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Mojave: The Experiment Continues…

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Old 08-27-2008
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Mojave: The Experiment Continues…
I'm posting this on behalf of my colleague David Webster: I'm David Webster --the guy "deep in the ranks" who dreamed up the Mojave Experiment. Today we updated the website with a few new videos, including sharing with you the fiercely debated demos that the participants were shown. We encourage everyone to take a look at the videos, ask questions or air concerns (or even compliments). First I wanted to provide some context and clarify a few things.
It's been a couple weeks since we launched the Mojave Experiment, and the reaction in the blogosphere has been fascinating to watch. You should see my inbox - some of you really liked how the experiment helped you say "I told you so" to haters who'd just jumped on the bandwagon without trying for themselves. Others thought it was interesting but were skeptical about the validity of the project's methodology, and others still questioned our sanity (not the first time) for doing the experiment in the first place. There were lots of questions - some wondered if we rigged the results, cherry picked videos or even brought in actors to pose as consumers. Fair enough. You should be skeptical. After all, the basic message of the Mojave Experiment is decide for yourself. In that spirit, don't take my word for it either. Go ahead and check out the new site for answers to the most frequent questions we got over the last few weeks.
We've also heard from supporters loud and clear that we needed to do more marketing around Windows Vista to regular users, and that is exactly what we are doing with the Mojave Experiment. As we have discussed, we're working to get the Mojave message out to consumers through website updates, retail activities and ads on cable stations.However, I do want to stress that while the Mojave Experiment is part of Microsoft's broader effort to talk about the value of Windows Vista, it is separate from the Crispin, Porter & Bogusky campaign you may have heard about in recent weeks. Stay tuned for more details on that one...for now I'm just here to discuss Mojave.
Well, here's why we went ahead with Mojave in the first place.
It should surprise no one that we believe Windows Vista today is a great product; it may surprise some that most current Windows Vista customers agree. In fact, we researched satisfaction levels among existing Windows Vista customers - the survey found that nearly 9 of 10 (i.e. 89%) of customers are either satisfied or very satisfied with their Windows Vista experience. And, satisfaction is increasing over time - customer sat level is 92% satisfied/very satisfied among those who bought Windows Vista during the last 6 months. More than 180 million Windows Vista licenses have been sold (as of June 30, 2008), and, as analysts have reported, corporate adoption rates are consistent with Windows XP rates in similar timeframes. So looking strictly at customer satisfaction and sales data, things are going very well for Windows Vista.
At the same time, we recognize that noise in the market created by a vocal minority can discourage regular people from trying the product for themselves. We're confident these people would find a lot to like about Windows Vista if they spent even 5-10 minutes taking a closer look. We wanted to confirm that hypothesis and see what happens when people get a second chance to make a first impression.
This led to the idea that led to the test that turned into the Mojave Experiment. And the hypothesis was confirmed when across the board, participants concluded that they needed to take another look before simply accepting what they'd heard. In fact, we had plans for a fun section of the site that highlighted any test subjects who didn't change their minds about Windows Vista. But we didn't get any.
The Windows Vista operating system delivered big changes in security, performance and graphics capabilities. These were long-term changes designed to bring customers forward and they are paying off, but it's true they also created near-term pain for customers immediately following launch - notably, some applications and devices didn't work (or work well) on Windows Vista. The product has come a long way since then. We and our partners have worked extremely hard to fix incompatibilities and optimize drivers for increased performance and stability. We shipped SP1 and countless other Windows Updates that have significantly improved Windows Vista over the last 18 months.
Again, we know from lots of user and non-user data that the closer they look the more they will like it. We just needed to give them a reason to take another look.
For a breakdown of the mechanics and results or just to see what's new, visit:

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