted to find what I was looking for – the features they showed to the people in the “experiment” that were so impressive.  I clicked on “See of Yourself,” one of the three main navigation options.  I got little commercials that talked about could be done, but didn’t show me any detail.

On my second visit to the site, I saw some videos in the bottom right that said “See demos used…”  Now this was what I was looking for originally.  And, once again, the videos were not helpful.

This site confirmed my prior beliefs: Microsoft is not user friendly.  I actually went to the site expecting and wanting to be convinced otherwise.

One thought on “Countering Negative Perceptions

  1. Hey Emily,
    I think this whole “Mojave Experiment” is an ill-fated attempt by Microsoft to try and regain user loyalty.

    I am a mac user, and have been for many years now… of course I can use both, but choose to use the Apple. (because I like things to happen quickly) The only thing that seems to happen quickly on Windows is the frequency of the “Program Not Responding” message coming up… gotta’ love it!

    Since I’m on one of my mac’s right now, the “Mojave” site didn’t work for me either, thought that was right up Microsoft’s alley.

    You know… they’re sending out this message of, “Wow, that’s Vista? I can’t believe it!” Although they are not addressing the true reason people don’t use Vista in the first place… It’s not the look of the OS… It’s the constant grueling over it actually working with the load of day-to-day operations, networking, application support, etc.

    Hell, I’m not surprised the people sampled like the look of the OS… Most Vista users probably couldn’t recognize it… because they could never keep their copy running long enough to take it all in! I think they need the award for the “Most Uninstalled Operating System Ever!”

    If they were to actually spend time on it and use it, they would not be blinded by the Smoke & Mirrors…

    I give you props though… I don’t think I could spend as much time on the site as you… My visit was about 10 seconds long.

    I’m also waiting with anticipation to see what this BIG surprise (Everyone’s buddy that America made filthy rich) Bill Gates has up his sleeve… Spending all the big bucks on those long pointless prime-time ad spots.

    Only if the BIG surprise could be concession to Apple! The world would be a much better place!!!

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