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Programming Windows: The Mojave Experiment (Premium)

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In 2006, Apple started a TV advertising campaign called “Get a Mac” that pitted hapless and fat John Hodgman (“I’m a PC”) against cool hipster Justin Long (“I’m a Mac”). The ads were usually quite funny, though they frequently engaged in exaggeration and even outright falsehoods to make the PC look worse than it was. But the campaign reached new heights when they turned to attacking Longhorn and then Windows Vista. And despite many calls for Microsoft to respond to the one-sided campaign, the software giant remained silent for years.

I was among the most vocal of those asking---and eventually begging---for Microsoft to defend itself. And then, incredibly, it finally did. In 2008, just ahead of the Windows 7 reveal at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2008, Microsoft began its own advertising campaign called the Mojave Experiment. The ads detailed how Microsoft had case studies with consumers about their perceptions of Windows Vista, which were universally negative. And then they showed these same consumers getting a sneak peek at the next version of Windows, then codenamed Mojave, that would fix all of Vista’s problems. And universally, these same consumers loved Mojave.

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