How bad is it for Microsoft? They’re tricking people into using Vista. Enter “The Mojave Experiment.” From their site (with their bold):
What do people think of Windows Vista when they don’t know it’s Windows Vista? We disguised Windows Vista as codename “Mojave,” the “next Microsoft OS,” so regular people who’ve never used Windows Vista could see what it can do — and decide for themselves. Now decide for yourself.
Apparently Windows Vista has been labeled so bad for so long that Microsoft feels they can launch a marketing campaign appealing to anti-establishmentarians. If you watch the videos, the embarrassing thing about all of this (aside from the obvious), is that these people aren’t actually using the computers. They’re being shown around “Mojave” by a Microsoft employee.
From an internal market-research perspective I can see the benefit of doing something this. But to use this as marketing for your product? It’s about as bad as Vista.