HelpWithWindows Newsletter Volume 11, Number 15
August 16, 2008
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In this issue:

Microsoft's 'new' operating system: Mojave

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Windows Vista

In the previous HelpWithWindows Newsletter I wrote about Microsoft's upcoming advertising campaign for Windows Vista. I also mentioned that C|Net's Ina Fried found out about a recent trip that Microsoft made to San Francisco, rounding 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.

At the time Microsoft wasn't sure how they were going to use the footage, a few days later they decided to use it in an online campaign which you can access at The "Mojave Experiment" web site.

The comments that the people in the experiment make about Vista are telling: When asked why they hadn't upgraded to Vista yet, comments range from "Just the bad thing I heard about it" to "Just the negative things I heard about it, I never tried it myself". Users were also asked to rate Vista on a scale from 1 to 10. The average rating people gave Vista was 4.4.

What it clearly shows is that so many people that have negative comments about Vista have never actually tried using the program themselves. So from where did they get these impressions that Vista was 'bad'? It is probably a combination of factors. There where the (so called) tech pundits who bashed Vista incessantly. Then there was Apple with its often questionable anti-Vista advertising. Microsoft should also take some of the blame; it stayed silent on these issues for far too long, exacerbating the problem.

After the users had been shown "Mohave" and walked through some (Windows Vista) features like backup and restore, parental controls, recording TV, and making DVD movies, their comments changed dramatically. "Wow!". "That's great." "It's awesome." "Really cool." "It's impressive." "The speed is incredible." "I need an upgrade and that looks like everything I need." The average rating after the hands-on demonstration was 8.5. "Many would have rated it higher, but they wanted more time to play with it themselves," Microsoft notes.

The best part of this experiment, of course, is when the participants were told that they were really using Vista. "Really?" one man asks, incredulously. Mouths literally drop. "I had no idea that you could do all this with Windows Vista." "Son of a gun," one man says. "You got me."

I have been using Windows Vista myself from the early beta days, and while there were still some problems when Microsoft first shipped Windows Vista, for me they were no different than the problems experienced in the early days of Windows XP. It may just be that we have come to expect better quality software the first time around, and Microsoft would do good to remember that the next time it ships a major Windows version. But certainly after the release of Service Pack 1 Vista is on operating system that needs your consideration.

Your Comments.

Windows Updates

Microsoft issued a number of updates for Windows Vista in the past weeks:

Windows Vista:

  • KB953631 - Update to resolve an issue in which the system may be in an inconsistent state after you have restarted with the Last Known Good option.
  • System Update Readiness Tool for Windows Vista (KB947821) [August 2008] - This tool is being offered because an inconsistency was found in the Windows servicing store which may prevent the successful installation of future updates, service packs, and software.
  • KB955302 - Update to resolve some performance and reliability issues in Windows Vista.
  • KB954366 - Update to resolve a set of known application compatibility issues with Windows Vista.


Google Android Phone To Debut As Early As October

T-Mobile will be the first operator to offer a mobile phone running on Google's Android, which may come out in the US as early as October, the NYT reports. Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC is making the phone, which is supposed to give all other smartphones, including Apple's iPhone, a serious run for the money. Not only will it have a touch screen, but a full keyboard that slides out from under the screen.

Latest Microsoft & Windows News from around the Internet

Windows XP Tip: Windows Update Problems

There are several problems people experience with Windows Update; this article discusses some of the more frequently reported problems and their solutions.

Read Full Article

Windows Vista Tip: Which Edition Should You Get?

Thinking about getting Windows Vista? Have a look at this guide to decide which version you want & which one to avoid!

Read Full Article

Slipstreaming Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Create Bootable CD

Slipstreaming a Service Pack, is the process to integrate the Service Pack into the installation so that with every new installation the Operating System and Service Pack are installed at the same time.

Read Full Article

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HelpWithWindows Newsletter Schedule

The next Newsletter will be published on September 6th.


Speed up your PC

Microsoft Starts Talking About The Next Windows (Finally!)

Last Thursday Microsoft finally started some form of communication about its next Windows version - currently code-named "Windows 7" - on a blog called Engineering Windows 7 (or E7 for short).

Microsoft has already been heavily criticized for not having any public channels of communication open for Windows 7, and even Microsoft's own partners complained that the company isn't telling them much, while they're the ones that really have to know the details so they can align their products accordingly.

According to the opening entry on the blog, E7 is hosted by the two senior engineering managers for the Windows 7 product, Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky. Steven Sinofsky is in charge of the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group and Jon DeVaan heads the Windows Core Operating System Division. Jon and Steven, along with members of the engineering team will post, comment, and participate in this blog.

It'll be interesting to watch if some useful information will be disclosed. When I read the opening post, this piece kind of said it all for me:

"In leading up to this blog we have seen a lot of discussion in blogs about what Microsoft might be trying to accomplish by maintaining a little bit more control over the communication around Windows 7 (some might say that this is a significant understatement). We, as a team, definitely learned some lessons about "disclosure" and how we can all too easily get ahead of ourselves in talking about features before our understanding of them is solid. Our intent with Windows 7 and the pre-release communication is to make sure that we have a reasonable degree of confidence in what we talk about when we do talk."

Sinofsky hasn't been known to freely share his thoughts on Windows 7, so it'll be interesting to see if this blog will actually divulge some useful information.

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