Ars Technica: Windows Vista’s Biggest Problem? Bad PR.

vista-logo.jpgJust read an interesting piece by Don Reisinger in Ars Technica. In Opinion: How Microsoft can turn the negative Vista PR tide, Reisinger argues Microsoft’s biggest Vista failure was not putting the proper PR push behind it.

I can’t remember reading one positive article on Windows Vista since its launch. Of the deluge of negative press I’ve come across, it’s my impression that Vista failed not because Microsoft didn’t communicate its worth properly, but because it was an inherently bad OS. So I approached Reisinger’s article with skepticism — sure, sure, blame the PR folks.

However, are you aware that Microsoft has already sold 140 million units of Vista? That it is more secure than Windows XP? And that most, if not all, of its incompatibility issues with XP hardware has been fixed? Maybe there is something to the idea that Microsoft hasn’t been touting its successes.

A CEO wildly veering off of product message points certainly doesn’t help:

Microsoft needs to stop talking about XP and Windows 7 and focus all of its efforts on reassuring customers that Vista is the only operating system they should care about.

In the past few months alone, Microsoft has championed the release of Service Pack 3 and Bill Gates has gone on record discussing how much better Windows 7 will be than Vista. By doing that, Microsoft has made customers forget about Vista and start thinking that it’s nothing more than a bridge between a known quantity in XP and a more efficient product in Windows 7.

I can imagine the horror the Vista marketing people felt at that moment. Windows 7 will be better?! Ouch.

Is anyone out there in blogland using Vista? Is this a PR problem or not? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

2 Comments Ars Technica: Windows Vista’s Biggest Problem? Bad PR.

  1. Pete Codella

    I agree. Your premise has merit. I have a handful of computers and only the newest one has Vista. It consistently (like every day I use it) crashes unexpectedly. It’s bizarre.

    You made some good points about Vista’s improvements over XP, but for my everyday work, I’m using my older XP machine. I just treats me better.

    Perhaps Microsoft’s PR team should focus on getting the word out, highlighting Vista’s good points and differentiating it from XP.

    Besides not being very vocal about Vista, and basically having executives speak out against Vista, Microsoft has to deal with the very creative, emotional ads distributed by Apple. Kudos to Apple for capitalizing on Microsoft’s pain.

    A side note: I have now stopped using Internet Explorer and Outlook, opting for Firefox and Google Apps instead. I’m much happier.

  2. Leslie

    Your Vista machine crashes every day? That’s terrible!

    I have also kicked IE in favor of Firefox. Are you using Firefox 3? (I haven’t downloaded it at work because I find the new URL auto-fill incredibly distracting.)

    We use Google Docs and Apps pretty heavily as well. It’s a great way to share documents, though the tracked changes don’t always come through. Have you totally replaced the MS Office suite with Google Apps, or are you just using it to fill in here and there?

    Thanks for adding your two cents!

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