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Thread: Microsoft seeks fresh vista for Vista

  1. #1
    Still learning Guest

    Default Microsoft seeks fresh vista for Vista

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25850255/

    Microsoft is launching a new campaign to try to get consumers and businesses
    to take a second look at Windows Vista, its much-maligned computer operating
    system.
    Some believe the company's stronger push on Vista's behalf is long overdue.
    How successful its attempts will be remain to be seen, but Microsoft CEO
    Steve Ballmer made it clear in a memo to all employees last week that of the
    company's key strategies, "the success of Windows is our No. 1 job."
    (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

    In the coming weeks, Ballmer said in the memo, Microsoft will start "a
    campaign to address any lingering doubts our customers may have about
    Windows Vista."

    The effort comes about midway through Vista's three-year life cycle, with a
    new Windows operating system, now called Windows 7, due out in early 2010,
    or late 2009 at the soonest.

    "Basically, Microsoft is trying to use a second chance at making a first
    impression," said Michael Silver, Gartner research vice president.

    "What Microsoft needs to do is try to get people to take another look
    because this is what they have to sell for the next year, year-and-a-half,
    and they need to try to get some of the tarnish off," he said. "And, on a
    new PC, Vista really isn't a bad product, but a lot of people are avoiding
    it."

    Microsoft, Silver said, has "let Apple run amok with denigrating ads that
    take advantage of all the bad press," referring to Apple's TV commercials
    that show a geeky Windows guy battling various problems because of Vista,
    while his sympathetic and cool-looking Mac counterpart tries to help.

    'It's gotten better'
    Michael Cherry, analyst for Directions on Microsoft, an independent research
    group, said he began using Vista in beta, or test, form six months before it
    went on the market, and that he has seen improvements in the operating
    system, except in the area of speed.

    "There's no question over the months it's gotten better," he said. "There's
    more device drivers, and Vista has become more reliable. What it hasn't
    become is any faster. It still has huge resource demands."

    Vista runs better on newer computers with faster processor chips and more
    memory than on older or economy-scale PCs. Even on newer PCs, Vista can be
    slow to start, compared to Windows XP, its predecessor. Many consumers and
    businesses have not wanted to spend the money to buy new PCs and software
    needed to work with Vista.

    Also, for a good part of Vista's first year, consumers were frustrated
    because many drivers, or software programs, weren't available to make their
    existing software or peripherals, such as printers or graphics cards, work
    with Vista.

    After years of criticism that Windows was too vulnerable to viruses and
    worms, Microsoft tightened security heavily on Vista to the point that its
    security queries and permissions have frustrated users trying to accomplish
    routine tasks.

    Sentiment has been so strong against the operating system that Microsoft's
    retail and phase-out of Windows XP was extended from the end of last year to
    June 30 of this year.

    Even so, a "Save Windows XP" campaign was initiated by technology
    publication InfoWorld, which garnered attention, more than 215,000 online
    signatures, but no success in getting Microsoft to continue making XP
    available in retail markets, as well as on most PCs sold by manufacturers.

    (part 2) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25850255/page/2/

    Buffing it up
    The campaign to buff Vista's image is already underway on several of
    Microsoft's Windows Web pages. At "Discover Windows Vista: Why now?" the
    company acknowledges the problems Vista has had, but says improvements have
    been made to the operating system.

    "We know a few of you were disappointed by your early encounter," the
    company says on the site. "Printers didn't work. Games felt sluggish. You
    told us - loudly at times - that the latest Windows wasn't always living up
    to your high expectations for a Microsoft product. Well, we've been taking
    notes and addressing issues."

    Microsoft says that Vista "now supports 77,000 printers, cameras, speakers
    and other devices and components-more than double the number supported at
    launch."

    Last February, the company released Service Pack 1, a free download of
    software improvements for Vista that has helped with several issues,
    including the speed at which files are copied, Microsoft said.

    The 'Mojave' experiment
    Earlier this month in San Francisco, Microsoft had a firm conduct and film
    interviews with 120 Windows XP, Windows 2000, Mac and Linux users who had
    negative perceptions about Vista, and who weren't familiar with it. The
    users were given a 10-minute demonstration on a computer of what was
    purported to be the next version of Windows, and told it was called
    "Mojave."

    In fact, it was Vista, and the reactions to it were very favorable, Bill
    Veghte, Microsoft senior vice president, said last week at the company's
    financial analyst meeting.



    "Actually, it's totally different than I heard it would be like," "I'm
    impressed," and "It looks awesome, easy," were among the comments made about
    Vista, Microsoft said. The company discusses the effort on its Windows Vista
    blog posted July 29.

    "Perception versus reality, that's a conversation that we've got to go have
    with our customers," Veghte said at the meeting.

    Whether it's too late to have that conversation is hard to tell. Some
    consumers and businesses are opting to stay with Windows XP until Windows 7
    is released. Microsoft said last week it has sold more than 180 million
    copies of Vista.

    However, competitors are nibbling at Windows' share of the operating system
    market. In June, Windows had 90.89 percent of the market, compared to 93.06
    percent in August 2007, according to Net Applications. Apple's Mac OS was at
    7.94 percent, up from 6.18 percent for the same period, while the Linux OS
    was at four-fifths of a percent, up from just under a half-percent last
    August.

    "It's obviously been a bumpy road down the Vista path, but Microsoft has put
    a lot of effort into it," said Stephen DeWitt, a senior vice president at
    HP. "It's a very stable operating system. We're certainly seeing a lot of
    happy customers" who are using it.

    Small and large businesses have been slow to shift to Vista because of the
    costs of doing so, from training to new software and equipment.

    Resource requirements
    On its site, Microsoft says the most minimal version of Vista, Home Basic,
    needs to run on a computer with a 1-GHz processor, 512 megabytes of memory
    and a 20-gigabyte hard drive, with at least 15GB of available space for the
    operating system. Other versions of Vista require a 1GHz processor, 1GB of
    memory and a 40GB-hard drive, with at least 15GB of space available.

    But in order to get Vista to run more smoothly, many users have found the
    processor and memory requirements to be at least twice what Microsoft
    recommends.





  2. #2
    HappyAndyK's Avatar
    HappyAndyK is offline Site Administrator
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    See, its a mighty fine idea of having a snazzy new consumer ad campaign and spending $500 million on it. But maybe Microsoft would also want to consider diverting a bit of this money to the manufacturers instead, since they appear reluctant to let go of this pocket change, which they get for installing trialware or crapware. It would be money well spent, for it is this pre-installed crapware which many a times messes up a Vista installation.

    Microsoft wouldn't then have to resort to tricking customers into liking Vista, with Mojave sort of experiments.

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