Microsoft Drops, Google and Apple Climb in Latest ACSI Satisfaction Study

The ACSI study for the second quarter of this year indicates an increasing frustration of users with Windows Vista. Users mostly complain about poor usability, compatibility problems, slower performance compared to Windows XP and substantial hardware requirements. The dissatisfaction with Vista also affected most major Windows-PC vendors. Apple continues to improve its reputation while Google and Yahoo lead the e-business satisfaction index.

The Q2 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan brought more bad news for Microsoft with some data about the satisfaction of American consumers with the company’s latest operating system.

The survey revealed a growing frustration with Windows-based PCs and the computer industry in general, as only Google, Apple and Yahoo were able to increase their ACSI rating. Customer satisfaction index for PCs dropped to 74 points. It fell for the second year in a row and wiped out gains that were made since 2005. Windows-based PC vendors Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, and Compaq declined to 73, 72 and 70 points, respectively. Dell was able to climb by 1 percent to 75 points.

Microsoft by itself was listed with 69 points, compared to 71 points for all software manufacturers ranked by the organization.

ACSI’s Claes Fornell believes that the release of Windows Vista may have contributed to the drop of many PC vendors. "Customers have complained about usability of the new system, sluggish processing speeds and problems of software compatibility, while hardware requirements have led to complaints about price," he said. Users of older machines who felt compelled to upgrade to Vista could have also contributed to the drop.

Apple was one of the big winners in this latest ACSI study. A gain of 8 percent lifted Apple to a total of 85 points. According to the ACSI, Apple’s 10 point lead over its closest rival is one of the largest gaps in customer satisfaction in any industry covered. "It’s hard not to be impressed with Apple," Fornell said. "This is product extension at its best where the new products, iPod and iPhone, are helping bring new customers to existing computer products. The fact that Apple is not dependent on the Windows Vista operating system hasn’t hurt either," he said.

In contrast to the computer industry, other technology and e-business categories surged by almost 6 percent to a record high of 79.3 points. The growth was driven by Google’s all-time high of 86 points (a 10 percent gain). Yahoo fell 3 percent and is now listed with 77 points. In comparison, Microsoft’s MSN is ranked with 75 and AOL with 69 points.

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  • mactronix
    Maybe, but i seriously doubt it, this will teach MS to think about the long game in future and not just try and force the next big thing on the consumer because they want a new revenue stream.
    According to the numbers they have not only shot themselves and the graphics companies in the foot. Now it seems they have cost vendors as well. The ethos of just puting something new out and people will adopt it will no longer work, unless the OS is stable and compatable with some serious hardware and software support they may as well forget it.
    In fact it seems that unless these criteria are met they will just be in for more of the same when they rush out Windows 7 to try and make back the money they thought Vista would generate and didnt.
  • spuddyt
    to be fair, many of the driver issues were the fault of the hardware manufacturers....
  • mactronix
    For new hardware granted but there were a lot of people who had existing set ups ie scanner/copier/printers etc that just were not expecting to find it all completly uncompatable with the new OS. I am aware that MS do a lot that they dont by rights have to as far as compatability goes, fixes updates etc. They whole thing right from launch seems to have been profit driven though and while thats understandable from a buisness point of view, what isnt is why you would launch a half arsed OS with half arsed hardware support when there was in all honesty no need to.