New survey shows users love Microsoft software. But where's the money?

Microsoft is no doubt pleased with the news that user satisfaction with its software is at an all-time high, according to a recent survey. If that's the case, why is Windows purchasing dropping?

The latest poll by American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a survey founded by the University of Michigan, found that Microsoft software scored a record 79 points, which is the highest since ACSI began polling about software in 2006. That 79 points represents a 7 point jump over the 2009 results.

ACSI director David VanAmburg told Computerworld that it appears that consumers have forgiven Microsoft for the problems with Windows Vista:

"Microsoft's continued improvement over the last three years suggests that we're out of the Vista phenomenon."

Microsoft has rebounded from a 69 in 2008, which was likely related to people's unhappiness with Vista. VanAmburg noted, though, that Microsoft software isn't rated any higher than competitors --- the "other" category of software also received a 79 rating. Still, catching up when you're behind is always good news.

The problem for Microsoft, though, is that good ratings don't necessarily lead to higher sales. Microsoft's most recent earnings report shows that Windows revenues dipped 4%.

The revenues are most likely falling because people are turning to tablets and smartphones more, and laptops and netbooks less. Microsoft has very little market share in the smartphone and tablet markets.

So if Microsoft wants to translate customer satisfaction into dollars, it would do well to concentrate on smartphones and tablets --- that's where the big growth market is these days.

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