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Cringely Argues Vista 7 Promotion Includes “Bribes”, Hype Balloons Nonetheless

Vista 7 starts now



Summary: Microsoft's system of incentives and hype shown for what it really is, based on the latest reports

THERE are so many problems with Vista 7 this week that we needed to separate this into a couple of posts, each demonstrating different aspects of the reality behind Vista 7.



Looking at the news over the past week, there were only 2 sets of headlines about Vista (the existing operating system, which is allegedly losing market share already) and 16 about "Windows 7" (only a future product).

“[Microsoft] uses its variety of old tricks that can probably be patented under the title "hype machine".”Microsoft Nick (the one from Microsoft Watch, not the Microsoft blog) plays along with the marketing offensive, still preoccupied with labeling of hardware -- the stamping different components with "Vista 7" brands. This one is about "Windows 7 Lenovo Enhanced Experience," which is boosted by sister publications. It keeps "Windows 7" in the headlines (in positive contexts) and when Microsoft is not bribing people to promote it or vendors to slap stickers on goods (and offer exclusivity), then it uses its variety of old tricks that can probably be patented under the title "hype machine".

Pseudonym Robert Cringely wrote this piece for IDG, wherein he argues that it's all hype, hype, hype.

Listen closely. Can you can hear it? It's the kapocketa-pocketa-pocketa of the Microsoft hype machine, as the Windows 7 launch bears down upon us.

Though it's never worked quite as well as it did back in the halcyon days preceding Windows 95, Microsoft still drags the thing out of the basement every few years, fills the tank with diesel, cranks it up, and hopes it doesn't spew oil on the carpet or overwhelm us with fumes.

[...]

Meanwhile, the braniacs in the Microsoft marketing department have come up with a truly wacky idea. They're encouraging Microsoft fanboys and girls to throw Windows 7 launch parties on the big day -- kind of like Tupperware parties, only with more burping and less sealing. There's even a Web site and a vague-yet-perky video describing what's supposed to happen at these fetes.

[...]

Of course, Microsoft is also sweetening the pot by offering a shot at a $750 Windows 7 PC to some lucky party thrower. Hey, it wouldn't be a Microsoft promotion if it didn't include a bribe.

[...]

Also from the Department of Deja Vu Department: It appears Microsoft will indeed include a logo program for Windows 7, slapping stickers on machines that have been officially certified "Compatible With Windows 7."


He too is familiar with that branding trick, which CNET is busy promoting (CNET was an official special partner for Vista promotion). Here is Microsoft's de facto PR person in CNET joining that very same marketing blitz. Vista 7 -- like Mojave -- can be treated as an experiment in marketing and branding. Even bad advertisements are an opportunity for them to go viral. Not everyone is impressed and The Guardian goes ballistic.

I know Windows is awful. Everyone knows Windows is awful. Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it's there, and there's nothing you can do about it. OK, OK: I know other operating systems are available. But their advocates seem even creepier, snootier and more insistent than Mac owners. The harder they try to convince me, the more I'm repelled. To them, I'm a sheep. And they're right. I'm a helpless, stupid, lazy sheep. I'm also a masochist. And that's why I continue to use Windows – horrible Windows – even though I hate every second of it. It's grim, it's slow, everything's badly designed and nothing really works properly: using Windows is like living in a communist bloc nation circa 1981. And I wouldn't change it for the world, because I'm an abject bloody idiot and I hate myself, and this is what I deserve: to be sentenced to Windows for life.


The Guardian is independent enough to state the above, unlike mainstream US publications. Here for example is a new fluff piece from CNN pretending that Microsoft will make a comeback because of Vista 7. The author is also citing a product where gentle bribes were needed to make an impression and a failing attempt at a "Google killer".

The hype machine has only just started.

"Windows 98 should have been released for free on Jan. 1, 1996 and titled Windows 95.1. If this were Hollywood, then Windows 98 would be the equivalent of 'Heaven's Gate', 'Waterworld' and 'Godzilla' rolled into one. A huge, overhyped, bloated, embarrassment."

--Jesse Berst, ZDNet editor & columnist IEzilla

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