To tablets, specifically. On average, tablets recorded a satisfaction score of 81, two points higher than traditional PC form factors. "Tablets are just a more satisfying computing device," said VanAmburg, citing the data. Smartphones, too, have scored higher than PCs in ACSI's recent surveys.
PC shipments have contracted for five consecutive quarters, research firm IDC has said, and the slump shows no sign of ending before 2015. The decline in traditional PC sales -- from which Microsoft has always generated the bulk of its Windows revenue -- has put the Redmond, Wash., developer in a tough spot, and spurred it to aim for a "devices-and-services" strategy, revamp its corporate structure and look for a new CEO.
That the cause of those seismic shifts -- consumers' preference for more smartphones and tablets over PCs -- caused desktop and notebook makers' scores to drop didn't surprise VanAmburg.
"We would have been surprised if Apple had dropped, or PC makers suddenly surged to the top," said VanAmburg. "But this is a revolution like what happens to the industry every few years. A while ago, it was laptops. 'You mean I can pick up my computer and take it somewhere?' This is the next generation of that. People are increasingly adopting tablets and smartphones and buying fewer desktops and laptops."
The ACSI survey scores can be found on the organization's website.
This article, PC satisfaction scores dip as customers drift to tablets, was originally published at Computerworld.com.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about PCs in Computerworld's PCs Topic Center.