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Telstra and Microsoft bomb in tech survey

Telstra and Microsoft bomb in Australia’s biggest ever tech survey

SYDNEY AUSTRALIA, 4th December, 2007 - Haymarket Media’s PC Authority magazine is set to publish the results of the biggest ever tech survey undertaken in Australia.

14,000 of Australia’s tech buyers answered almost one million questions and cast over 200,000 votes in an effort to find out which tech hardware was the most reliable, which online shops offered the best service, which software was the most desirable and which Internet Service Provider (ISP) offered the best reliability and support. The winners were presented with awards at a gala Star City event last week (results are listed below). But, as occurred with the inaugural survey last year, the big news concerned who did worst – and PC Authority is publishing these results tomorrow.

The survey’s architect, PC Authority editor, Nick Ross, said, “Last year, Telstra BigPond came bottom of the entire survey. But this year, while it didn’t come bottom, its performance was just as bad.”

Indeed, once again the sorry state of Australia’s broadband was highlighted with some dreadful results in the Best ISP category. Out of 2472 BigPond customers who voted, only 54% were satisfied with Customer Support. And while two-thirds were satisfied with Reliability only 27% were satisfied with Value For Money (52% were dissatisfied). Most notable of all was that 52% would not recommend BigPond to a friend.

Ross said, “What’s most galling is that Telstra didn’t even come last. New Zealand’s Xtra Internet finished below it but even this dreadful performance wasn’t as bad as Dodo Internet’s”. Ross pointed out that Dodo’s low standards are notoriously poor, with most tech writers having fielded many complaints about the company in the past. One wonders what actress figurehead, Tara Reid would make of endorsing a company that only satisfied 21% of customers with its Customer Support (45% were Very Dissatisfed) - could this damage her reputation? Furthermore, only 44% were satisfied with Reliability and, despite its ‘cheap’ prices, only 46% were satisfied with Value For Money. A final nail in the coffin was 54% of Dodo customers saying they would not recommend the ISP to a friend.

Ross summarised, “While it was great to see some good results from Internode and Perth’s Westnet in this category, the overall poor performance of Australia’s ISP’s in our survey shows that Kevin Rudd’s work is cut out if he wants to fulfil his election promise of improving the sorry state of Australian broadband.”

Another big loser was Microsoft’s Windows Vista. In the Best Software category – which drew over 100,000 votes – almost 6000 buyers slated the software which is coming up to its first birthday. Ross said, “Vista hasn’t been selling nearly as well as Microsoft hoped, and with feedback like this we can see why”. Indeed, only 51% were satisfied with its Ease of Use, 60% were satisfied with the Features on offer and only 53% with its Value for Money. This contrasted to the category’s winner, Mozilla’s FireFox, which satisfied over 93% of its customers in every requirement.

Ross said, “It’s not like people were out to get Microsoft either – its Office 2007 product did quite well. But out of a list of 22 major software titles it came second to last”. It was actually Symantec’s Norton Internet Security package that picked up the wooden spoon in this category. “Recent improvements to the company’s products have had little effect on the public, it seems”, Ross said.

Elsewhere, Apple’s iPods were rated as only the sixth best MP3 players. But, while its scores for Battery Life, Reliability and Satisfaction were behind winner iRiver (as well as Samsung, Sony, SanDisk and Creative) its scores could still be described as Good. Only Toshiba was rated as making Poor MP3 players.

Another big loser was O2 with its mobile phones once again proving to be poor according to buyers. This was highlighted by the fact that elsewhere in the category, most people said they’d buy a phone from the same company again regardless of whether they gave their devices poor scores or not.

But the big winners were Gigabyte, Asus and Apple. Gigabyte won the overall Best Manufacturer award for outstanding Reliability and Satisfaction across all of its products. Asus, won the notebook award, graphics card award and Technology Innovator award – the latter due to its amazing $499 Eee PC. Apple won the PC award and was Highly Commended in the notebook award.

The PC Authority team also announced its Editorial Award winners for products and services which it felt had done particularly well in 2007. The most prestigious of these was the Most Wanted Hardware award which went to the product that ‘the team wanted to spend its own money on’. The joint winners were Sony with it’s amazing 1.15kg, G-series laptop and Panasonic with its stunning 65in Viera Plasma TV.

The Reliability and Service award winners were:-

PC award - Apple
Notebook award - Asus | Fujitsu
GPS award - TomTom
Inkjet printer award - Canon
Laser printer award - OKI
Digital Camera award - Nikon
PDA/Smartphone award - RIM BlackBerry
LCD Monitor award - Samsung
Motherboard award - Gigabyte
Wireless router award - Dynalink
Best ISP - Westnet
Hard Disk award - Seagate
Graphics Card award - Asus
MP3 player award - iRiver
Best Online Retailer - PlusCorp
Best software - FireFox | Acronis True Image | Photoshop CS3
Best manufacturer - Gigabyte

The Editorial award winners were:-

Most Wanted Hardware award - Sony VAIO G-series | Panasonic 65in Viera
Most Wanted Software award - Adobe Photoshop / Premiere Elements
Best Web Application award - Facebook | Google Maps
Technology Innovator award - Asus
Game Of The Year - Portal | Guitar Hero II & III
Labs Award: PCs & Notebooks - Apple
Labs Award:
Peripherals & Components - Nikon | Philips
A-List Award - Dell

A full breakdown and analysis of results is available in the January issue of PC Authority magazine which goes on sale tomorrow.


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