A Classic Case Of Non User-Centric Design

Last week, Microsoft reported a 24% decline in Windows sales in the third quarter.
According to USA Today, Vista, Microsoft’s new operating system, is getting hammered in the press and corporate buyers are refusing to upgrade from XP. Hence, the poor numbers.

Microsoft rebuilt Windows from scratch to create Vista, which has a dazzling interface and improved security tools. But so much computing power is required to run it that many people find their new PCs run slower than older, less powerful XP machines. To spur sales, Microsoft earlier this month said consumers will no longer be able to purchase XP as of June 30. The announcement and pending date have unleashed a firestorm of Vista angst.
Online magazine InfoWorld is waging a Save XP campaign. More than 175,000 signatures have been gathered. “Why pull the plug on XP when there’s clearly a lot of people who still like it?” says Galen Gruman, InfoWorld executive editor.
Influential analyst Michael Silver at research firm Gartner calls the Vista launch a “disaster.” Other critics have been no kinder. CNet called Vista one of the “biggest blunders in technology.” PC magazine chronicles Vista’s “11 Pillars of Failure.” The Christian Science Monitor likened it to Coca-Cola’s disastrous New Coke experiment in the 1980s.

There’s an old saying in Adlandia. “You can’t polish a turd.” But, as Apple proves below, you sure as hell can ridicule the competition’s turd.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.