Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

Summary:It's been interesting to watch how Apple responded to the the iOS tracking 'scandal' and comparing that to how Microsoft has handled the problems surrounding updates for its Windows Phone 7 lineup.

It's been interesting to watch how Apple responded to the the iOS tracking 'scandal' and comparing that to how Microsoft has handled the problems surrounding updates for its Windows Phone 7 lineup.

Following the widespread revelation that iOS devices were collecting and storing location data Apple took a few days to assess the problem and then went public with a detailed Q&A press release outlining the issue and what the company was going to do about it. Things then went a step further as Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave of absence (for what doesn't matter, it could be an ingrowing toenail), along with Apple executives Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller, took to the phones.

The damage limitation machine was in high gear.

Note: It's interesting to note that the approach that Apple took in dealing with this issue is similar to how it dealt with the 'Antennagate' but with one key difference - there Apple tried to take the approach that the antenna issue was a problem affecting the whole industry. In address the iOS tracking issue Apple was careful not to be drawn into a wider industry discussion.

Compare this to how Microsoft has handled the issue of delayed updates for WP7 handsets and the problem with the updates bricking some handsets. Microsoft's response to this was patchy, usually via technical blogs. At no point did we see Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer come out and issue a statement. At no point was there a clear roadmap given as to how the company was going to move forward. Sure, we know that the final say on whether WP7 updates get sent to users tests with the carrier, but on the matter of updates bricking Samsung WP7 handsets, no one at Microsoft seemed to come out and take charge of the problem. I'm certain that behind the scenes there was a lot going on, but to an outsider (even an outsider paying very close attention to what was going on), it seemed like no one really cared.

The damage limitation machine seemed to be running in 'things will sort themselves out eventually' mode.

Different companies, different approach.

Which approach is best? Which gets the message across to the people that matter (consumers) the best? Which type of communication do you prefer?

Topics: Mobile OS, Apple, Enterprise Software, Microsoft


Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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