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MS product manager can't explain what Vista Capable means.

Discussion in 'Just for Laughs' started by ffreeloader, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I was going to just put this in Off Topic, but it was so funny to me that I decided to put it in with the jokes.

    The following article from PCWorld chronicles the story of a lawsuit filed against MS by an individual in Washington State. It alleges that MS deliberately misled people as to the real meaning of "Vista Capable" so pc makers could dump pc's that weren't capable of running anything other than Vista Basic. In a deposition taken by the plaintiff's lawyers a MS product manager is so confused by the term himself that he gets it wrong.

    You can read the rest of this story at the link below.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,139961-pg,1/article.html

    Nah. MS didn't try to mislead anyone. They just made it so confusing that even their own product managers can't get it straight without after-the-fact coaching..... :twisted:

    Be sure your "sins" will find you out MS..... :biggrin:rolleyes::twisted::D
     
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  2. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    This particular section is confusing I think.

    I can't see it as decepttive if they say that the machine is capable of running Vista and you can actually run Vista on it. Ok so not all versions, but it can still run Vista ...

    It is funny that they sent someone to defend the case who doesn't know his stuff though. A bit foolish really.
     
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  3. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Ummm.... I'd very much disagree with you. If someone tells me a machine is capable of running Vista, then the logical assumption is that it will run any version of Vista. If a person told me a machine was Vista Basic capable, that would be much clearer, and much less confusing.

    To say that the general public is going to be able, with it's lack of computer knowledge, to make the fine distinction between being able to only run Vista Basic and not the rest of the Vista versions is a stretch to put it mildly. I know if some salesman told my wife that a machine was Vista capable, in her mind that would mean any version of Vista. She neither knows nor cares how many different versions there are or what the difference are between them. She probably wouldn't really understand those differences until she was able to sit in front of a computer and actually see the differences. She would just latch onto those two words. In that she's very much like the normal "user" out there trying to buy a computer.

    Add to this the fact that these are two terms in use that are very similar: capable and ready. Those are basically synonyms in just about everyone's mind. I had a buddy, who's pretty smart and technically astute away from computers, who was looking for a laptop when Vista was first came out. He was absolutely confused by this. If he hadn't been sending me links to the laptops he was looking at he would not have been able to make the distinction, and he was trying to do his due diligence. He was researching, but between all the noise coming from salesmen, the differences in the versions of Vista, and two synonymous terms, he was at a loss to be able to understand it all on his own.

    I really do think MS did this deliberately and did it to confuse the general public. I was confused by this myself until I really sat down and studied it out, but I'd hardly say I'm the "average" user.

    However, this isn't the point of the thread. A product manager is someone fairly high in the hierarchy at MS. That he was so confused by this that he couldn't keep it straight is just hilarious. Here he is making legal depositions and he's floundering around so completely lost in the sea of hype and marketing he can't even figure out what the company he works for is doing. That's just too funny. :hahaha
     
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  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I know what you mean Freddy, but the word 'assumption' is a dangerous one.

    It's a technique used by advertisers and sales people across the world, and not just MS.

    Ever been into a store that advertised 'up to 50% off paint'?

    Legally, there is nothing wrong with what they are doing, but they are playing on the fact that most people will make an 'assumption'.

    In the UK, the law says something like, if I advertise an 'up to' price offer on something like paint, then at least 50% of my paint must be discounted to some extent, and at least 10% of the range must be 50% off.

    Fine.

    But going by the posters and the TV ad, the customer 'assumes' that ALL my paint is 50% off.

    So MS aren't 'lying', however as with anything they do, the truth is confused by jargon and un-necessary complexity.
     
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  5. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I agree with Jonny. The stickers say that the PCs are Vista Capable. So by definition it can run Vista. Well, they do! The fact that it can only run Vista Basic is irrelevant. Its a version of Vista, so the advertising slogan is correct.

    And the manager is just useless. How many members on the site complain about useless management? Its all too common for the managers to know nothing of what they deal with. The fact that he didnt get properly briefed beforehand is just stupidity.
     
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  6. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Actually, any PC capable of running Vista Home Basic should be also able to run Vista Premium and Vista Ultimate. You won't be able to take advantage of the extra features, but they would still run.
     
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  7. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    JonnyMX,

    Your response remind me of a "responsible drinking" campaign sticker/logo that read as follows...

    THINKbefore youDRINK :p
     
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  8. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Advertising and being not entirely truthful seems to go hand in hand in many industries, not just software.

    Ever watched a car advert and it will come and say something like (prices start from £5995!) in big letters on the screen. So you think wow that's cheap for the car you are seeing driving along, with lots of gadgets, sports wheels and trim etc... In the small print at the bottom of the screen will be (model shown. Turbo sports deluxe special OTR price £35,000 and your first born child).
     
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  9. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Ummm.... Let's take a look at your analogy, Johnny.

    First, there isn't nearly the confusion in the general public over paint that there is over computers. The general public can at least understand paint to some degree. Computers? Well, that's another story altogether.

    Second, I can't ever recall walking into a store, any store, which advertises something as 50% off and assuming everything in the store was 50% off. Anyone I know would ask, if it wasn't clearly marked, which paints were 50% off. I don't know anyone stupid enough to assume the entire inventory was 50% off so I think your analogy is really stretching things.

    To the general public XP was XP. They didn't even know there was a difference between XP home and XP pro. A salesman could sell them either one and they wouldn't know the difference. The same with Vista. Vista is Vista to the general public. They may vaguely remember something about there being more than version of it, but when they see news blurbs or ads it's all about all the cool effects they see. When they go to buy it, unless they are an above average user, they will pick up the first box they see marked Vista and think they are getting the entire package.

    As to the general dishonesty in advertising, well, I think all advertising company executives should be spending time in jail and all major corporations should be paying big fines for not complying with truth in advertising laws.

    The argument that justifies one instance of dishonesty just because someone else is lying too is on very weak ground with me. It just doesn't hold water. I mean, I should be able to steal from you just because there are thieves in the world? That's ridiculous on its face, and all other levels too, but that is the principle at the foundation of your argument. Any time that kind of logic is accepted our societies are in major trouble. We will end up justifying anything and everything when that becomes the norm.
     
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  10. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Thats the point though Freddie, they are being honest in their adverts. They just use lots of very clever little things to make the deal look more attractive at a glance. They tell you in the small print on the page/screen that things arent exactly as they appear on the big text.

    Bottom line, they rely on the users making assumptions. And they lead you into the assumption they want you to have. The point is to get you into the salesroom. You will find out the truth of the matter then, and you can then decide not to buy at that point. But once you are in the shop, you are much more likely to close the sale.

    Its not dishonesty because they arent lying, they are just playing with the layout on the ad to make things look more attractive. Wether you like it or not is irrelevant. Its done to increase sales whilst still being on the right side of misrepresentation/false advertising laws. Its perfectly legal. And companies will continue to do it until such time as the government takes steps to change it. Now answer me this, can you see your government doing anything about it? I certainly cant.
     
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  11. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    If a machine has a sticker saying Vista capable and it is running Vista whatever version it is then MS havent lied or misled anyone.

    People anyway should be aware of what specs are needed anyway then they can make their own assumptions of if a machine will run Vista.
     
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  12. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Fergal,

    If I lead you to make assumptions, and the assumptions I lead you to believe aren't true, am I deceiving you?
     
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  13. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Only if you dont provide me with the information so that I can determine its not true. If you show me a page of information, where you have highlighted certain pieces of information, and lead me into believing something based only on that highlighted information, thats my own fault for not reading the rest of the page. You have given me all the information I need to determine the truth of the situation, you have merely pointed my attention to certain key phrases. That I ignore everything else on the page isnt your problem. its mine.

    Edit: How many times can i use the word information? :biggrin
     
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  14. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Ah, but didn't really answer my question. Am I deceiving you if I mislead you?

    And, in response to your qualifiers.... What if you don't know how to find the information that will allow you to figure out I'm misleading you? Do you know how many millions of people there are that DON'T know how to use Google, to do online research? Is that "just their problem", and MS is absolved because the information is buried somewhere where they can't find it?
     
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  15. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Standard advertising almost always includes the information required to see the truth of the situation in the small print at the bottom of the screen/page. So its not a case of meaning people have to use google to find the truth. False advertising laws (here at least) mean that you cant outright lie in your advert. You can twist the truth to make it more favourable - placing phrases you want to draw attention to in bigger writing for instance, but you cant lie. Hence all the small print in the adverts.

    Again, with this in place, the answer becomes No, you are not deceiving me. All the information has been presented to me. Im choosing to follow your finger through the information, ignoring what you dont point to.

    The problem with Vista/XP/anything to do with PC's, is that people dont accept when they dont know enough to make a qualified decision as to whats best. If an average Joe wants to get Vista for their machine, they shouldnt try to make the decision themselves unless they are willing to delve into the subject in a reasonable degree of detail in order to determine what is best for their needs. What they should be doing is coming to someone in the know, and discussing the matter with them.

    When I go for medication, unless its the same every time, I talk to the pharmacist about my needs and trust their recommendation on whats best for my needs. If I want to make the choice myself, I ask them to detail the benefits/drawbacks of the options, and have them help guide me. Alternatively, I'll go and do some research into the matter. In most cases I'm like average joe when it comes to something to help my joints. So I detail my needs to the pharmacist, and let them determine the best product. Its the pharmacists job to ask all the right questions (allergies, etc) in order to ensure that the product I get is the best for my particlar needs.

    Computers are no different, unless you are willing to do the research yourself, you should seek someone knowledgeable enough to guide you to the right product.
     
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