Today the PR agency Edelman sent me (on behalf of Microsoft) some more background material produced by Microsoft, describing the research done.
Roundtable Q&A: developers tap real-life families to find out what consumers really want from Windows Vista
Using instrumentation, in-home visits and specially designed feedback mechanisms, Windows Vista developers got timely, unvarnished and abundant input from 50 families in seven countries. For more insight into [this], PressPass spoke with three Microsoft officials: Trish Miner, research manager for the Life with Windows Vista program; Tjeerd Hoek, director of user-experience design for Windows Vista; and Richard Russell, development manager in the Windows Core operating system team.
Article: large-scale research project aims to make Windows Vista useful, fun for all
A two-year program tapping 50 families from across the globe to test Windows Vista provides feedback that has been fundamental in helping shape the operating system during product development.
Fact sheet: Life with Windows Vista (pdf, 164 kb, 3 pages)
Fifty families from seven countries, including Japan, Israel and Germany, contributed to the Life With Windows Vista program. Following are snapshots of five families who participated in the Life With Windows Vista program.
The fairly long “Roundtable Q&A” (i.e. interview) is probably the most interesting read-up for professionals. The article on the other hand got me suspicious when I read about a user saying “she was surprised by how comprehensive Windows Vista is and how easy and fun it is to use”.