Have we finally witnessed the death of the Blue Screen of Death?

OK, so that’s still a bit of a reach, but new numbers this morning from the American Customer Satisfaction Index show satisfaction with Microsoft software reaching a new peak of 78 on the 100-point ASCI index. That’s up from a trough of 69 in 2008.

It’s the third straight year of gains for Microsoft in the index and a sign that the company is continuing to recover from the poorly received Windows Vista as computer users make the upgrade to Windows 7. Vista debuted in January 2007 and was succeeded by Windows 7 in October 2009.

However, satisfaction among existing customers does not necessarily translate into booming sales. Microsoft Office revenue is up, but sales in Microsoft’s Windows division fell 4 percent last quarter, as Windows PC sales fell victim to the rise of the iPad, a trend particularly evident among netbooks and other low-priced portable machines.

“Customers are more satisfied with Microsoft software, but, for now, the company is selling less of it,” say ASCI researchers in a commentary accompanying the data.

Apple is categorized in the index as a personal computer maker (not as a software company) and it traditionally sits atop those rankings — last year reaching a new peak of 86 in the ASCI index. (The PC numbers have not yet been updated this year in the public ASCI scores.

Other notable trends in the latest ASCI numbers:

  • Wireless customer satisfaction with AT&T and the company it’s proposing to buy, T-Mobile USA, declined noticeably in the data. ASCI researchers described that as unusual, saying it’s more common for satisfaction to decline after a merger is actually completed. T-Mobile fell 4 percent to a score of 70, while AT&T fell by a similar rate, to 66.
  • Satisfaction with subscription TV services leveled off at an ASCI score of 66, after surging last year. The researchers cited the effects of limited-time bundling promotions, which can make people sour once special pricing expires.
  • In the realm of media, newspaper industry remained steady with a customer satisfaction score of 65, but the researchers described that as “very weak” and the lowest of all ASCI industry categories. Network and cable TV news programs rose 4 percent in the index to 77 percent.

The ASCI index was started by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. More available data here.

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  • Alice Filemyr

     windows 7 seemed like an improvement until service pack 1 trashed my computer!

  • Anonymous

    If MS is loosing sales to the iPad, then the customer satisfaction is going up because idiots that hate MS are going away.

    And, Alice, if W7 SP1 trashed your computer, it was already trashed before SP1.  SP1 is well known to fail when a computer has a virus, plane and simple.

    • Krenshau

       SP1 will also fail if you have certain hot fixes installed or MUI’s installed. Two things MS should have assumed that normal users would have. So no, it doesn’t mean the computer was trashed before SP1.

  • http://www.techload.com.br Techload Sites Ribeirao Preto

    As a computer technician I can attest that Windows 7 is a blessing compared to Windows XP or Vista (which I always refused to touch).

  • http://twitter.com/MarketingXD MarketingXD

    This is party due to the Apple’s recent success. Anyone who doesn’t like MS products has good alternatives to use instead, leaving the satidfied Microsoft customers behind.

  • Reds2011

    I love Windows 7. It is a big time improvement over Vista. 

  • Eta46t

    Shouldn’t that be ACSI? too much geek in you? 

  • Frank1914a4

    The only crashes I’ve had with 64-bit 7 were caused by a bad third-party audio driver.
    Once I cleaned that up, it’s been as solid as, well, you’d have to go back to 2000 Server for the last time I used solid and Windows in the same sentence.

    • Mark

       PC sales could go down because of the economy, not because they switched to iPads.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rxantos Ricardo Santos

    I must agree that Windows 7 is a huge improvement over vista. Ever since beta I notice it.

    Hope that Microsoft does the same with Windows 8. A public beta to get the bugs out before hitting the consumer. 

    • http://www.oscarscode.com Oscar Martinez

      Definitely iPad and Windows are not direct competitors, but how many people were buying PC/laptops because they thought they needed one? Now that we have tables, not everybody will get a PC.
      That been said, PC’s are not going anywhere because of the reasons you stated.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rwoan Ronald S Woan

      I think iPads and netbooks overlap… Garage Band and iMovie pretty fun “creation” tools on an iPad. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/rwoan Ronald S Woan

     Windows 7 is the first OS I can honestly say I really like since DOS and UNIX. Things just basically work as expected which is more than I can say for a lot of things.

  • Ranj joh

    I wonder what the MS worker morale statisfaction level is like, taking into account its getting beaten here and there by competitors plus all those high profile people whom have leftleaving……..mmmmmm

  • George Onofrei

     Windows 7 is great and i seriously believe that the next generation of OS will kick ass.

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