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Microsoft tops Apple in tablet satisfaction (including design)

Commentary: A new J.D. Power study finds Surface buyers are happier than their iPad counterparts. They're younger and prefer Microsoft's design.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

A winner?


Have you noticed a certain giddiness in some of your friends lately?

I'm thinking about the ones who use a Microsoft Surface.

I only ask because J.D Power has just emitted its US Tablet Satisfaction Study and it declared that Surface owners experience deeper sensations of satisfaction than iPad buyers.

Apple fanpersons might turn pale when they learn the main reasons for this greater Surface joy are, according to the Power people, "its top rankings in the features and styling & design factors."

And the darkness descends. Apple being beaten in styling and design? Does Jony Ive know? Will someone dare tell him?

J.D Power says the Surface scored 855 out of a possible 1,000. This beat Apple by 6 points.

The study relied on the feelings of 2,238 US tablet owners who have owned their tablets for less than a year. It was performed between October and December 2016.

It measures tablet joy across five areas: performance, ease of operation, features, styling and design, and cost.

Surface owners were, apparently, most elated with the Surface's connectivity, pre-loaded apps and accessories. They were also moved by machine's size, build and, yes, the beauty of the design.

Here, though, is something else that Cupertino might find disturbing in this study. Surface owners tend to be younger. They're also more likely to be early adopters. They also seem to rather like being first among their friends to get one.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. A Microsoft spokeswoman, however, did.told me: "Building products that deliver the power, versatility, and dependability that allows our customers to create their best work in any setting is fundamental to everything the team does."

Of course, one issue here could be that Apple has somewhat neglected the iPad. It's been too busy pushing phones and watches and forgetting it makes computers.

It just released a base iPad.

Otherwise, there are merely rumors of what might come next. What is clear, however, is that Apple took a long time deciding what the iPad was -- especially iPad Pro, the most direct competition to the more productivity-focused Surface.

It first marketed it as a computer. Which made Microsoft laugh. Recently, it's decided that the iPad Pro is better than a computer and that computers are rather passé.

A tiny consolation for Cupertino might lie in the study insisting that general satisfaction with tablets has risen.

Oh, what am I saying? They don't do consolation at Apple. So when are the sexier, new iPads coming?