CHICAGO: Microsoft is feeling the rough edge of US customers' tongues in a (dis)satisfaction survey that reveals increasing exasperation with the software titan's long-awaited, much delayed and oft-derided Windows Vista operating system.

The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, from the University of Michigan, shows PC users less-than-impressed with Vista, citing poor usability, compatibility problems and slower performance.

In fact, the survey shows frustration with all things Windows-based and the computer industry in general, as the PC index dropped to 74 points in the second quarter.

The PC index fell for the second successive year, led by Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, and Compaq, which respectively declined to 73, 72 and 70 points. Dell Computer climbed one percentage point to 75. Microsoft, meantime, scored 69 points, compared to an average 71 points for all software manufacturers.

Conversely, the study showed Windows' arch-rival Apple Computer gaining 8% to 85 points. Other technology and e-business categories climbed almost 6% to a record high of 79.3 points, driven by Google's significant 10% gain to 86.

Comments ACSI spokesman Claes Fornell: "It's hard not to be impressed with Apple. This is product extension at its best where the new products, iPod and iPhone, are helping bring new customers to existing computer products.

"The fact that Apple is not dependent on the Windows Vista operating system hasn't hurt either."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff