Microsoft Outpaces Apple in Customer Satisfaction: Chart of Day

By Dina Bass

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) — Microsoft Corp. got a bigger boost in customer satisfaction from its latest computer operating system than rival Apple Inc. did from its most recent upgrade.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows that respondents giving Microsoft a positive grade for satisfaction rose to 67 percent in the week after the Oct. 22 release of Windows 7, from 64 percent the day before it went on sale, according to YouGov Plc, a London-based market-research firm. Microsoft’s satisfaction rates rose 14 percent through the end of the year.

Apple’s Aug. 28 release of its Snow Leopard software resulted in a boost of 1 point to 65 percent in the first week. Through the end of the year, the increase was 6.9 percent.

The percentage of customers satisfied with Microsoft reached 73 percent on Dec. 31, the highest since YouGov started surveying in 2007. Microsoft’s reputation is benefiting from the positively reviewed Windows 7, after some customers held off personal-computer purchases to avoid the product’s predecessor, Vista, said Matt Rosoff, an analyst at Kirkland, Washington- based Directions on Microsoft.

“People are saying, ‘Okay, Microsoft got its mojo back,’” he said. “People who were thinking about buying a new PC are more likely to do so now. You’ll see slightly better sales.” Rosoff said the boost is probably also due to the June release of Microsoft’s overhauled Bing Internet search engine.

Microsoft’s Windows runs more than 90 percent of the world’s personal computers. The Windows division, Microsoft’s most profitable, accounted for about a quarter of the company’s sales last fiscal year.

“We’re encouraged that we’re delivered a version of Windows that meets what our customers want: a simpler PC that fits with their life,” said Tami Reller, a Windows vice president.

Apple declined to comment, said Bill Evans, a spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.net

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