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Microsoft is making consumers very happy, says Argus Insights

For a modern company, revenues, market shares and earnings are no longer the most important metrics for success: customer happiness is what defines a powerful, enduring brand (look at Apple in the PC and phone market for an example). And it seems that Microsoft is seeing the positive results of its effort in  connecting and listening to its customers to its brand, reports Argus Insights.

Argus Insights consolidates feedback from over 942,000 consumer reviews from January to September 2015 to uncover some interesting insights into customer happiness for offerings from some of the most prominent tech brands, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Samsung. According to the research firm, while Apple still reigns supreme in terms of delighting its customers across its product range of phones, tablets and wearables, attributed to its focus on creating an integrated user experience Microsoft is not too far behind and is increasingly making an impact with its smartphones, fitness band and Surface tablets. The success of Microsoft is reported to come from its focus on “crafting new experiences built on solid hardware.” Indeed, Microsoft’s more recent forays into hardware has been well-received, starting from the third-generation Surfaces and the Microsoft Band, and even Lumia phones, while not taking the US market by storms, is doing much better around the world.

Apple has created a Walled Garden with its all-star mix of hardware and software.  But over the past year we have watched Microsoft’s success in devices poking holes in Apple’s walls with their tablet and wearables offerings… 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. Samsung, without a strong content play, is just leasing space in the gardens of other brands.” – John Feland, CEO Argus Insights

The report also provides some surprising insights regarding how well Microsoft’s other big competitors are connecting with customers. Google’s Nexus line is not making people happy compare to Microsoft and Apple, despite its ownership of Android, as with its Smart Home offerings with Nest (in fact, this section is dragging down brand perception); only Amazon Echo is doing well in this market. Despite strong service offerings, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is also failing to delight customers. Among the companies included in the research, Samsung seems to be hit the hardest by Apple’s success in devices, while its Smart Home offering of SmartThings is not doing any better than Nest. It seems that with the all-around negative customer perception for other brands, Microsoft’s absence from the Smart Home market is actually an advantage to its brand image.

Microsoft is reaching Apple in customer delight. Image courtesy of Argus Insights.

Microsoft is reaching Apple in customer delight. Image courtesy of Argus Insights.

Overall, the report provides a positive picture of Microsoft’s brand position compare to some of its main competitors. It should be noted that the report’s timeline is only to September 2015, right before Microsoft’s big hardware launch, and with the all-around positivity regarding new devices in the Surface line, as well as pent-up demand for new Lumia models, we can safely assume that Microsoft will see even better results going forward; the company’s biggest mission right now is to build on the momentum and keep on delivering.

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Do you agree with Argus Insights' report? What are your thoughts on Microsoft's brand perception recently?