The Vista wow becomes a whisper

The Vista wow becomes a whisper

Summary: I wasn't a big fan of the "Wow" campaign around Windows Vista. But its newest incarnation -- "100 Reasons Why Everyone's So Speechless" -- might be even worse.

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I wasn't a big fan of the "Wow" campaign around Windows Vista. But its newest incarnation -- "100 Reasons Why Everyone's So Speechless" -- might be even worse.

The Vista wow becomes a whisperThe new site (which Microsoft officials just told me has been on the Web since January, though I have to admit I never saw until today)  lists 100 reasons users should take a closer look at Windows Vista. No. 1 is "It makes using your PC a breeze." No. 100 is "Because your network is the backbone of your business (Network Diagnostics and Troubleshooting)."

"Seeing Windows Vista for the first time may leave you searching for words. Many people just say 'Wow.' Here are 100 reasons why," the site says.

When Microsoft launched Windows Vista in January, execs knew they needed a succinct way to explain why users should upgrade to the new OS. Not a list of 50 reasons. But something that would roll off the tongue of salesclerks and PC makers in a 30-second pitch.

For a while, Microsoft tried bucketing Vista's new features into three "C's": Clear, Confident and Connected. When asked for just one reason why users should upgrade, company execs, for a while, were emphasizing security.

But now Microsoft's taken a step backwards and done not a Top 5 or Top 10 list, but a Top 100. Sure, it's tempting with Apple running around claiming Leopard will have 300 new features, to go for bigger numbers. But sometimes less is more.

We're heading into the first real holiday season of Vista availability (given that Microsoft missed Holiday 2006 and launched Vista in January 2007). While it's true that retail is a comparatively small contributor to the 60-million-copies-sold number that Microsoft bandies about for Vista, it's the part of the market that is most visible to the public. And it's where Microsoft has taken the biggest hits with Vista so far.

What do you think of the new "Speechless" campaign for Vista? Is it going to dilute further Microsoft's marketing message? Or do you see some value in it I'm missing?

(Thanks to PC Retail for the original link to the new Top 100 Vista Features list.)

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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209 comments
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  • I don't know if I could come up with 100 but...

    I could come up with quite a few to just avoid Vista entirely and jump into Linux. It's not for everybody and I know there are some corporate/enterprise settings locked into Windows for whatever reason, but Vista just isn't that impressive. Give me one of the major Linux distros any day.

    Chris Dawson
    mrdatahs
    • Bravo !!!

      Seems as many are jumping ship , leaving the Captain (Mike Cox) & his crew
      (No_Axe , Loverock , ShadeTree , and a few other despicable swobs) behind .
      Arghhh matey .


      "In a world without walls and fences , who needs windows and gates."

      Look folks , no hurdles to jump , no hoops to dive through .
      <BR>
      That's what APPLE is all about .
      <BR>
      >>>Ease of use .<<<
      Intellihence
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        vivian20091010
    • Bravo !!!

      Seems as many are jumping ship , leaving the Captain (Mike Cox) & his crew
      (No_Axe , Loverock , ShadeTree , and a few other despicable swobs) behind .
      Arghhh matey .
      <BR>
      "In a world without walls and fences , who needs windows and gates."
      <BR>
      Look folks , no hurdles to jump , no hoops to dive through .
      <BR>
      That's what APPLE is all about .
      <BR>
      >>>Ease of use .<<<
      Intellihence
    • how about 86 reasons...

      I came up with years ago why I switched most of my computers to linux. btw, it's my web site, using my free web space that one's isp gives. ;-)

      http://www.telusplanet.net/public/dgeddos/86reasons.htm

      gnu/linux...giving choice to the neX(11)t generation.
      Arm A. Geddon
      • # 65 is wrong

        add the phrase "and kernel upgrades" and you are back in business.
        Jambalaya Breath
        • thanks Jambalaya Breath!!

          will do next time I update my site. :-)

          gnu/linux...giving choice to the ne(11)t generation.
          Arm A. Geddon
    • So list some.

      I see these claims all the time but they tend to be overly vague and provide no real examples. You say you can come up with 100? I'll make it easy and just ask for 20. Oh, and:

      1. They have to be issues unique to Windows.
      2. It can't be centered around some ideal of software being free or source code being available. Most people just aren't interested in this.
      ye
    • wireless? not so much

      Too bad linux (including my personal favorite, Ubunut) still sucks horribly at wireless support though.

      I tried Ubuntu Gutsy on my laptop and my desktop and the wireless does not work on either machine...yes, clearly this is a "great operating system". I really do like Ubuntu a lot, but it still has issues that need to be worked out.
      shoktai
  • Microsoft?s top 10 reasons to upgrade to Ubuntu Linux, not Vista

    "Microsoft have listed 100 reasons why people really ought to upgrade from Windows XP. They appeal to usability, mobility, security and entertainment. Yet, looking through the list, we reckon they?re actually talking about Ubuntu Linux, not that dog Windows Vista." http://smallurl.co.uk/?1736
    n0neXn0ne
  • 100 reasons to stay with Windows XP

    This would make a more compelling list.
    cpr2345
  • It appears that people are speechless about Vista...

    ...because there's not much to say. Like Grandma used to say, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
    Henrik Moller
    • When Media Center and Photo Center are nearly

      ... 25% of the reasons (as I counted them, 14 1/2 of the 100 reasons were about Media center, and 9 of the 100 were about Photo Center, for 23.5% of the 100 being about pictures and movies), one wonders why they chose 100 reasons.

      50 reasons should cover everything fully... or maybe 25... or 10... or 3... or ...
      brendthess
      • No kidding!!!

        This list of '100' was targetted at people with the attention span of a gerbil. There are near repeats even in the top 10. You would think that MS marketing could figure out that a list of 100 items should contain 100 items and not be an exercise in re-wording the same ideas several times.
        skeptic90210
  • Vista is the biggest fiasco since Windows ME

    I keep thinking... Linux and Apple Mac Os X remain kings of stability, speed and security and best of all when the price is right.

    Sorry Bill and Ballmer, Nice try :)
    rigo12
    • Vista: Elegant - Secure - Solid

      Been running Windows Vista on several different hardware platforms for almost a year now. I would not trade it for any other operating system! It significantly outperforms any Linux distros and is far more compatable with programs and applications than previous Windows operating systems.
      cnfrisch
      • Best Piece of Astroturfing I've seen this month :)

        'It significantly outperforms any Linux distros' -- using which metrics?

        '..is far more compatable with programs and applications than previous Windows operating systems...' -- Since quite a few programs have slipped up with the changes to security this is rather streching the truth a tad :)

        Timbo
        TheBoyBailey
        • Vista - A Winner Hands Down!

          Based upon my own "real world" experience, the Vista "WOW" has not only met, but far exceeded my expectations. It runs absolutely flawlessly and after a years time, my system is still 100% malware free. Microsoft developers did a fanatastic job of producing a state-of-the-art operating system that was designed for the future. When Microsoft soon releases their "Unified Communications" technology, the computing industry will clearly see the true benefits of having Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 installed on all their desktops.

          What is Unified Communications you ask? See:
          http://www.microsoft.com/uc/what.mspx
          cnfrisch
          • Vista: Bloated, Slow, Hindering

            Real World Experience, not from MS marketing department:

            Try copying pictures from your old machine to your new Vista machine over your LAN. What XP did in 10 minutes, now takes 90 (or more) -- IF you are patient enough to get it to work. You can work thru the issue - but it's a PITA.

            Try opening up WMP11 and it will immediately start to change all of your MP3 files to WMA without prompt. What if I don't want to use WMA. What if I want to use OGG instead?

            Try playing BF1942 or WoW and watch your frame rates drop like you are in love with a rock.

            Try to share a printer, and find yourself all of sudden "OFF" the internet for no reason except that MS decided that sharing a printer is security issue.

            So far, I'm not impressed. It's slower, does things I don't want it to do, and is a resource hog.

            Granted, it has nice lipstick. But it's still a pig underneath.

            If FlightSim X doesn't blow me away with DX10 - I'm gonna go back to XP.
            startx.jeff
          • File copies work fine for me.

            I routinely copy gigabytes worth of information between my Vista and OS X systems (using Windows File Sharing). Works just as it did when I was using Windows 2000. I am not seeing any network performance issues.

            I'll have to try your suggestion wrt WMP11. I don't generally store MP3s on my Vista system (they're on the Mac). I'll copy a few over and see what happens.
            ye