Leopard drubs Vista in corporate satisfaction survey

Mac business users 5x more likely to say they're 'very satisfied' than Vista users

Corporate users of Apple Inc.'s Leopard operating system are more than five times more likely to say that they are "very satisfied" with the OS than business users of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Vista, a research firm said Wednesday.

In a February survey of 2,200 U.S. corporate computer users, 53% of those using Mac OS X 10.5 reported that they were very satisfied with their operating system. Of those using Windows XP or Windows Vista, however, 40% of the former and only 8% of the latter said they were very satisfied.

"Apple continues to set the standard for corporate customer satisfaction," said Paul Carton, director of research at ChangeWave Research. That, and the fact that corporate buying plans for Macs remain at historically high levels, indicate that users like what Apple's doing, continued Carton.

According to ChangeWave's survey, 7% of the corporate respondents who said their company would purchase laptops in the next 90 days were planning on buying Apple. "Apple held at 7%, the same as November," said Carton, referring to a similar survey late last year.

Most other vendors, in fact, slipped in ChangeWave's corporate buying plans poll. Fewer companies with purchasing plans figure on buying a Dell notebook in the next three months than reported they would in November (down a percentage point). HP (down two points), Lenovo (down two points) and Toshiba (down one point) also dropped in the survey.

But while Apple shows some sales strength even as the general pace of U.S. corporate computer sales looks to slow in the next quarter, it remains a minor player in the market, reported ChangeWave. More than half -- 53% -- of the computers companies plan to buy in the second quarter will be equipped with Windows XP, the survey said, compared to 20% with a version of Windows Vista and just 8% with Mac OS X.

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