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

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.

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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, Microsoft, Operating Systems

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

    apple has 2 to 3 things to worry about. they dont have a large portfolio of products or services its easier to deal things faster than microsoft which has 100x or maybe 1000x more the number of products and technologies. Wp7 team has been very prompt creating sites, talking about the update proccess and everything related to problems and limitations of the OS so far. You cant expect to have ballmer to speak for every issue we have and i dont really see the point of it. Also you dont see Apple talking about the next step of iOs, do you? we only get to know whats comming next when the next iphone, ipod, imac is released period. In the other way microsoft has been very clear to what to expect in the next future updates of wp7 specially mango also known as 7.5.
    I really dont see good arguments in your comparison i?m sorry.
    bnlf
    • Why should I care about other MS products?

      @bnlf

      That MS has other products is not MY problem, but THEIRS. I bought a freekin phone, and I am only interested in getting this thing working. And I don't want to read blogs and websites, I want the things to go smoothly.
      financegozu
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @financegozu i have a wp7 and i never had any problems as well as the great majority of people. I know some people are having issues i read blogs and forums every day and im sorry if you are one of them BUT unlike the author of the article says, Microsoft has been very prompt to acknowledge and fix the current problems with wp7 specially with the update proccess. You can always buy a blackberry or iphone or android but im pretty sure there will always exist a small group of people who will have problems with the device.
        bnlf
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @financegozu I always wonder about these comments. I have 3 WP7 phones: one for me (I'm a web developer), one for my wife (who's usually technology adverse), and one for my 13 year old son. We each setup our own phone and we don't have any problems with them (except Tmob still has our caller ID's messed up ... but that's not Microsoft's problem). Apart from hardware failure, I don't see what can go wrong on these phones.<br><br>Heckuva lot better than my pain-in-the-rear LG Android -- that thing should've had a factory reset button built into the side of it. iPhone is good, but I get much better price with Tmob's family plan and I like having my Zune pass available on my phone.
        I like coffee.
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @I like coffee.
        Yes, obviously you using your sample size of 3 to conclude the WP7 has no problems should be listened to over MS themselves claiming that 10% of their phones had problems with upgrades.
        anono
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        When I saw the face of Adrian along with the title of the post, I knew immediately he was going to blame more MS than Apple. When I read the post, I verified that.
        nomorebs
    • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

      @bnlf ... U must be the traditional Microsoft lover that deal every single day with the unlimited flaws and technical issues Microsoft products have ... way to go man!! ... your statement of "apple has 2 to 3 things to worry about..." is pretty ignorant and jealous at the same time ... apple, quote "sorry to break your MS faithful heart" has the best and most powerful operating system that any phone, tablet, mp3 player, computer can have, open your eyes ... what apple does for its customers is million years away from what MS do for theirs, quality and technologically wise apple is on top of the game ... cheers!
      guatired
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @guatired good job done. You can collect your cash now.
        mm71
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @guatired LOL! Did you have Steve Jobs knob in your mouth when you posted that. What are these unlimited flaws and technical issues in Microsoft products? I haven't experienced any dumbass. As for technical issues, are you talk about things like.

        - Macbook Air issues
        - iPhone antenna issues
        - iTunes 9 sync issues

        I can on and on and on. All software and hardware has an issue at some point, because they are made by flawed human beings. You don't have a damn clue.
        JoeHTH
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @guatired <br>I'd argue that Microsoft software has a higher "quality" than Apple software. Microsoft has a lot more programmers (and employees in general) than apple (AFAIK - correct me if I am wrong). <br>Apple devices only seem to work properly with Apple computers. The software that they supply with Windows doesn't work well at all (apart from iTunes, my experience with Bonjour wasn't good... took a good 30 minutes to install a printer after repeatedly crashing because it "ran out of memory" (after consuming 1GB of memory showing a dialog with printer driver options...). And Apple is also guilty of the endless patches to their products (Quicktime, OSX, iTunes...).<br><br> Not to mention that annoying apple software update which "by default" downloads additional software on your computer - this happened to an un-computer savvy relative of mine.

        <br><br>"best and most powerful operating system".<br>Really? I find OSX frustrating to use, atleast for me who is accustomed to Windows. <br>You only notice and appreciate the little nice things on Windows (like enhanced pointer precision and easier taskbar/taskswitching on Windows) after trying OSX. <br><br>Apart from that, when a program crashes on OSX, it just "disappears" (also valid for iOS). No notification. No nothing. The average user will be left thinking they did something wrong or hit close by accident or something (blame themselves). <br>On windows, the it tells you the program "crashed", and even tries to look for a solution. You blame the computer (as you should). <br>Is this a tactic to keep people on the Mac as you never blame it for something that goes wrong?<br><br>The development experiene on OSX/iOS: "Objective C"... is not "enjoyable" to program in (to say the least). Compare someything like that to Microsoft's C#... clean, powerful - few lines of code to solve a problem. And it is JIT compiled for the architecture and CPU capablities of the target platform (so existing .NET applications which have already been written will run "natively" on ARM). And they don't limit you to one language ... you can use Visual Basic or C++ (for .NET applications).
        xnederlandx
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @guatired [i] deal every single day with the unlimited flaws and technical issues Microsoft products have [/i]

        You've never really used MS products, have you?
        Badgered
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @guatired : "U must be the traditional Microsoft lover that deal every single day with the unlimited flaws and technical issues Microsoft products have"
        You're joking, right? Check the web sites. Considering that Apple is probably more hardware than software, the company exceeds Microsoft and just about everyone else in vulnerabilities. Safari and iTune/QuickTime rank in the top 10 buggiest products. Why does Apple send out a 600mb+ update every 2 months? [FYI, all the updates from Microsoft last month (which was the worse on record] did not add up to 50mb.]

        Maybe actually use a Microsoft product before spewing useless and unfounded garbage.
        Gis Bun
    • No Excuses

      @bnlf And where are these fantastical Windows 7 sites? I don't see any links to them or advertising promotions on any of the myriad of tech sites I visit. I don't see them mentioned by technical bloggers and writers. And they aren't coming up on search (I use Google). While I don't particularly like the idea that Apple was storing customer whereabouts, they've acknowledged that there is a problem and have committed to fixing it. I can't recall a time Microsoft has EVER come out and admitted to a problem and fixing it like this, even when they should have (Xbox ring any bells or maybe Windows Vista ?). Microsoft continually talks about how great their next product is hoping that you will ignore the problems in their current products long enough to upgrade. To me, that's not customer responsive, that's intentional negligence.
      blarman_z
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @blarman_z
        If M$ came out and admitted their mistakes, their stockholders would get upset and their stockholders are the bottom line. That's why Micro$oft is the most perfect company in the world.
        blind obedience
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @blind obedience <i>If M$ came out and admitted their mistakes, their stockholders would get upset and their stockholders are the bottom line. That's why Micro$oft is the most perfect company in the world.</i><br><br>Funny in that if you substitute Apple (or any large corporation really) for 'M$' (whoever that is), it's just as correct a statement.
        Badgered
      • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

        @Badgered
        But who's bigger? Who has 90% of the desktop market all sewn up?

        That monopoly put them in a different position.
        blind obedience
    • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

      @bnlf
      I have to agree. MS has too much going on to speak out publicly of every little issue, and the WP7 update issue did not seem to be THAT large to prompt a public statement. Also good point on the next generation updates/projects. It is assumed the issue is being worked on and anyone looking for evidence of that note can find it. Giving technical geek updates only hampers the repairs -- someone has to report the status, summarize, then release -- a complete waste of resource and a aggravating statement to find out it is still not fixed. This is the nature of technology and most people understand this.

      In a morew grand scope MS allows sending failure data instantly for review (of some sort). Most issues I reported this way via Windows 7 were resolved within a month during an update cycle, no statements and no phone calls, just being patient as I know it is being addressed. MS has taken a more passive approach which I presume focuses more of that resource toward fixing the problem rather than continuing to tell people it is not yet fixed and is being worked on; nothing short of a frustrating statement to the consumer as this is obvious
      ryanstrassburg
  • 2 different circumstances?

    Your comparing a technical issue with that of an image issue.

    One requires finding the fault and fixing it, the other just needs a story or press statement to repair.

    How are these even remotelly the same thing?
    Bill Pharaoh
    • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

      @Bill Pharaoh My thoughts exactly.
      statuskwo5
    • RE: Apple vs. Microsoft - Which company has the best response to problems?

      @Bill Pharaoh..Exactly! A better 'comparison' would be how Apple addresses any iOS update issues to WP7 OS update issues; Apple should have responded as they did, although sooner rather than later, as this issue deals with their users personal information via tracking. Try harder Adrian!
      1019902735