The Mojave Experiment

For those of you who haven’t heard about it yet, the Mojave Experiment is a marketing ploy by Microsoft to encourage people to decide for themselves whether Vista is a POS good or bad. They show participants Vista, but tell them that it is a new Windows operating system called Mojave. They give their comments, and then they are told that it is actually Vista.

Without commenting on Vista at all, I would like to mention how surprised I am by the results. Microsoft say the people that participated were the following:

  • 84% Windows XP users
  • 22% Apple operating system users
  • 14% Pre-Windows XP users
  • 1% Linux users
  • Some users use multiple platforms.

The thing I find shocking is that apparently none of their participants could tell that it was Windows Vista. I do not use Vista on a daily basis – in fact, I have only used it a few times, but I can recognise it from a mile away. Did they ask any computer professionals at all – people who use computers every day for their jobs? Even before I used Vista, I would have easily recognised it from all the publicity I saw online.

Here are some funny video responses (typed exactly as spoken):

“Like if it’s um up against other systems, um like a Mac system, or something, you know what I mean, like, if you were deciding between the two, I would say that this one has um probably the <pause> best new features that I’ve seen.”

“I’m not a’git thedl git the the book out and read 77 pages to figure out how to do it. I just want to be able to look at it, read it.”

“There’s something I have to tell you now – there actually is no Mojave.”
“Oh? OK.”
“What I’ve just shown you – or John’s just shown you – is actually Windows Vista.”
“Oh, really? See how much I knew – nothing.”

I don’t really have much faith in a marketing exercise that puts the respondents in the same room as multiple Microsoft employees where they may feel pressured (perhaps out of kindness) to give a positive review.

2 Replies to “The Mojave Experiment”

  1. Hmm, it sounds like the advertisements might be working, if even you are talking about it and providing free publicity for Microsoft :).

    But yeah, I am not sure what they were thinking with an ad that basically says “Vista: it’s not actually as bad as you might have heard!”.

  2. I think they did some sort of psych study on something similar and people in these situations do tend to rate things higher in this scenario. I have no proof or citation, but i think i heard something like that before. Think it was a taste test situation and people would say something good about something that actaully didnt taste good.

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