When you tell people you work for Microsoft, some of the questions you get really make you wonder. People ask about Bill Gates (as if I regularly have been in meetings with him), or the more common questions pertain to experiences with their “personal computer”. Prior to Vista, they were real first hand experiences (some good and some bad). Now, most of them are prefaced with “I hear Vista …” and usually they are not true. Of course, some of this is the result of our own go to market stumbling with Vista, and some of it probably resonates from the success that Apple has had with its “Get a Mac” TV ads.
Well, as part of a broader strategy to re-invigorate our Windows brand (more to come), and as one executive stated in an internal memo, “time to tell our story”, we have real people experiencing “Mojave”. The “Mojave Experiment” took place in San Francisco, where Microsoft round-up Windows XP users who had negative impressions of Vista. The subjects were put on video, asked about their Vista impressions, and then shown a “new” operating system, code-named Mojave. More than 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they saw. Then they were told that “Mojave” was actually Windows Vista. Check out the Mojave Experiment!
Although I am frustrated and angry that the Microsoft people behind the Mojave Experiment chose a competing technology (flash vs. Silverlight) to provide a rich interactive experience, I think its a great look into the power of brand and perception and marketing.