Dell creates piss-poor comparison between XP and Vista, expects people to buy it

Dell - Can you see it?I can see why Vista isn’t selling well with crap like this.

Last month, there was a bit of a backlash against Windows Vista when Dell reintroduced XP back to its product offerings across a range of home and business systems. Even though I strongly advise against gamers upgrading to Vista on their current system, but I don’t quite understand why anyone would want to pay good money for second-rate technology on a brand new system. They’re only going to have to pay even more money in half-a-year’s time when all drivers are well and good. But today, I came across something on Dell.com that might have explained this.

I was actually looking around for the new Ubuntu offerings when I stumbled across this promotional video titled “Vista vs. XP“. I was expecting to see flying-buzzwords and all sorts of hype-generating effects that would have wow-ed the customer into getting Vista as soon as possible, but it turns out to be a piss-poor attempt at explaining what an operating system is with a corny script and unspectacular demos. Have a look at the video to see what I mean.

A list of things that bugged me:

  • “Can you see it?” – Who at Dell came up with this crap? Microsoft obviously didn’t. And what’s with the face expression that looks like he wants to murder someone when he says it?
  • “Many of you won’t be able to run Vista on your current system specs” – What a great way to get people excited by telling them how incompetent their computer systems are.
  • Tina Riquelmy, the “Vista Expert” – You would assume a “Vista Expert” might be someone from Microsoft or an Microsoft evangelist who really knows the guts of Vista, but it turns out Tina is actually a Senior Product Manager at Dell. What’s with her voice? It gets quieter and quieter. At least find someone who’s a little more energetic.
  • “Phenomenally different than any operating system you’ve ever used”. So let’s rename an album in real-time. (1:30) – Dell decided to showcase the phenomenally different digital music experience that is in Vista by showing a 15-second clip of “how-to” rename your music albums.
  • A security scan that freezes on the first file (2:35) – A bit of a trivial thing, but at least record a demo when software works as it should. Windows Defender stuck at scanning the first file for is not a good demo.

To say that was disappointing is an over-statement. I can’t imagine any average consumer to want to buy Vista after seeing that. With all $500million dollars poured into marketing Vista, some of Microsoft’s biggest partners still fail to create a campaign even on the borderline of Apple’s Get-a-Mac ads.

14 insightful thoughts

  1. The Vista expert is the most boring woman ive ever heard! get someone interesting and what was wrong with the ‘wow’. It was better than “can you see it”!

  2. I like the fact that people blame other peoples presentations at how bad the operating system is… face it people. Vista is primarily vaporeware… do yourselfe a favour and stick with XP for the time being…

    … consumers want simplicity… that’s what sell and that’s why the iPod was and still is a hit and to some degree the same goes for OSX. Weather OSX is better than Vista is beside the point. Apple (or better their marketing guys/ advertising agencies) simply know how to wrap a complex message so the last idiot can understand it.

    … Microsoft is trying to sell Vista to consumers in the same way it would sell software to developers.

    Bottom line is… in 2 to 3 years most people will upgrade to Vista not because they love this new operating system so much but because it comes with their new computer…

  3. Tom, OSX is vaporware. XP is far better then OSX ever could be, and Vista is. The iPod is simple HA, move down to go up, up to go down. Need to install software, to get the dam thing to work. Can’t buy songs or devices from anyone, you are locked in. What a piss poor design. What sells the iPod, is they attempted to make it look cool, and back users believe your friend has it you must have it too. Sounds like the 1984 commerical from apple about IBM. To bad apple has turned into IBM.

    I have upgraded ALOT of users to Vista, because it is far better. Even several ex-mac users have made the switch and can’t believe how much better it is then OSX.

  4. I agree that this video is awful. The guy comes off as a real jerk and, well, that woman just doesn’t come off at all!

    But I agree with Dell reintroducing Windows XP. At least professional users can purchase a system at a reasonable price that has all of the features they may need–Vista Business Edition does not have many of the features of Windows XP Professional.

    And Vista won’t be truly stable until Service Pack 1. And it was rushed out of beta and never finished. Just look at “Display Personalization” or UAC!

    Finally, for those who don’t like AERO (like me!) or it’s hardware requirements, XP gives them additional choices. The default non-AERO theme on Vista is just UGLY!

  5. Most consumers who are buying pcs from dell, dont have a clue what the different between XP and Vista is. the option to choose XP has been added for a small very specific part of the market.. most people are not going to change the Default OS option!

  6. It’s incredible.. I don’t know why everybody is talking about Vista without using it a little.

    It’s like a teacher (a university teacher) that said in the first course I had with him .. so many facts untrue about Windows Vista. Being a long time tester .. I have talked to him after the course and asked him “Do you ever seen Windows Vista?” and he answered : NO !

    I can’t believe that everybody is always talking about what they don’t know .. I remember something a teacher has told one day “we doesn’t know 5% of the real power of a calculator” .. and he said “and it’s even less for a computer”. Yeah it’s right ! It’s so hard to talk about something we use … but it’s even harder to talk about something we DON’T use.

    The only things I say now to people is :
    TRY IT ! I can’t say everything that is in Windows Vista.. It would take so many hours !

    I think that this should be the slogan for Windows Vista :
    “You won’t know it until you really try it” (YWKIUYRTI .. nice ab. isn’t it?)

  7. Synco,

    No, I am not a Mac fan boy… I do own a mac mini for testing purposes only. All my work related stuff is done on XP. I have an iPod because every other digital media player I owned before really sucked. However, I will be buying a Mac pro as my next box. Why? Simply because it gives me the option to run two operating systems (OSX and Windows) at a price point not even Dell can match.

    JoeM,
    Have you used OSX? FYI, try to setup a wireless network in Vista and then try to do the same thing in OSX… if still tell me OSX isn’t simple to use than I don’t know. The only thing that really sucks beyond believe in OSX is the Finder. However, you can always buy PathFinder for a few dollars and get all that fancy functionality of Explorer plus more. I am expecting Apple will fix this in Leopard.

    Jay,
    I have used Vista, OSX and XP extensively (as well as a number of UNIX systems). As Herbert point out, Vista is mainly eye candy. In my opinion a lot of the feature which where easily and quickly available in XP are now hidden behind levels and levels of obscure links, which often bear no logic. It’s all good until something doesn’t work. Then the search begins… I have had a number of times where I spend an hour searching for a properties box which used to be available as a single option within XP. In my opinion MS tried to improve XP by making Vista simpler to use but only achieved the opposite.

    As for eye candy, I still strongly stay by my opinion that both Apple and Microsoft have completely lost the plot as far as making the OS as unobstrusive as possible. Remember the early versions of the Mac OS? Ah… OS elements in simply neutral grey. You could actually concentrate on the content you where working with rather than being distracted by colorful all dancing OS elements. I guess all that funky new graphic stuff might funky up your average cubical workers daily mundane grind but for me as a design person working with the box 10 hours it mostly distracting.

    Have you seen Adobe Lightroom yet? In my opinion some of the best user interface to be developed by any company in the last 5 years. Not in your face yet everything is in it’s right place when you need it. An application developed for users with the help of users from the ground up. I love it!!!

    Now if only Apple, Microsoft (and Adobe to some extend) could do the same for all that crap they call user friendly applications.

  8. Tom,

    Just because I’m interested, what do you think of the Office 2007 interface. While Lightroom has a nice interface for sure, Office 2k7 does a much better job at managing it’s program options via the ribbon than previous versions. At any rate, I’d say at least it’s lived up to it’s hype (unlike Vista).

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