Last week, Microsoft posted videos at MojaveExperiment.com of a test involving about 140 randomly chosen computer users who had low opinions of Vista.Critics were unmoved, of course:
These users had no experience with Vista, so they were shown what was said to be the company's new operating system, called "Mojave." Nearly all liked what they saw.
At the end, they were told Mojave was really Vista.
The videos show the shocked reaction. "Wow, really?" many of them said, looking as surprised as the patrons of America's finest restaurants did in the 1980s TV commercials when the brewed coffee had been replaced by "dark, sparkling, decaffeinated Folgers Crystals."
The main complaint: Is 10 minutes of watching an expert demonstrate Vista a valid basis on which to assess it?Microsoft should be applauded for at least admitting that the bad press for Vista has pinched where it hurts, and for trying a clever stunt. The critics, though, are right. I've spent hours upon hours trying to get my mom's HP multifunction inkjet to work with Vista (on an HP PC, no less), baffling tech support reps along the way. I eventually had to download all the software from the HP website, figuring the CD installer was bad; a few weeks later, mysteriously, the scanner quit sending data over the network again.
Although many of Vista's problems have involved setting it up and installing drivers and applications, the software was preloaded in the experiment, so that aspect of Vista was not tested at all.
The site showed "no videos of connecting new devices, attempting to get on a Wi-Fi network or tunneling into work's VPN," or virtual private network, noted Adam DuVander of Webmonkey,
I've worked through the faults and foibles of XP, and they're nothing in comparison. Getting ignorant users to try an artificial experience is ultimately no test of Vista's merits. By any other name, Vista still sucketh.