Customer satisfaction with personal computers is slowly on the rise, but Microsoft's missteps with Windows 10 updates are dragging down consumer perceptions of software. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index's Household Appliance and Electronics Report 2018-2019, satisfaction with software for desktops and laptops fell 1.3% to an ACSI score of 78, wiping out gains from a year ago.
Meanwhile, consumer satisfaction for PCs, including desktops, laptops, and tablets, increased 1.3% to a score of 78. The gain stems from a 3% rise in satisfaction with laptops but offset from a 2% drop in desktop computers and a 4% decline in tablets.
The ACSI posits that the increase in customer satisfaction is tied to higher perceptions of value when it comes to PCs. The momentum, however, may be short-lived.
"While U.S. and China trade disputes have yet to negatively impact consumer demand, the imposition of tariffs could drive up prices, causing customers to forgo or delay purchases," said David VanAmburg, Managing Director at the ACSI. "Now more than ever, computer manufacturers must demonstrate their value and necessity to overcome pricing concerns. That means focusing more on design and ease of operation, and creating more accessories."
Looking at PC vendors, Apple holds the top spot for the second year in a row with an ACSI satisfaction score of 83 and leads the industry in the laptop and tablet segments. Meanwhile, Samsung leads all manufacturers in desktop satisfaction and sits in second place overall at 81.
As for the Microsoft update debacle, the ACSI found that customer perceptions of quality deteriorated significantly for Microsoft over the past year, as the manufacturer faced a bevy of customer issues with its Windows 10 updates. Smaller software companies -- including Adobe, Norton, Quicken, and TurboTax -- were also down 1% to a combined score of 78.