The empire strikes back: Can Microsoft's ads cure my Vista psychosis?

The empire strikes back: Can Microsoft's ads cure my Vista psychosis?

Summary: Microsoft is ready to launch its campaign to save Vista's reputation, which has been formed by the software giant's miscues as well as Apple's funny ads. The big question: Is this a mess that Microsoft can market its way out of?

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Microsoft is ready to launch its campaign to save Vista's reputation, which has been formed by the software giant's miscues as well as Apple's funny ads. The big question: Is this a mess that Microsoft can market its way out of?

Ed Bott found the first hints of Microsoft's campaign. The gist: "At one point, everyone thought the Earth was flat. Get the facts about Windows Vista."

I agree with Ed that the campaign is a good start and it's also true that Vista SP1 is probably better than its reputation. But--and this is a big "but"--will people want to hear it? How many people are permanently turned off to Vista?

Microsoft is off to a good start by acknowledging its miscues and moving on, but a bad reputation is hard to overcome. I know this first hand. I'm checking out laptops and I pause when there's one with Vista on it. My work laptop and home desktop are XP. I have OS X too on a MacBook Pro. I'd even try Ubuntu with less worries than I have with Vista.

Am I brainwashed by all the chuckles I've gotten out of Apple ads? Perhaps. Am I wary by all the horror stories? You bet. Am I as willing to give Vista a try as I was at the launch? Nope. Intellectually, I know Vista SP1 is probably fine--there's a reason few companies do a Windows upgrade before the first service pack. Emotionally, there's just something about the Vista moniker that gives me pause. If Microsoft just renamed Vista and launched it again I'd probably go for it.

I reckon my attitude toward Vista probably isn't warranted today. Ed would say I'm nuts. But I'm a person that can suffer from PC rage. Give me a driver that doesn't work and I'm fuming. I'm ready to punch the screen. I just want stuff to work and when it doesn't I'm not the tinkering type. When it comes to home improvement I've managed to boost my personal rating to “not handy," a vast improvement from "ridiculously not handy" and "this guy shouldn't own a house because he's dangerously not handy." So why would I even risk a spin with Vista when I'm just going to punch a screen or hang myself with an Ethernet cord?

This psychosis is what Microsoft has to overcome.

Can Microsoft's logical campaign about Vista, which may work on enterprise customers, trump the emotional reaction to a botched Vista launch? I have no idea, but I do know Microsoft is going to spend a lot of dough finding out.

Thoughts?

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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80 comments
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  • 180 million sold

    Many buyers are selecting more expensive versions. Microsoft revenues are up extraordinarily. Despite Apple's ads and sales, PC sales are up significantly.

    And the SP 1 release usually helps sales.

    You might consider that the reputation you discuss is not being accepted - or at least not acted upon - by most people and organizations.
    Anton Philidor
    • PC sales are up significantly???

      Sorry but they are not.

      PC sales are up around 1.9% according to Gartner. Mac
      sales are up 38% or 20X as much.

      The Windows powered segment of the PC market grows
      hardly at all. Mac sales grow gigantically.
      Jeremy W
      • *facepalm*

        You do realise these figures refer to the somewhat saturated US market and that globally PC sales are up by about 16%?

        You might also want to consider that, impressive as Apple's sales are in the US, their market share is still only about 8% or so. It'll stop you looking a bit silly when you post incomplete stats.
        Sleeper Service
        • *facepalm* II

          "<i>You do realize these figures refer to the somewhat saturated US market and that globally PC sales are up by about 16%?</i>"<br><br>You do realize a PC is not necessarily a Windows based computer don't you?<br><br> There are PC's running BSD, Linux, Solaris, FreeDOS, etc... Actually a Mac <b>is</b> a PC considering "PC" stands for <b>P</b>ersonal <b>C</b>omputer. :)
          devlin_X
      • Sorry wrong again

        Fourth Quarter PC sales are up 13.5 Percent that's about 77.3 Million PC's Vs. Mac's 5.8 percent.

        see http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=584210

        you got the figures messed up
        Species8472
        • Apple did surpass Acer this year with 5.8 Pecent of the market.

          again see http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=584210
          Species8472
        • Except your figures ...

          ...compare 2006 to 2007, not 2007 to 2008. I'm referring to the change between Q2 2007 and Q2 2008 which is, indeed, 16%.

          http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/gartner-says-pc-sales-rose/story.aspx?guid=%7BDB17DF5F-7D1C-49A1-BFEA-D29A76351546%7D&dist=msr_2
          Sleeper Service
      • PC versus Mac Sales

        Just a thought here

        1.9 percent of what?

        38 percent of what

        Last years sales, last months sales, last weeks sales?

        I'll bet that the 1.9 percentage for Vista is still a larger overall number than the 38 percentage for Mac.. JMHO
        the.seeker@...
    • I am one in that 180 million who is now running VPC and in it XP

      I got a new laptop with Vista Home pre-installed. The machine is so slow , that I found XP running as a guest os in Vista is better than running applications in Vista directly.

      My guess is that VPC by passes a lot of the heavy weight components of Vista and hence the XP guest does better than the Vista host for applications.

      No amount of ads will improve my machine which has 1 GB RAM and a 2GB processor
      kpthottam@...
      • No problems here

        I have 2 Vista laptops and 3 desktops. One of the desktops is a P4 2.8 with 512MB. They all run and do their job.

        Haven't had any problems besides fuming at the Apple ad lies and all the rubbish from the Eunuchs fanbois who never used it in the first place.

        Let's face it, with the whole world using Windows, there are always going to be a few problems and ZDNet and other bloggers make sure they get shown and commented upon until everyone believes that's the common experience.

        It's not.
        tonymcs@...
        • Same here, no problems with Vista.

          How do I use OSX "PUSSYCAT"? After only a couple minutes on a CRAPPLE. I wanna toss it out the window. What a piece of crap machine. Ubuntu frustrates me. I can't even play music & watch youtube at the same time. Only one sound from each device.
          bananatwinkie
        • How to tell if you're a fanboi

          [i]Haven't had any problems besides fuming at the Apple ad lies and...[/i]

          If you're [i]fuming[/i] at ad copy for a different system than the one you use, you're probably a fanboi.






          :)
          none none
          • Vista shills don't know anything else...

            ...when all you've used for the last 15-20 years (or whenever) is Winbloze, then when they try Linux or Apple and expect it to function like Windbloze, then you can see the silly reactions up above.

            I actually met a Windbloze user once who tried to install an M$-based anti-virus on Linux and couldn't get it to work.

            [i]Well doh...[/i]

            I s*** you not...
            hasta la Vista, bah-bie
          • Most of us use multiple...

            ...operating systems.

            I realise that concept might be a bit hard from you so take some time to sit down and absorb it.

            Preferably without typing.
            Sleeper Service
          • Only if one choses to believe you...

            ...which can be doubtful, kemosabe...
            hasta la Vista, bah-bie
          • That's up to you...

            ...the point remains.

            My last message was typed on machine running Ubuntu and Firefox. This one is typed on a machine running XP and IE6.

            So it goes.
            Sleeper Service
          • Nonetheless...

            That doesn't sound like the case with the users up above.

            My point also remains...
            hasta la Vista, bah-bie
    • Yes...

      > "Many buyers are selecting more expensive versions."

      McDonalds sells a "Quarter Pounder", a "Quarter Pounder with Cheese" and finally a "Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese".

      Does this mean you'll only eat at McDonalds? Hell, does this mean that only McDonalds sells hamburgers?

      Quantity, at any price, does not equate to quality.

      "You might consider that the reputation you discuss is not being accepted - or at least not acted upon - by most people and organizations."
      The theory of the lowest common denominator, yeah that's going to drive purchases. Advertizing "We're just as sucky as the other guy" will really inspire people. I mean even Microsoft said "You told us?loudly at times?that the latest Windows wasn't always living up to your high expectations for a Microsoft product." http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/discover/why-now.aspx
      Cardinal_Bill
    • Hey, Anton sold <> shipped

      And you keep confusing shipped with sold when you quote these numbers.

      You are right in that SP1 does usually help sales and it certainly helped Vista actually function well.

      I'd suggest, though, that the lack, now, of an alternative (XP) will inflate the Vista numbers.

      Oh, buyers "select" more expensive versions of Vista for the simple reason that the two lowest priced versions are pathetic and pretty much useless. They run, sort of, though they are the ones that come with new boxes. People upgrade because any sales person worth her salt will simply tell the customer to get, at least, the Business version if they wish to get any serious work done.

      ttfn

      John
      TtfnJohn
    • IF sales are on top, why you have to run campaign

      M$ people are liars

      As always
      Web Smart