Microsoft Unveils More Mojave Details for Skeptics

Some people think Microsoft's Mojave Experiment, revealed in July, was rigged marketing exercise, but Microsoft begs to differ, according to a Tuesday blog post. In the experiment, a retail salesperson demonstrated a so-called "new" operating system, although it was really Vista.

This week, Microsoft provided a few more details about the experiment that generated a reported 89 percent "satisfaction" rating for Vista among the 120 consumers surveyed. The new details are available at the Mojave Experiment Web site, but you have to sift through multiple floating videos to hear them.

Some have questioned the hardware used in the experiment. It turns out that the computers used to demonstrate Mojave (really Vista) were one-year-old HP dv2000 laptops with Intel Core Duo CPUs and two gigabytes of RAM running Vista Ultimate, according to Microsoft.

The hardware issue is important for those using Windows XP, who may face a hardware upgrade in order to use Vista. It's a sticking point that has caused some upgrade resistance, at least in the budget-strapped enterprise. There also have been complaints about the lower end Windows Vista Home Basic consumer-grade OS being a less-than-adequate upgrade from XP, and that it lacks the fancy Aero graphical user interface.

The Mojave demo showed these Vista features:

  • Gadgets running on Vista, such as an analog clock or a display of local weather information;
  • An Apple OS X-like flip through of currently running programs;
  • Ways to restrict your kids' computer time, and check their Web-browsing history, giving new meaning to spyware;
  • Windows Media Center, where you can record live TV to your computer; and
  • A photo-stitching demo showing how to take four adjacent photos and make a single panoramic view.

Despite Microsoft's greater transparency on the project, the Mojave Experiment had the makings more of a focus group than a research experiment. The sample size of 120 people was just too small to be statistically significant.

In addition, some have pointed out that it was just a demo conducted by a sales person. People may have formed different opinions if they had actually tried to use the operating system themselves in a day-to-day setting.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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