Microsoft delighting almost as much as Apple, study says

Technically Incorrect: A market research company says it's looked at over 900,000 consumer reviews of tech products and Redmond is beginning to delight in a big way. Google, however, has problems.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

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

Delighting consumers?


If there's one thing Apple has always owned, or at least claimed to own, it's delight.

With some justification, too.

So many rational tech minds have been twisted into a permanently frustrated state watching the Cupertino, California, company not always have the finest specs, yet being seen by real human beings through rose-tinted specs.

Suddenly, Microsoft is catching up. At least if you believe a study conducted by Argus Insights. Called "Battle Of The Brands 2015," it analyzes people's feelings about various tech brands and the products they sell.

Argus insists that since January, consumers' emotive areas have been positively twitching about Microsoft. The driving force behind this ecstasy is the Surface Pro 3 and Nokia phones, which are now being rebranded as Microsoft.

While Apple remains at the top of the Delight-o-Meter, the Redmond, Washington, company has closed the gap considerably.

"Unlike Google and Amazon, which offer inexpensive hardware offerings meant to entice more consumers to visit their gardens more often, Microsoft has focused on crafting new experiences built on solid hardware that is delighting consumers," the study's authors report. "Samsung, without a strong content play, is just leasing space in the gardens of other brands."

Some of the other tech brands are most notable strugglers. Google, for example.

"Consumers aren't thrilled with Nexus, Nest or Chromecast," the report said. In this comparison, Google's delight scores are far lower than any of the other main brands.

Perhaps that's why Google seems to spend far more money advertising its new Nexus 5X on TV.


The Delightometer looks good for Microsoft, not so good for Google.


Still, Google never quite presented itself confidently as a hardware source.

Samsung has most share of voice in this survey, which the surveyors put down to its vast array of products. However, while its tablets and phones are quite delightful, its smart home offerings and wearables are apparently not. Of Amazon, which occupies the middle with Samsung, the report says, "While users actually like Fire TV, they are grossly dissatisfied with the Fire TV Stick."

You'll be wondering what methodology Argus Insights uses. It claims that "through curated analysis of global consumer reviews and social media conversations, we provide comprehensive visibility at market, product, and attribute levels to determine what is delighting and disappointing the market."

It also claims "the ability to beat Wall Street estimates of smartphone demand almost every quarter for the past four years with methods that have been validated across multiple markets, including smartphones, tablets, wearables, home automation, consumer packaged goods, automotive and more."

The company says it analyzed 942,000 consumer reviews between January and September. And, yes, I did ask an Argus spokeswoman the question you wanted me to. She told me that none of the companies surveyed are clients of Argus.

None of these tech top 5 were immediately available for comment. However, Microsoft must be enormously cheered to see that its efforts to focus on consumers -- rather than its own exigencies -- might be having an impact.

As Redmond opens a flagship store in New York and delights in seeing its software on any and every possible device, perhaps it's getting somewhere.

But we are nothing if not cautious at Technically Incorrect. These research reports aren't always (often) correct. I remember one from distant times (2012) that insisted a Microsoft ad was "the most effective" tablet ad of the year.

It was the Surface launch ad with the dancing teenies. And we all know the reality of that, don't we?