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Case Title:

Microsoft's 'Mojave' Experiment: Image Makeover of Vista with Stealth Marketing?

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: J Thadamalla, S Hotchandani and K Suresh

Industry: Information Technology and IT Enabled Services

Region:US

Case Code: MKS0132IRC

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Abstract:
Microsoft Corporation, the world's largest software maker, released its new operating system (OS) Windows Vista worldwide in January 2007. However, since its launch, the software had been receiving negative publicity. It was perceived as incompatible with existing hardware and though being an upgraded version of its predecessor, Windows XP people were reluctant to migrate to the new OS. Due to the negative perception and publicity generated by early adopters and media, Microsoft had a tough time selling Vista. To reverse the people's perception, Microsoft, in July 2008, conducted the 'Mojave' experiment, wherein the subjects were shown a demo of a new OS by Microsoft named 'Mojave' which was actually Vista. However, many technology analysts and bloggers criticised the approach adopted by Microsoft and it was doubtful if the 'Mojave' experiment could lead to a perceptible change in negative perception of Vista and be useful for its image makeover. Drawing parallels to the tactic used by Microsoft for Vista, the case study facilitates discussion on whether the 'Mojave' experiment was the right solution to Vista's marketing problems.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss tactics for image makeover of a new product.
  • To understand the concept of stealth marketing.
  • To analyse the issues involved in stealth marketing.

Keywords :  Microsoft Corporation, Windows, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Image makeover, Mojave experiment, Perception-change marketing, Marketing makeover, Stealth marketing, Operating system (OS), New product launch, Negative word-of-mouth, Problems with Vista, Bradley and Montgomery (B&M), Undercover marketing

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