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Apple trumps Windows PC makers in customer experience study

post #1 of 112
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Apple's reputation has been polished with a new customer experience study from Forrester Research that shows happiness and overall satisfaction with Macs being much higher than for several major Windows PC builders.

A Customer Experience Index report from Forrester Research came to the conclusion after studying almost 4,600 computer users' experiences from 2008 and asking them to score the ease of use of their computers, how enjoyable the experience is and whether or not the systems fulfill their owners' needs.

Apple's overall score reached 80 and was not only enough to give it the lead but also leave it as the only company to earn a "good" ranking in Forrester's view. Every other manufacturer in the list scored significantly lower, with Acer's American label Gateway being closest with a score of just 66; the standing is only "okay" in the research group's chart.

Every other major vendor in the chart fared worse. HP and its budget brand, Compaq, were lumped into the "poor" category with near-identical scores of 64 and 63. Dell, once considered a baseline for PC quality, was ranked just 58.

The spread is that much more evident when comparing only the more subjective qualities of ease of use and happiness. In his personal blog, the report's chief architect Bruce Temkin explains that Apple's lead only widened when focused on these two criteria: although its overall lead was 14 percent, it garnered a 17 percent edge in terms of ease of use and 15 percent for contentment with respective systems. For Dell, this last category was humbling as the Texas-based PC builder scored just 47 -- enough to give it the "very poor" label in that section.

Exactly why Apple is above the fray isn't the focus of the research, though the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has regularly skewed its Mac lineup towards the premium end of the market and, accordingly, can use faster or higher-quality parts that improve the perceived experience.

Whatever the case, the study can't come at a worse time for Microsoft, which has gone to great expense to persuade the public that choice and price in Windows PCs trump Apple's higher-cost but focused lineup. Where Microsoft maintains that Mac owners are simply buying the logo, Forrester suggests they're buying a better overall experience; where it paid off a consultant to manipulate cost differences and claim Mac users pay more for less, the Customer Experience Index suggests that any savings from the Windows PCs may be countered by extra frustrations stemming from hardware or software.

Apple hasn't responded to Forrester's study, but it doesn't necessarily have to. Its response to the Microsoft ads has mirrored its results in the Index and asserted that many cheaper PCs represent a false economy if they turn out to lack important features.
post #2 of 112
I would agree 100% as my experiences with Apple and OSX have been great.

EXCEPT (there is always something, right?)...
I use a thinkpad X61 tablet with Vista Home Premium when I wish to ink. When do I ink? Whenever I am writing in Japanese as it give me much practice writing kanji. Unfortunately, OSX's handwriting recognition is a decade behind Vista (and soon Windows 7).

Come on Apple, when will we see true handwriting recognition (in multiple languages) on OSX?
Joey
post #3 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Come on Apple, when will we see true handwriting recognition (in multiple languages) on OSX?
Joey

Maybe when they release a tablet because (business wise) it doesn't make sense to invest heavily in handwriting recognition when you don't make the hardware for it. I know there are third party input devices and tablets (ModBook) put we all know Apple don't like to work for third party.
I agree with you though. Microsoft handwriting recognition as well as voice recognition are excellent.
post #4 of 112
"...vice president at Forrester, said the PC industry indeed bombed in the survey, but the low ratings were mostly driven by consumers views about Microsofts Windows."

That's about all a wise shopper should need to know.
post #5 of 112
No surprise here.

Microsoft is facing a problem (which they have always faced), given that they are trying to compete against a vendor who uses the vertically integrated model rather than the horizontal model which Microsoft and the PC market uses. The result is that you have a poorly-integrated approach to marketing, hardware and software design where the experience is as much dictated by the hardware vendor as the quality of the operating system - both of which are developed by two separate companies with different goals over all in regard to their respective strategies.

By the way, someone should post this article on Neowin.net. Should be fun.
post #6 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

"...vice president at Forrester, said the PC industry indeed bombed in the survey, but the low ratings were mostly driven by consumers views about Microsofts Windows."

That's about all a wise shopper should need to know.

I always bought high quality hardware (IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads and Sony VAIOs) but the machines were just too frustrating to use - all the great hardware went to waste due to an incapable operating system called Vista which crippled my machines within a few months. Everyone who is a heavy user of Vista machines faces the same problems. Hence, these ratings come as no surprise but are not really fair towards the PC manufacturers - they have no control over Vista.
post #7 of 112
I have work to do. Why should I care about this? Apple users are happy? I have an Apple too, but so what?

Apple fanz are really a bunch of ball washers sometimes. Maybe it's an inferiority complex or something - the obsession over whether a product you happen to buy is successful. And Apple repays you how exactly?

This site should focus on technical news. I don't care if Apple is getting rich. And I sure ain't rooting for them to become rich at my expense.
post #8 of 112
Could these results also be a result of the different demographics between Mac and Windows users? Mac users who are willing to pay more are also more likely to be better educated and computer literate than the standard Windows user who is simply buying on price. I know in my circle of friends and co-workers, those who focus only on the price of the computer are more likely to also know significantly less about how Windows and the hardware in general works. This means they build up super high expectations only too see them crushed and come running to me to fix issues that are actually quite simple but beyond their scope of knowledge.

Just throwing it out there...
post #9 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

I don't care if Apple is getting rich. And I sure ain't rooting for them to become rich at my expense.

Guess you never heard of a thing called stock. Go AAPL!
post #10 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

I have work to do. Why should I care about this? Apple users are happy? I have an Apple too, but so what?

Apple fanz are really a bunch of ball washers sometimes. Maybe it's an inferiority complex or something - the obsession over whether a product you happen to buy is successful. And Apple repays you how exactly?

This site should focus on technical news. I don't care if Apple is getting rich. And I sure ain't rooting for them to become rich at my expense.

If you have work to do and you don't care, why in the world are you posting about it?
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post #11 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

I have work to do. Why should I care about this? Apple users are happy? I have an Apple too, but so what?

Apple fanz are really a bunch of ball washers sometimes. Maybe it's an inferiority complex or something - the obsession over whether a product you happen to buy is successful. And Apple repays you how exactly?

This site should focus on technical news. I don't care if Apple is getting rich. And I sure ain't rooting for them to become rich at my expense.

A successful product (that we want, and keep wanting) ensures more of the same for us to use in the future. All of this points to a healthy Apple, which is what we want. Otherwise, what's the alternative? Windows. Something we definitely, unequivocally, want to avoid like the plague, because it's a third-rate product that provides a third-rate experience.
post #12 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by floccus View Post

Could these results also be a result of the different demographics between Mac and Windows users? Mac users who are willing to pay more are also more likely to be better educated and computer literate than the standard Windows user who is simply buying on price. I know in my circle of friends and co-workers, those who focus only on the price of the computer are more likely to also know significantly less about how Windows and the hardware in general works. This means they build up super high expectations only too see them crushed and come running to me to fix issues that are actually quite simple but beyond their scope of knowledge.

Just throwing it out there...

Super high expectations? Really? I travel a lot and going on and off sleep mode without a hitch is very important to me. Can you fix Vista that it actually wakes up from sleep every single time and let's you work within 5 seconds (and without closing the various programs you are working with...) ? It works flawlessly with OS X - why should I not be allowed to expect the same from Vista?
post #13 of 112
Ballmer probably sees the results of the survey as providing justification for why Microsoft should be making its own computers. "Our hardware partners suck!!!"

Windows fanboys probably think the same thing. They'll be claiming Temkin has no basis for pointing the finger at Microsoft. "We didn't make the hardware or provide support!"
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post #14 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

I have work to do. Why should I care about this? Apple users are happy? I have an Apple too, but so what?

Apple fanz are really a bunch of ball washers sometimes. Maybe it's an inferiority complex or something - the obsession over whether a product you happen to buy is successful. And Apple repays you how exactly?

This site should focus on technical news. I don't care if Apple is getting rich. And I sure ain't rooting for them to become rich at my expense.

C'mon, admit it. You're out trolling the blogs tonight, and couldn't resist. You have an Apple? An Apple what? iPod? You offered absolutely nothing in your troll-tastic response to this article. A little analysis -- something, anything -- would have sufficed. Instead, trollish drivel.

I switched from primarily Windows to primarily OS X when I bought a MacBook at the end of 2006. I followed with a MacBook Pro at the beginning of 2007. I haven't used a Windows box at home in a long time, though I use Windows workstations at work every day. There's no doubt that the OS X/Mac experience is more pleasant, fewer headaches, and just all around better. Even the feel of this keyboard is nicer. It's all the little things that add up to an intuitive, pleasant experience, including the great software that comes on every Mac (or open source, like awesome OpenOffice).
post #15 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by awmawm View Post

I always bought high quality hardware (IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads and Sony VAIOs) but the machines were just too frustrating to use - all the great hardware went to waste due to an incapable operating system called Vista which crippled my machines within a few months. Everyone who is a heavy user of Vista machines faces the same problems. Hence, these ratings come as no surprise but are not really fair towards the PC manufacturers - they have no control over Vista.

Now that sounds reasonable.
post #16 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

I have work to do. Why should I care about this? Apple users are happy? I have an Apple too, but so what?

Apple fanz are really a bunch of ball washers sometimes. Maybe it's an inferiority complex or something - the obsession over whether a product you happen to buy is successful. And Apple repays you how exactly?

This site should focus on technical news. I don't care if Apple is getting rich. And I sure ain't rooting for them to become rich at my expense.

This is a fan-zine. It's called "AppleInsider" [the hint's in the first word]. People here are Apple fans: a person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular etc.

If you're not a fan, what's the point of reading articles such as this? Get over yourself!

-Enz
post #17 of 112
I guess maybe because many people just recently bought a new Acer netbook for cheap and they haven't had a chance for it to break down. Acer is one company I will never, ever buy another product from. Extremely poor construction--the equivalent of a plastic covered turd. I don't know maybe in buying Gateway that helped with their quality and customer service, but I'm highly skeptical.

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post #18 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

I have work to do. Why should I care about this? Apple users are happy? I have an Apple too, but so what?

Apple fanz are really a bunch of ball washers sometimes. Maybe it's an inferiority complex or something - the obsession over whether a product you happen to buy is successful. And Apple repays you how exactly?

This site should focus on technical news. I don't care if Apple is getting rich. And I sure ain't rooting for them to become rich at my expense.

I always wash my balls! Sometimes though my girlfriend washes them and they get really clean!
post #19 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

I have work to do. Why should I care about this? Apple users are happy? I have an Apple too, but so what?

Apple fanz are really a bunch of ball washers sometimes. Maybe it's an inferiority complex or something - the obsession over whether a product you happen to buy is successful. And Apple repays you how exactly?

This site should focus on technical news. I don't care if Apple is getting rich. And I sure ain't rooting for them to become rich at my expense.

You know I am a a ball washer. Frequently I might add. There is nothing worse than dirty, stinky, sticky balls.

We're talking about golf, right?

Now my Dongle--well that's a whole other story.....

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27" iMac 2.93GHz | 17" MacBook Pro 2.8GHz | Mac Mini Server 2.5Ghz
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post #20 of 112
Wonderful time for this to come out, Apple should be using this in their ads, some other companies think we should just be buying products because they are cheap.
post #21 of 112
xSamplex is right! This is AppleInsider! Stop talking about Apple!
post #22 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by heavydevelopment View Post

I guess maybe because many people just recently bought a new Acer netbook for cheap and they haven't had a chance for it to break down. Acer is one company I will never, ever buy another product from. Extremely poor construction--the equivalent of a plastic covered turd. I don't know maybe in buying Gateway that helped with their quality and customer service, but I'm highly skeptical.

Acer does make decent computers....in countries other than the US.
post #23 of 112
I am willing to bet Apple sponsored this study themselves as a counter to the MS sponsored study that showed Apple computers were too expensive.

You got to love manipulation of the masses through media and advertising...
post #24 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post

I am willing to bet Apple sponsored this study themselves as a counter to the MS sponsored study that showed Apple computers were too expensive.

You got to love manipulation of the masses through media and advertising...

So they managed to agree to a contract, survey 4000+ people and produce the report in the short time since that study? Give me a break.

The study is 100% believable if you've actually used a mac and a pc for any significant amount of time.
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post #25 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

I have work to do. Why should I care about this? Apple users are happy? I have an Apple too, but so what?

Apple fanz are really a bunch of ball washers sometimes. Maybe it's an inferiority complex or something - the obsession over whether a product you happen to buy is successful. And Apple repays you how exactly?

This site should focus on technical news. I don't care if Apple is getting rich. And I sure ain't rooting for them to become rich at my expense.

Well said, I'm tired of all the articles I've seen lately that seems to just be amplifying the Mac VS PC debate. Look it Apple scored an 80 so obviously there are people who didnt like it as much and I know people who dont like Macs at all for very legitimate reasons, they dont like change and they are use to Windows and you cant say thats a wrong way to reason because its their personal choice.

I personally will never recommend Mac to anyone because of their cocky nature.

Ill end with this, Apple HAS to make their software good with their hardware, they have no choice because if the software wasnt flawless with the hardware they have NO excuse! Windows has an excuse, they are developing an OS for virtually unlimited configurations of hardware!

As a comp sci major I would never hope to work for Apple because it would be no challenge to make a OS that has limited hardware.
post #26 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by shavex View Post

Well said, I'm tired of all the articles I've seen lately that seems to just be amplifying the Mac VS PC debate. Look it Apple scored an 80 so obviously there are people who didnt like it as much and I know people who dont like Macs at all for very legitimate reasons, they dont like change and they are use to Windows and you cant say thats a wrong way to reason because its their personal choice.

I personally will never recommend Mac to anyone because of their cocky nature.

Ill end with this, Apple HAS to make their software good with their hardware, they have no choice because if the software wasnt flawless with the hardware they have NO excuse! Windows has an excuse, they are developing an OS for virtually unlimited configurations of hardware!

As a comp sci major I would never hope to work for Apple because it would be no challenge to make a OS that has limited hardware.

Let me tell you that I think Apple is doing an amazing job pushing hardware and software to the bleeding edge. What has Microsoft done on computers that Apple hasn't done better? Name one thing... besides practically being a monopoly. I can't really believe you're a comp sci major, and you say you won't recommend Macs to friends... Have you USED a mac?

I hate people who bash products that they haven't even tried to use... I'm also a comp sci and engineering major, BUT I can certainly understand that what Apple is doing is far better than what the competition is doing. A unibody aluminum notebook that weighs 4 lbs and has a 13" screen that manages to get to a price point of $1200? Tell me another manufacturer that comes close to managing that feat.

And as for your excuse for Windows being crappy because they have two different companies developing it... well, that's no excuse at ALL. It's competition at work, and frankly, I wish SOMEONE would challenge Apple, so that Apple could figure out how to create even better products As an engineering major as well as a comp sci major, I think that having an unlimited number of hardware choices is a bad idea. Yes, the prices are lowered, but at the cost of driver issues, faulty/lower quality hardware, etc. Of course, you say that these are nonfactors for you, BUT in reality these do have an effect on how consumers experience setting up a PC. It's annoying when you order a Dell online and realize that they shipped a defective DVD drive, so you have to send the PC back to them and wait. With Apple, one company makes the product so you can just go to their stores and get a replacement on the spot.

I'd RATHER work for Apple thanks to their integration of hardware and software to make their products better than the rest And no challenge to make a OS that works with limited hardware? You obviously have had no experience at all writing drivers then, have you? The stuff that Apple is doing is amazing BECAUSE it is difficult to integrate hardware and software so well, and even RIM can't do it as well..
post #27 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by shavex View Post

W

I personally will never recommend Mac to anyone because of their cocky nature..

Which makes about as much sense as a pair of thermal underwar in Death Valley at high noon.

So does the Mac talk back to you in an intimidating manner? Or is Apple too "boastful" about something?

LOL, neither of which has much to do with the product. Unless your Mac is somehow defective because Steve Jobs believes MS makes a third-rate product.

Too funny.

post #28 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Maybe when they release a tablet because (business wise) it doesn't make sense to invest heavily in handwriting recognition when you don't make the hardware for it. I know there are third party input devices and tablets (ModBook) put we all know Apple don't like to work for third party.
I agree with you though. Microsoft handwriting recognition as well as voice recognition are excellent.

OSX heavily supports artists using Wacom tablets so you would think Apple would provide support. Many folks use handwriting recognition with just a Windows PC and a Wacom tablet...no tablet pc needed. This has more to do with Jobs dumping handwriting recognition with the Newton IMO.

I am just afraid that when Apple puts out a tablet, it will be multitouch only, with no stylus support. When I input kanji on my iPod touch (using the Chinese input - WHY is the only Japanese input via keyboard?) it is so difficult because my fingers are too large to draw a 15 - 20 stroke kanji on that tiny screen.

In regards to the Modbook; it is a fully sanctioned product with Apple approval and blessing. This should be part of the OS just as it is for Vista. So many say Vista this, Vista that, but it really has some great features (I use it) and it works better than XP...with just 2GB of RAM and a 1.6 dual core. All of this nonsense that Apple and MS (and their supporters) are spouting about each other is just hot air. Both OSes work well for me. I am so tired of the OS war silliness. Just give me something that works.
post #29 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Which makes about as much sense as a pair of thermal underwar in Death Valley at high noon.

So does the Mac talk back to you in an intimidating manner? Or is Apple too "boastful" about something?

LOL, neither of which has much to do with the product. Unless your Mac is somehow defective because Steve Jobs believes MS makes a third-rate product.

Too funny.


Well apparently he's actually a troll. All the 7 posts he's done so far are all about criticizing Apple in one way or another.. I can't believe I wasted 10 minutes writing trying to convince this person that Apple is truthfully better than the competition in multiple ways..
post #30 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post

I am willing to bet Apple sponsored this study themselves as a counter to the MS sponsored study that showed Apple computers were too expensive.

You got to love manipulation of the masses through media and advertising...

I also would like to know who sponsored the study. What kind of study was it? My recent statistics course taught me to question many of the so-called "studies" that are presented to the public. This applies to Apple and MS.
post #31 of 112
However good the timing of this report is, saying "Hey, we're the cheapest" is very hard to beat in terms of short term success. Low prices is a very hands on, measurable thing.

Saying "Hey, our customers are the most satisfied" or "Hey, we're the best" or "Hey, while your cheap PC breaks down in a year, your Mac will keep going for 4 more years" I think takes a longer time to build up. And that is what Apple has been doing over the last couple of yeears, and now, years later, it's starting to pay off! I don't think "Hey, we're the cheapest" will make a serious impact on the development here.
post #32 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

However good the timing of this report is, saying "Hey, we're the cheapest" is very hard to beat in terms of short term success. Low prices is a very hands on, measurable thing.

Saying "Hey, our customers are the most satisfied" or "Hey, we're the best" or "Hey, while your cheap PC breaks down in a year, your Mac will keep going for 4 more years" I think takes a longer time to build up. And that is what Apple has been doing over the last couple of yeears, and now, years later, it's starting to pay off! I don't think "Hey, we're the cheapest" will make a serious impact on the development here.

Unless they had no choice, why would anyone skimp out on the tool they use every day?
post #33 of 112
People... the research was done by Forrester! You know... the research company? That's what they do. That's all they do. Research. Apple had absolutely nothing to do with this report. So how is this report an example of Apple being "cocky" or whatever?
post #34 of 112
I would never get an iPod because of its upbeat, insouciant manner. I prefer my MP3 players to have a slightly brooding quality.
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post #35 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat@gmail.com View Post

A unibody aluminum notebook that weighs 4 lbs and has a 13" screen that manages to get to a price point of $1200?
Tell me another manufacturer that comes close to managing that feat.

carbon fiber, 3.5 lbs, 13.1" 1366 x 768 XBright --- $1,171.91
Sony VAIO VGN-Z540PAB: P8400 2.26 GHz, GeForce 9300M switchable GMA 4500MHD (6 hrs bat.), 160 GB, HDMI, card reader
post #36 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

People... the research was done by Forrester! You know... the research company? That's what they do. That's all they do. Research. Apple had absolutely nothing to do with this report. So how is this report an example of Apple being "cocky" or whatever?

But Forrester's part of the Grand Apple Conspiracy.
post #37 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by OccamsAftershave View Post

carbon fiber, 3.5 lbs, 13.1" 1366 x 768 XBright --- $1,171.91
Sony VAIO VGN-Z540PAB: P8400 2.26 GHz, GeForce 9300M switchable GMA 4500MHD (6 hrs bat.), 160 GB, HDMI, card reader

Except that none of that really matters since it doesn't run OS X.
post #38 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

i would never get an ipod because of its upbeat, insouciant manner. I prefer my mp3 players to have a slightly brooding quality.

lol!!
post #39 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by floccus View Post

...Mac users who are willing to pay more are also more likely to be better educated and computer literate than the standard Windows user who is simply buying on price. I know in my circle of friends and co-workers, those who focus only on the price of the computer are more likely to also know significantly less about how Windows and the hardware in general works. ...

It's been my experience, in school and at work, that the more sophisticated computer users are either long-time Mac people or are converts, due to frustration with Windows. The extremely sophisticated users, the ones who dump Windows and work with one of the Unix variants are okay with their machines, but they are an extremely small percentage of the total number of users. Most of the clueless users who cannot appreciate value and shop only for low price will make due with inferior machines and not even be aware of what they're missing. Apple is smart in giving up this market and focusing on a smaller niche that can appreciate the performance and quality that goes into their machines and doesn't mind paying a premium for it. These people know the true cost of using cheap tools on important work.
post #40 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

People... the research was done by Forrester! You know... the research company? That's what they do. That's all they do. Research. Apple had absolutely nothing to do with this report. So how is this report an example of Apple being "cocky" or whatever?

I am aware that Forrester did the study, but who proposed it? Who paid for the study?
Apple had nothing to do with the study? How do you know this for a fact? Link?
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