News.com reported today that the the University of Michigan released their latest update to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which is "a uniform and independent measure of household consumption experience." According to the News article on ACSI's study...

"...customers still rate PCs lower than several other consumer product categories, including cars and appliances.

"Even though servicing a car or dishwasher can induce the same kinds of headaches as PC technical support does, car and appliance makers have done a better job of simplifying their products and reducing the amount of maintenance needed to keep their products going, while PC users continue to flood help lines when faced with complicated problems... "

(In some cases, sure. But I've had more expensive problems and repairs with a family car recently. And unlike the situation with my car, I was able to self diagnose a recent firewall problem on one PC using on-line and application help in 20 minutes... a feature my car dealer doesn't offer.)

The ACSI's latest study results are available on the ACSI web site here.

Apple Computer was in the lead, followed by Dell,  HP brand, Gateway then HP-Compaq. Apple improved over their score last year, and it was reported that Dell's score rose. The ACSI also rated Google, Yahoo and AOL:

"Google has a strong lead over all other search engines with a score of 81. That was actually down a little bit from last year, but no other search provider made a run at Google during 2006. Google is the most widely used search engine, followed by Yahoo and MSN, according to comScore Networks."

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