Margin of error?
Sample size? Standard deviation?
But hell, I'm just being a crotchety old PC user, aren't I?
Once again, Apple's Macs – desktops and laptops – have outscored any and all windows PCs in a customer-satisfaction survey: the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). "Apple maintains the strong lead it has held for a decade, inching up 1 per cent to an ACSI score of 87," the consumer-surveymeisters write in a report ( …
Sample size? Standard deviation?
But hell, I'm just being a crotchety old PC user, aren't I?
I would have had a look at the report to tell you but they want registration details and I can't be bothered to invent :
Title, Department, and Company - for some reason the obligatory pieces of info apart from the usual name and email.
Mac Book came top!
Apparently the survey size was over 200,000
What std. dev? It's all about satisfaction! Do you probe your std. dev while having sex. Guess no. Exactly the same approach is applied on that survey. Get it?
I also wonder what it would look like if we took cost into account - perhaps it's more that people are more satisfied with more expensive PCs, and people buying Apple products are more likely to be spending more. And what's it comparing anyway - Windows vs OS X, or different makes of PCs? People can run other OSs on PCs, and run Windows on Apple PCs, last time I looked.
(That and the RDF that means its users see no wrong. I love my Android phone, and would much prefer it over IOS. But does the fact that I might still give some honest criticisms of Android, whilst an IOS user claims even a dumb phone with no apps or 3G is a revolution, mean my opinion doesn't count, and IOS is better? These surveys penalise platforms where users are more honest.)
Interesting to see the comment about Apple PC sales doing no better - I've argued that if the doom and gloom about PCs dying really does happen (which I'm sceptical of - a new market growing doesn't mean another dies), Apple are just as much as risk, especially since they do best in the sector of ultra-portable laptops, and they seem to have nothing in the way of touchscreens or hybrids.
I have to agree. I remember an article a while back (on CNet?) about the author's Macbook Pro burning out two motherboards (or in Apple-ese, 'Logic Boards') within a few months, then a little farther down, after he'd bought a Toshiba or something, he said he couldn't get used to it because he missed the reliability of his Macbook.
If you own a Mac you would understand. The hardware is very well made - the OS is reliable - read the independent reviews from people like Which as well - they rate the Macbook Air as the best laptop they have ever tested. Sure it's not for everyone and it's not the cheapest kit to purchase but look at TCO and how long the stuff lasts and it's probably no more or less expensive in the long run.
You made good points with the stats angle, but there are even other factors to consider here.
I didn't see Lenovo and they passed HP for the #1 spot in PCs last quarter. Excluding Lenovo makes sense if this is a longer standing list as Lenovo only rolled into the PC game recently. To that point, so did Apple really. Apple's marketshare has only started growing recently, so people are more likely to be happy with a 2 year old macbook than an 8 year old HP.
All of that being said, if Apple users are only 6% or 7% happier and pay twice as much, that is a pretty damning statement against Apple, not something to boast about.
Apple owners see no faults with Apple gear
I use a Macbook Pro, a RiscPC and a couple of HP laptops with Win7Pro. I hardly ever have any problems with the Mac, RISC OS has by far the nicest GUI and the PCs I only use because that's what the software we use runs on. Moreover other people use the PCs and I have to sort out the problems. I'd certainly concur with these findings.
There are plenty of other empirical surveys that suggest that Apple Mac hardware is amongst the most reliable (on a par with a couple of Windows PC manufacturers).
There are plenty of things about Windows and Linux DEs that irritate the hell out of me, just as with OSX. But hell, Windows XP required the novice user to install 3rd party software to make an image backup, OSX didn't. Win 7 requires the user to disable Window Security Essentials (?!) before making a successful image backup. It's the little things.
I remember an Apple user who told me how stable and reliable his Mac was, and while preaching to me his machine crashed twice. Either he got hit by Murphy's Law in the most Alanis Morrissette-ironic way possible, or his Mac wasn't anywhere near as stable and reliable as he was convinced it was.
I've been a mac house for 5 years now (previously anti-mac).
I bought a cheap asus x401 a month ago from ebuyer (insanely cheap) to run my webcam security cameras on 24/7 as it'd let me save power and let the main osx server and raid array sleep during the week when I am away on business.
It had windows 8 on it. It was utterly hellish, plus of course it had to usually bloadware crap on it.
No probs I thought - I'll just fire my old copy of windows 7 on there - given it me free for 'hosting a windows 7 party' before I left the windows arena.....
holly christ - what a bloody palaver!!!!
boot of USB DVD ? will it f*ck.
fecking about with their terrible implementation of EFI... looking on the net, changing bios settings, trying again... net full of people with similar tales.. I mean how can you make something so hard that has been mainstream easy for nearly 15 years!!! Just let me boot of the f*cking DVD for christsake!!!
Eventually after probably 10+ manhours I got it done - only possible by switching EFI off.
utter utter mince - if I'd known I'd have bought a 400 quid 5 year old macbook and used that - I'd have been able to stick windows 7 on that in 30 minutes.
I'm an Apple owner ... and to be honest the laptop keyboards aren't as robust as they used to be. I've had this one for less than three years and the mylar is already wearing off a couple of keys.
@chevron how can Mylar be wearing off when the key character graphic is plastic moulded in situ all the way through the key so the backlight can light it from behind ? If you have a non backlit MacBook Air surely it must surely be older than three years old, no ?
I have a Clevo laptop and Samsung laptop with Windows 8 and 7, and they both work fine, and never have any problems. I'd only use an Apple PC if I had to. Moreover, I see other people having problems with Apple PCs. That's my anecdotal evidence.
Standard story - owner of expensive Apple products buys "insanely cheap" PC and then proceeds to bitch and moan about how bad it is.
The thing is, Apple users have a pseudo religious / sexual attachment to their Macs so saying they are not happy is blasphemy / infidelity, besides after spending all THAT kinda money, who wants to admit that they bought a turd and when was the last time they used a Windows PC (objectively) to COMPARE?
"besides after spending all THAT kinda money, who wants to admit that they bought a turd"
Couldn't agree more. Having had to service some of these Macbooks, I have been shocked and disgusted to find Toshiba brand hard drives inside. I mean SERIOUSLY??? Making someone spend all that money on overpriced aluminum crap and then you throw a junkard drive like that into it? Come on Apple...at LEAST a WD Blue or Seagate drive here.....
>who wants to admit that they bought a turd
There are plenty of other empirical surveys that suggest that Apple Mac hardware is amongst the most reliable (on a par with a couple of Windows PC manufacturers).
"Show me [your] body [of evidence]."
"Couldn't agree more. Having had to service some of these Macbooks, I have been shocked and disgusted to find Toshiba brand hard drives inside. I mean SERIOUSLY??? Making someone spend all that money on overpriced aluminum crap and then you throw a junkard drive like that into it? Come on Apple...at LEAST a WD Blue or Seagate drive here....."
And what makes you think Toshiba drives are junk?
Let me remind you that Apple recently had to recall millions of iMacs to replace their defective Seagate drives.
A quick Google found this article on Tom's hardware:
Looks like Toshiba/Fujitsu drives are pretty reliable. I haven't had a problem with any of the ones I've owned.
I tried Mac a few years ago and hated it. Windows 8 forced me to go looking for alternatives and (after a 3 months stint on Linux) I bought another Mac. I can't speak for the hardware reliability after only having it a week but once you grok mission control, gestures and some keyboard shortcuts, the productivity of OS X desktop is second to none.
They did put Seagate drives in there - and then had to take them all out again as the heads came off and destroyed the platters.
I've replaced a few myself..
Beleive it or not there are those of us who are paid to develop on Windows but prefer the Mac if we're spending our own money. We're not talking about cheap and nasty PC's either, my work PC is a twin Xeon workstation with a 30" Dell screen.
@Steve Todd and there are a few of us, who not only prefer the Mac but have an unashamed emotional loathing of PC's. I personally readily admit I a mo longer prepared to spend any time trying out Windows. I simply don't care what improvements MS Have made. So no my opinion is no longer scientific on this matter. Windows 8 may be massively improved. I don't give a shit. At the time I switched to Mac, it really was like I was parched, in a burning Hell and Apple turned up gave me a cool glass of water and lifted me out to a cool meadow where life is productive and good. Asking me to use Windows now is like asking me to make friends with a man who has raped my daughter.
I'm honestly curious - what did you hate about Windows 8 so much, that you switched OS? The differences between 7 and 8 are far smaller than the differences between either and OS X. Moreover, OS X involves launching apps via clicking on big icons, and not AFAIK via a hierarchical menu.
The start menu can be put back to Windows 7 with a simple free utility (something that's you can't do for OS X). The full screen tablet-style apps can be ignored if you don't want them. Applications from Windows 7 and before continue to work in the same way - I found the transition far smaller than between XP and 7.
I'm sure that OS X is okay, but it's also okay with Windows too - comparing is just opinion.
Believe it or not, there's a difference between personal preference, and objective fact. That people have different opinions is well known. But that doesn't make it fact, or media news, as this article tries to do.
Since the OP asked "when was the last time they used a Windows PC (objectively) to compare" then I gave a perfectly valid answer. I use Windows PCs, of high quality and from an objective viewpoint, on a daily basis. Having made an objective comparison then I prefer the Mac option. There is always going to be a subjective component based on what you use the device for, but for my set of use cases the Mac works better and requires less maintenance.
It wasn't Windows 8 I was using when I switched but the dreaded Windows Vista. Also for some time after switching I was supporting my girlfriends 3 PC office with MS Small Business server. Horrible, horrible horrible.
There were two severe bugs that did it for me with Microsoft. The first we the bug they had in Outlook for 2 versions, where if your outlook database grew bigger than 2 gigabytes it would silently corrupt and if you didn't realise the corruption had occurred (which most wouldn't because it would only be apparent when you needed to search through old emails), then the corruption would end up backed up all the way through your backup sets. These two facts in conduction simply do not compute. No software company should ever allow a bug like that out the door, it can do damage that is extremely prejudicial to be business. For it to survive two major release numbers simply fuses my brain. This caused me a lot of admin/recovery time regarding my Girlfriends office set up.
The second issue was that for several major version of Word, if you edit references at the same time as have the document map pane open for navigating a long document, with 2 hours your document will almost certainly be corrupt. Most usually irretrievably (MS have about 8 different complex procedure for de-corrupting Word documents. 50/50 if this bug is encountered, none will work).
This was certainly the case for all the versions of Word I used on the PC up to when I switched. It is still the case for the latest office for Mac, which uses the same core engine as Office on the PC. Again the corruption can be silent. Perfectly competent users can have a long document representing thousands of hours work and end up with a corrupt document backed up all the way through their backup sets. This one caused me an incredible amount of pain and essentially was responsible for destroying a bid for business for my startup when our bid document was corrupted and the first half of the document became inaccessible and failed to print. The problem was the basis of the document has been corrupted many months earlier, without our knowledge. Of course we may not have won the bid anyway, but it was crucial for my startup and ultimately we failed due to not getting the main client we had put so much effort into "romancing"
When I did some research and discovered this bug was almost certainly responsible and has been in Word for many major versions, and when it became clear MS has known about it (it was an open bug for years) and shipped while allowing these incompatible features to be used together, I was, as you can imagine, quite angry. So yes I have very good reason for my visceral hatred of MS incompetence. They knowingly shipped a broken product with a bug that is about as severe as its possible to get (near certain silent document corruption) and may well, given the millions of users of Word, be responsible for people having committed suicide who have lost examination dissertations, business bid documents, reports etc. at inopportune times.
... because even with the overpriced hardware it does seem to fare quite better than some of the worst PC-side manufacturers (I'm looking at you, Acer!) and it's possible some of the user dissatisfaction has to do with Windows 8.
That said, Macs do have some issues, like my Poltergeist trackpad that every now and then gets possessed and starts jumping the pointer everywhere. A couple of hours of using an external mouse seems to bring it back to normal, though.
There is no question that the Apple hardware is nice, the MacBook Pro and Air are really nice machines, and at couple of the companies I have worked with recently I have noticed a massive uptake in Apple laptops, mainly the Air because of its size, weight and battery life. Strangely, when you walk round the other side of desk and see the screen 90%+ have ditched OSX and have put Win7 on, not IT enforced, but by personal choice because they find it easier to work with.
I have also tried to move to OSX for work but also found it nowhere near as productive (and, yes - I did try it for 3 weeks to get over the learning curve), having said that, I did by a mac air for home use and in that scenario find it great for web/email/music/dvd/photos etc
It would be interesting to know how many of the Apple laptops sold are still actually using OSX.
Depends on what your work is... for CAD, it'll be probably Win7, for anything audio related OSX wins (unless you favour some ultra-low latency build of Linux).
Yup, horses for courses in the OS stakes. I use OS X on a 2008 Macbook (non pro, but unibody) with 8gb RAM and an SSD - OS X on that is perfectly adequate for fairly heavy multitasking and general jiggery pokery.
I do find myself booting into Linux every so often though, for things that just aren't as well supported on the OS X side - I prefer the way the terminal is handled in Ubuntu for a start (I hate the confusion I get from going to CMD+letter to CTRL+Letter in OS X - booting into Linux you don't have that stark change, you expect to use CTRL in that environment) and it tends to handle large memory loads better. Also, I find LibreOffice behaves better under Linux than OS X. So if I need to do any serious documentation, it's ALT-boot time. I also just generally have a preference for Ubuntu as it's my main home OS as well. I have a Windows VM that I use for the occasional Windows stuff I have to do.
Can't complain about the hardware though - the laptop lives in a neoprene slip cover thingy (you know the type), often in the passenger footwell of my car when I'm out and about, and quite often I forget about it and start turning up the speed/wheelmanship/vroom vroom noises a bit.
It's seen more of the floor of my car than I have, and other than a dent in the back of the screen caused by it falling off the seat onto a wheel brace under hard braking (I had to put the spare on, did a brake test on the backroad I was on to make sure it was secure before heading to the main roads....), it's pretty much clean as a whistle for a five year old machine. And I could probably sell it in this spec for more than the cost of the motherboard it needed to rescue it from the scrapheap.
I just wouldn't even comprehend putting a £1000 windows laptop through that - at all. Macbook? No fecking problem.
I can't help thinking when it needs replacing - not for a while with any luck - it'll probably be another midrange, fixer-upper Macbook that'll be getting looked for. This one has served me extremely well.
I'm not in the slightest big surprised that Apple has the lead. Their laptops are superior. Period. And please, spare me the whole "stupid sheeple fanboi" garbage. I meansure my MBP uptime in *months*. The only time I have to reboot is when the rare critical update comes through that requires it, or a 3rd party app inexplicably requires it. I don't worry about it mysteriously slowing down. I have to do sysadmin and other misc computer work all day. I don't have the time, inclination, or patience to also work on my *own* gear. I want it to work so I can get my own stuff done.
My mom used to call me on more than a weekly basis because the PC kept doing wierd things, slowing down, breaking in some way ,etc. I bought her a used iMac, and now when she calls me it's because she wants to know how to do something. Not one... single...problem... in two years now.
I'm now trying to get my Dad to ditch his Acer because I'm sick of having to spend on avg an hour a week trying to figure out why it's breaking yet again.
I'm (not) sorry, but the track record speaks for itself.
It's use-cases like your that make Chromebooks seem tempting... for those of use with families and are sick of receiving phone calls "It's shown me a message about cookies, I don't know what to do..."
This is exactly my experience too. I use and support PCs at work, but all my home systems are Apple (2 iMacs and a Macbook Pro). The only issue I've had with any of them is a failed hard drive, and time machine backups made that simple to recover.
OSX is a lot less forgiving of hard drive issues than Windows is. A bad external drive will halt OSX, preventing recovery of the data. With Windows you can usually recover stuff from a failing drive as long as you avoid writing to the drive.
[OSX is a lot less forgiving of hard drive issues than Windows is. A bad external drive will halt OSX, preventing recovery of the data. With Windows you can usually recover stuff from a failing drive as long as you avoid writing to the drive.]
Rick try SystemRescueCD www.sysresccd.org - The ISO will boot from a Mac optical drive (I haven't tried the USB bootable version), you then have all of the Linuxy goodness stuff to mount the drive as read only, and then cp or rsync the drive's files to the internal drive...
Sorry in my previous post (Senility strikes) I should also have mentioned that you can start the Mac in single user mode (Command-S). Then connect the external drive. You can then run UNIX (BSD-ish) stuff from the command prompt like: -
ls –l /dev/disk* (or Apple's diskutil list )
mount -r –t hfs /dev/disk1s2 /drive2
then rsysnc or cp whatever...
It's comments that these that demonstrate the real reason for these surveys - one set of users blindly argue that their personal experience must be fact, whilst most other users just don't care.
I could just as well say my Clevo is better than anything else. Period.
I don't leave my laptop on all the time, but I have never had a crash with Windows 7 or 8. XP only died from graphics card crashes - and I've seen those take out modern OS X. I've seen modern Macs crash from failing to recover from sleep - last time Windows did that was with 98. Not that I'm blindly saying therefore one is better - I'm pointing out that experiences vary.
I don't worry about it mysteriously slowing down. I don't have to do sysadmin or work on it (as it happens, the only time I have had to struggle is if I've had to use itunes). My parents only call me for Internet related issues, which would apply on any OS.
And AVG? Windows 8 has anti-virus built in, and I don't even notice. For Windows 7 or earlier, my advice is to install Microsoft Security Essentials. AVG was horrible the way it constantly pestered me, MS SE just works in the background. It's absurd to use AVG in an argument for Windows vs OS X - that might have applied 10 years ago, but not when MS have their own anti-virus that works much better. You might as well install some horrible unnecessary 3rd party anti-virus on a Mac too, and complain...
No, he wasn't - he wrote it in lower case as an abbreviation for 'average'. I thought he meant AVG as well, until I re-read it. I still think he's wrong though! I don't know what's up with these people, my XP/Vista/7/8 PCs (Dell/HP) have gone on reliably for years, used every day, no problems at all. Lucky I guess.
Perhaps the article's title should have mentioned that it's what Americans - and only Americans - think.
The title should have been "Americans think". I mean, who knew?
To me 7 points is a rounding error, 15 points isn't much better. Really I expected more like a 25 point margin. But the folks I have worked with for the past few years have been pretty die hard mac fans(even though the software they work on runs on Linux) so I suppose the info I have is heavily biased.
Quite surprised that all major vendors are bunched so close together - only 11% between the top and bottom?
Also SORT of strange that Lenovo is not mentioned by name as they are the biggest/near biggest PC maker.
You really need to learn about statistics and sample sizes. The accuracy of the numbers depends on the number of people they ask compared to the total numbers sold. I doubt in this case that the margin of error is more than a percentage point or two.
As for Lenovo, I suspect they don't have a big presence in the consumer space that this survey was interested in. For business use they sell truck loads.
It's fascinating looking at the mental contortions some of the above commenters are tying themselves in. A quick run through gives us that this survey result is due to: statistical error, Windows 8, some weird self-justification process from spending a lot of money, a sexual attraction to an inanimate object, blind religious devotion and this all being down to Americans being stupid, to name a few.
I might have an alternate explanation here. Now bare with me here while I spout forth with crazy talk. Are you ready? Maybe this survey result is a result of, y'know... Macs being quite good.
It's fascinating the mental contortions people go to to prove their buying justifications, including doing and promoting surveys, and then posting comments about their anecdotes.
I have an alternative explanation. Perhaps my good experience with my machines is that they are, you know, good. That other users claim more loudly their machines are better doesn't make mine not as good.
I was given a macbook pro for free at my university...and hated it. I mean well and truly hated it. I ended up giving it away, and going back to my 4 year old mid-range Toshiba laptop that spent a year with me in Iraq. It wasn't particularly good, but substantially better than the top end Macbook Pro I was given.
Things I noticed just on the first day:
They had a pretty high failure rate. Out of the nearly 100 people that day given laptops, about 10 failed during first boot and had to be traded in for new ones. Another 10 had issues connecting to the wired LAN. ( I believe that could have been fixed, but they just went ahead and traded in those too, probably to prevent everyone else having to wait on them. )
Overheating is a massive issue. The only air vent is the hinge ( WTF? ), which means if the screen is at anything other than a rather awkward angle, it gets quite warm. Add anything else that might warm it up a bit, and it'll overheat, completely shutting down the laptop. Fantastic.
The trackpad is pretty low quality. It has frequent issues with detecting movement. It sort of acts like a thermal trackpad and the heat from components underneath is interfering with it, but I can't imagine they were that stupid with it, so something else has to be causing it.
To click the mouse, you have to push the entire trackpad down. ( well, without lifting off and doing a touch, which will move the mouse quite a lot. ) This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen on any laptop, right below the air vent hinge thing of course...which is also on the same laptop. Really, it is extremely difficult to click that thing, and not have the mouse move. Plus, it's quite stiff and hard to push, which gets annoying quickly. There's also no reason for it whatsoever. There is plenty of room around it for a couple regular buttons.
The front edge of the laptop lacks any bevel or chamfer, and can cut into the wrist. I personally ended up taking a knife and cutting down that edge. ( Remember, aluminum is NOT some super high-quality material like you hear so often these days. Especially since they use lower grade aluminum. Probably 50-54 or something similar. )
Programs crashed more on Mac than on PC. I noticed this the first day, and had it confirmed constantly in the classes. Some of the classrooms were Mac, others were PC. We used the same programs on both, and every single person in class saved about twice as often on the Macs because they were so much more likely to crash out.
The CD drive is not properly reinforced. It frequently bends and ends up scraping the disc inside.
There is no eject button, or manual eject for the CD drive. This was a bit of a nuisance at times, but became a real problem when I installed windows 7 onto the laptop. At one point, I had a disc in there and had to reboot...except I didn't know I had to have the disc out when I did that. I spent about an hour digging that stupid thing out while trying not to permanently damage anything.
Dual video chipset, but not really. Some genius somewhere decided it was worth having 2 video chipsets, but instead of making them the same to get the performance boost when you want of SLI, they made them 2 different chipsets. The idea being 1 for power tasks, and 1 for saving power. Just to change it though, you had to boot up, select to change, then reboot. Why not just have them the same card, and let me enable and disable them at will. Add in a simple underclocker and voila, power saving. This is what I would do on PC anyways. This would also mean you can have 1 fail on you ( which happens. ), and still get most of the use out of the laptop.
All of this was from the first day with the laptop. I used it for a full year, at which point I no longer needed the laptop for classes and promptly went back to my old Toshiba. Eventually I put Windows 7 on the laptop and passed it off to my mom:) Granted, I don't use any laptop at all any more. I have a custom built desktop PC, and a Galaxy S3. Anything serious I do on the desktop, and the S3 covers portability.
My experience (MacBook Pro) is completely the opposite.
a pretty high failure rate
I have a lower sample size of 2, but none have ever failed.
Overheating is a massive issue
Not with my MacBook Pro, it isn't. It's a rare day when the fan turns on.
The trackpad is pretty low quality
Mine is excellent quality. I've never ever seen the cursor out of place.
To click the mouse, you have to push the entire trackpad down
Not on mine, you don't. In any case, it's quite rare that I need to click it - you can easily configure the trackpad to use soft taps and gestures, like using an iPad.
The front edge of the laptop lacks any bevel or chamfer
Mine does. I'd never even given it a moment's thought until you raised it.
Programs crashed more on Mac than on PC
In 18 months' use, I can count the number of program crashes on one hand.
The CD drive is not properly reinforced
Modern MacBooks don't have a CD drive. Yesterday's technology.
There is no eject button, or manual eject for the CD drive
Dual video chipset, but not really
Is this an issue on my MacBook? No
I use a PC at work all day long. But I take my MacBook in with me as we'll, because its so much nicer to use.
One has to wonder about the voracity of your post given a number of the errors above.
The Pro is an all aluminium device, with an internal slot loading DVD drive. You couldn't bend the drive if you tried. The eject button is on the keyboard, at the top right. The trackpad is all glass, capitative and configurable to accept light taps as clicks rather than full presses. It's generally regarded as the best trackpad on the market, the gold standard to which PCs aspire. There is only actually 1 video chipset, the other is Intel's integrated version (i.e. crap). The OS switches between the two transparently depending on load, no need to bother about manual tweaks, reboots etc. There are many PC laptops that tried the same trick, mostly with far less success.