Zune vs. iPod

Portable MP3 players have come a long way since their humble beginnings in the late 1990s. The
world’s first MP3 players, The Eiger Labs MPMan F10 and the Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300 were shipped with 32 Mbytes of internal memory. MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) the standard for audio compression that makes any music file smaller with little or no loss of sound quality redefined how music enjoyed and launched a new industry (Bellis). In October 1998, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that Diamond’s Rio PMP300 violated the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act. The Feds ruled in favor of Diamond, which paved the way for the development of the MP3 portable player market. Apple was one of the first companies to take advantage of this new industry when it developed and released the iPod. Microsoft entered the game in 2006 with its Zune. The iPods and the Zune are very popular MP3 players and are similar in features they offer. However, they are also very different. By discussing their Features, Ease of Use, and Synchronization software, I will compare them and discuss both types of MP3 players in some detail. I will then give my pick and my reasons why.

Ease of use is one of the most important selection criteria one must consider before purchasing a MP3 player. Apple’s 30GB iPod features a simplistic user interface called the click wheel. It allows the user to select, adjust the volume, pause, play, and seek music, videos, and podcast with just a thumb. Other then the click wheel there is a hold switch and an earphone jack that sits on top of the device. The 30GB iPod weights in at 4.8 oz, and the 2.4″ x0.4″ x4.1″ body makes the device easy to handle. In contrast, Microsoft’s Zune weighing 5.6 oz with a 4.3×2.5×0.7 body is a lot thicker, blockier, and heavier than the 30GB iPod. The Zune has no buttons on the sides, only a hold switch and an earphone jack on top, and a USB/accessories port on the bottom. The three control buttons are simple and are flush with the body. The heavier and bigger Zune does not fit as comfortably as the IPod and it is cumbersome to control.

Name

5G iPod

Zune

Manufacturer

Apple Computer, Inc.

Microsoft Corp.

Model #

MA446LL/A

JS8-00001

Price range

$219-$249

$209-$309

URL

http://www.apple.com/

http://www.zune.net/

interface(s) supported

Hi-Speed USB

Wi-Fi , Hi-Speed USB

Digital storage

Built-in 30 GB Hard disk drive

Built-in 30 GB Hard disk drive

supported digital audio standards

AAC , Apple Lossless , Audible , WAV , AIFF , MP3

AAC , WMA , MP3

Mfr estimated battery life

14 hour(s)

14 hour(s)

Battery Life Details

Digital playback 14 hour(s), Slideshows with music 4 hour(s), Video playback 3.5 hour(s)

Video playback 4 hour(s), Music playback (wireless on) 13 hour(s), Music playback (wireless off) 14 hour(s), Pictures 4 hour(s)

Service & support

1 year warranty

Info unavailable

Audio system built-in display

LCD

LCD

Diagonal size

2.5 in

3 in

Resolution

320 x 240

320 x 240

Additional features

Notes, Calendar, Phone book, Hold button, Date display, Photo wallet, Built-in games, H.264 playback, Volume limiter, MPEG-4 playback, JPEG photo playback, Upgradeable firmware, USB 2.0 compatibility, Playback speed control, Rechargeable capability, Battery level indication

WMV playback, H.264 playback, MPEG-4 playback, Built-in FM radio, JPEG photo playback, Upgradeable firmware, USB 2.0 compatibility

Features are very important in a player and both the iPod and the Zune have what consumers are looking for, however they differ in a several ways. The 5G iPod has a bright 2.5-inch LCD display, a sleek design and 3.5-hour video battery life. The iPod supports gapless playback, an instant search feature, and enhanced games. Movies are available for purchase from the ITunes or sync with your own. The iPod has Notes, Calendar, and Phone book features and can synchronize with your calendar and or contact program. The iPod supports MPEG-4 and JPEG photo playback and can be used as an external hardrive. The iPod does not feature a built in FM Radio or Wi-Fi like the Zune. Microsoft’s Zune plays audio, and displays video and photos just like the iPod but sports an impressive 3-inch (4:3) screen. Unlike the iPod, the Zune offers a FM radio and Wi-Fi capabilities and works well with Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace software. The integrated wireless allows limited sharing of songs and photos. However, the Zune Marketplace does not offer video content and cannot play protected content. The Zune is not backward compatible with WMA-DRM9. Unlike the iPod, the Zune cannot be used as a hard drive.

Apple and Microsoft both have developed software that allows users to synchronize music to their players. Apple’s iTunes not only allows users to preview, purchase and download content but rip their current CD collection as well. Free podcasts on every topic from gardening to learning how to speak Spanish are offered on iTunes. In addition to music, iTunes also allows users to purchase games, movies, TV shows, and audio books and synchronize them to their IPods. iTunes helps organizes user’s audio and video libraries and play everything from your Mac or PC, Then synchronize it to your iPod to bring it along. iTunes is very easy to use and allows you to Burn your own custom CDs, iTunes is a free download from Apple.com. Like iTunes, Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace software allows you to purchase music and sync with your Zune. It allows you to synchronize your music, videos, and pictures to your device, and it allows you to sync up with an Xbox 360. You can Rip and burn CDs and create playlists just like iTunes. However, the Zune Marketplace software only works on windows and not MAC (Technical Specifications).

In conclusion, I like the 3″ screen of the Zune, the built in FM stereo, and Wi-Fi Features. however, I love the ease of use of the iPod and the fact it fits perfectly in the palm of my hand, it is easy to take out of my pocket, and adjust the volume or change tracks with just one hand. Apple has been in the industry since the beginning and has worked out the bugs of previous models. Over the last few years Microsoft’s has been trying catch up and the Zune and it has not been the “IPod killer” that it was billed to be. Ease of Use, seamless UI, and easy synchronization are the reason why I chose the iPod over the Zune. Even thought I like the big 3-inch display and the built in Wi-Fi. I will save my pennies for Apple’s next iPod release.

Works cited

Bellis, Mary. “The History of MP3.” About.com. About, Inc. 26 Mar 2007
< http://inventors.about.com/od/mstartinventions/a/MPThree.htm&gt;.

Download Itunes 7. Apple Inc. 2007. 25 March 2007 <http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/&gt;.

Technical Specifications. Microsoft Corporation 2007. 25 March 2007 <http://www.zune.net/en-us/meetzune/techspecs/software.htm&gt;.

500GB Hard Drive Product Reviews

The Hard drives discussed in this report have been tested with two industry benchmark applications: PCMark05 and HD Tach. The PCMark05 Test measures the performance of your PC and determines its strengths and weaknesses. The HD Tach is a physical performance hard drive test that checks the hard drives actual physical performance. In This article I will talk about two hard drives the Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 and Seagate NL35.2, both 500GB and 3GB SATA drives.

Drive

Hitachi
Deskstar
7K500 500GB

Seagate
NL35.2
500GB

Cost

$379

$384

Interface

3Gbps SATA

3Gbps SATA

Spindle Speed (rpm)

7,200

7,200

Cache Buffer (MB)

16

16

Avg. Read Seek Time

8.5ms

11ms

HD Tach 3.0.1.0 RW
Read avg/max (MBps)

51/65

53.3/69

Write avg/max (MBps)

48.5/63

47.1/63

Burst read (MBps)

223.5

234.8

Random access (ms)*

17.2

15.8

PCMark05 Pro 1.1.0
Hard Drive Overall

6439

4961

WinXP Startup (MBps)

10.1

8.3

warranty

three-year warranty

three-year warranty

Each drive was tested by Computer Power User magazine’s Marty Sems, singly on a fully updated system with an Athlon FX-55 (2.6GHz/1MB of L2 cache), 1GB (2 x 512MB) of PC4400 DDR RAM at 400MHz, with a 1.5Gbps Western Digital Raptor 74GB Hard drive, and Windows XP Professional with service pack 2 (Sems 16). The Nvidia nForce4 chipset on the DFI LAN-Party NF4 SLI-DR main-board provided the 3Gbps/NCQ SATA controller.

The Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 was the first hard drive to ship with a half a terabyte of storage capacity. The 7K500 was PCMark05’s clear favorite between the two 7,200rpm hard drives in this report, almost matching the 10,000rpm Raptor’s scores. The 7K500 sports a 3GB SATA interface and has a seek time of 8.5 ms, with 16MB of Cache. The 7K500 cost $379.99 and comes with a three year warranty. For performance the 7K500 is definitely the better choice. It can be purchased on-line from Hitachi, http://www.hitachigst.com, or bought in your favorite computer electronics store.

The 500GB Seagate NL35.2 is rerelease of a Barracuda 7200.9 with modified firmware (Sems 17). The Seagate NL35.2 also has a 7,200 RPM spindle speed and a 16MB of Cache. Although it did beat the Deskstar 7K500’s Windows XP start up time, its seek time is only 11ms which makes it slower of the two drives tested. The NL35.2 has a 1-million hour MTBF rating because of its build, tolerances, and testing (Sems 17). The NL35.2 did well in HD Tach benchmark test conducted by Computer Power User magazine’s Marty Sems. The Seagate NL35.2 is your best choice for 24/7 reliability. The Seagate NL35.2 cost $384 and also comes with a three-warranty. The NL35.2 can be purchased directly from Seagate, http://www.seagate.com, or from a retailer.

For performance The Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 is your best bet its performance in both PCMark05 and HD Tach were excellent (see table 1). For longevity, The Seagate NL35.2 is the pick with its 1-million hour MTBF rating. When purchasing a drive one must decide what is most important: short-term performance or long-term reliability.

Works Cited

Sems, Marty. “Heavy Gear.” Computer Power User February 2006: 16-20.

Competitive Advantage: Customer Service

Managers of business must be aware of the environmental trends that can give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. They must deal with market and environmental forces more effectively than their competitors and must consistently perform “something” of high value that their competitors cannot achieve or perform as well. Customer Service is one such “something” that can give businesses a competitive advantage.

Business Week’s March 5th article, “Customer Service Champs” highlights twenty-five businesses that excel at providing customers with a level of service unmatched by their rivals. Their commitment to adding value to their products and building lasting relationships with their customers give them an advantage over their competition.

I think the missing link in business today is a good customer service ethic, business take their customers for granted. Making customer satisfaction a factor in setting pay is a great way of making sure that everyone is invested in providing the best customer service. Having employees experience what their customers go through is another. I think that businesses that take care of their customers and sincerely care about them will have a competitive advantage in the market place.

One such company that I believe that excels at customer service is Southwest Airlines. In 2001 Southwest Airlines (number thirteen on Business Week’s list) created a new executive customer service position. This position manages all communications with their customers in the event of a flight disruption (McGregor 54). This proactive approach demonstrates Southwest Airlines commitment to their customers.

Works Cited

McGregor, Jena. “Customer Service Champs.” Business Week 5 March 2007: 52-64.

The Windows Registry

The registry is a hierarchical database that is used by the Operating System (OS) to store information that is necessary to configure the system for users, applications and hardware devices. It contains information that Windows continually references during operation, such as profiles, applications installed on the computer and the types of documents that each can create. It also contains information for property sheet settings for folders, application icons, hardware that exists in the system, and the ports that are being used (“Windows registry”).

XP Regedit

The Registry replaced most of the text-based .ini files used in Windows 3.x and MS-DOS configuration files, such as the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys. You can edit the registry by using Registry Editor (Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe). But be careful if you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you can cause problems that may require you to reinstall the operating system (“Windows registry”).

The Windows Registry is split into five logical sections. These all begin “HKEY” (an abbreviation for “Handle to Key”). Each of these keys is divided into subkeys, which contain further subkeys, and so on (see table 1). Any key may contain entries with various types of values. The values of these entries can be: a String Value, a Binary Value (0 or 1), a DWORD Value (32 bit unsigned integer), a Multi-String Value, or a Expandable String Value. Registry keys are specified with form similar to Windows’ path names, using backslashes to indicate levels of hierarchy. E.g. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows refers to the subkey “Windows” of the subkey “Microsoft” of the subkey “Software” of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key (“Windows registry”).

the five hives of the registry

Works cited

Windows registry.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 9 Feb 2007, 00:24 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 12 Feb 2007 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Windows_registry&oldid=106713608

Choices

One’s future is not determined by chance or fate, but ultimately by the choices one makes. If a high school drop-out chooses to go back to school and earns a diploma, academic and employment opportunities arise as a result. That is a positive choice that has affected the future and direction of that person. If one decides to commit a crime the most likely consequence is prison and separation from society and family. That choice has a negative consequence that affected the person, victim, society, and his or her family. In American History X, Derek’s choices have directly impacted the way he sees the world, his attitude, and his family. In Panos Ioannides’ “Gregory,” the choice the narrator makes not only alters the course of his life but the other soldier’s lives as well. It is important that one considers the outcome of each decision carefully because the choices one makes in life have either a positive or negative consequence that not only affects their attitude and their paradigm, but other people as well.

The narrator in “Gregory” reveals the effect that his prior decisions, the execution of prisoners, had on him. “The first time, I remembered I vomited, the second time I got sick and had a headache for days. The third time I drank a bottle of rum. The fourth, just two glasses of beer. The fifth time I joked about it” (Ioannides 422). The narrator is saying that at first, this was a hard thing for him to do, but after making the decision to follow through with the murders, it became a normal process. Even though the soldier was given the order to execute the prisoners, it was his choice to act them out. The result of his actions affected him physically and mentally. The negative effect of the decision changed his attitude and the way he viewed the world around him forever. It affected the other soldiers because he was the one chosen to do the job. Therefore, they did not have the same feeling of guilt as he did.

In American History X, Derek blames his father’s death on the blacks in the neighborhood where his father was shot fighting a fire. The choices Derek makes after his father’s murder greatly affect his paradigm and attitude toward minorities. This profoundly affects Danny and seals his fate. After his father’s death, Derek takes over as the man of the house, and Danny seeking direction and guidance, follows Derek blindly. The effects of Derek’s choices manipulate Danny to choose a negative attitude toward non-whites. Derek blinded by anger and hatred over his father’s death, develops a negative attitude that influences the choices he makes, and ultimately affects his brother’s destiny.

Gregory, The hostage in Ioannides’ essay, becomes comfortable and believes that his new friend, the storyteller and his executioner, will not cause him any harm. Gregory decides not to escape when the opportunities are presented. Gregory’s murderer, the narrator in his mind, belittles Gregory for his inaction, “… you are going to pay for your stupidities wholesale. Because you didn’t escape the day the sentry fell asleep, because you didn’t escape yesterday when we sent you alone to the laundry—we did it on purpose, you idiot! Why didn’t you let me die from the sting of the scorpion?…it’s all your fault, nitwit” (Ioannides 424). The narrator and the other soldiers befriend Gregory and gave him several opportunities to escape, but Gregory decided not to run away. The narrator feelings are revealed when he questions why Gregory saved his life. It is ironic that Gregory’s life is ended by the man whose life he saved. The decisions Gregory made affected the soldiers that he befriended and had a negative and final impact on his life.

Danny’s father in American History X made decisions that affected others around him. Danny looked back into time to reflect “why it went they way it did, and why it all started” (American History X 1998), meaning when hate started to take over his family. Their father’s decision to convey his racist beliefs to them, planted the seeds to his family’s demise. At family dinners the father expressed his biased views on Affirmative Action. Danny exposed the truth, despite what his brother thought, that the detriment of his family began long before their father died. The result had a damaging influence on the attitudes and choices of himself and Derek. The death of their father was the catalyst for the beliefs they held toward minorities and the evolution of their blinding anger. As a result of Danny’s father’s choices, the mixture of hate and anger had a fatal impact on him and his family negative consequence on which ultimately led to his brother’s incarceration.

While in prison Derek starts to understand how his mistaken beliefs have misled him and destroyed his family. Derek learns some hard truths about life from a black inmate, Lamont, and from Dr. Sweeny, the principal of his old high school, who takes a special interest in him. He realizes that the choices he made: to hate, to kill, and to “be pissed off”, have affected his attitude and the way he viewed the world. After three years in prison, Derek emerges with a desire to change attitudes; he tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path and finds his words are not enough.

Derek’s new point of view is revealed when he speaks to his brother, “Danny. It’s wrong and it was eating me up, it was going to kill me. And I kept asking myself all the time, how did I buy into this shit? It was because I was pissed off, and nothing I ever did ever took that feeling away. I killed two guys, Danny, I killed them. And it didn’t make me feel any different. It just got me more lost and I’m tired of being pissed off, Danny. I’m just tired of it” (American History X 1998). Derek is saying life is too short to be “pissed off,” and nothing he did relieved the pain he held about his father’s murder. Derek decides to save his brother from making the same mistakes that he did.

In “Gregory” and American History X, death was the result of the choices the narrator and Derek made. Not only did their choices have an impact on other people, it affected them personally. The death of Gregory filled the narrator with guilt. The same can be said for Derek after the death of his brother. These feelings change the characters’ attitude toward the choices they make and prove it is important that one wisely consider the end result of the choices they make.

Baldwin and Stavans

Language is affected by race, identity, culture, and reality. It is a key component to one’s identity. It reveals the characteristics of the speaker. Without language, one would be unable to express feelings, thoughts, or ideas to others; one would experience loneliness, isolation –“death.” In James Baldwin’s If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell me, What Is? Baldwin reveals the way language shapes and is formed by life’s circumstances. In Ilan Stavans’ essay Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language, Stavans reveals the influence culture has on language. Through culture and life circumstances people adapt language to keep from being submerged in situations where they cannot articulate.

Culture affects how language is used, it allows one to identify with or separate from a different culture. Baldwin reveals this when he writes, “Language…is the most vivid and crucial key to identity, it reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity” (Baldwin 93). Baldwin reveals how important a language either sets people apart or brings a people together. If a southern person comes to the north, they are automatically “divorced” from the public identity. They eventually try to adapt their language to fit in with the larger community. In Baldwin’s essay blacks adapted English to communicate with each other, this is just one example of how culture affects language.

People mend their native language with English to bring what they understand together with what they do not understand, in doing this they maintain their native culture and meld it to their new one. Stavans speaks about this when he writes, “As an immigrant, my road to full participation in American life was—as it has been and continues to be for any immigrant, regardless the origin—through English” (Stavans 100). Some Immigrants speak through a relative or friend in order to communicate. Slowly they began to understand and use English; until they were able to speak on their own. In Stavans’ essay, Spanglish serves as the connection to the American way of life for the people who spoke limited English.

Baldwin describes the purpose of language and how it used to control reality. “People evolve a language in order to describe, and thus control their circumstances, or in order not to be submerged by a situation that they cannot articulate” (Baldwin 92). Baldwin explains that language evolves so people can understand and communicate with each other. Thus, allowing people to participate in something greater than themselves and give people a sense of belonging that every human being craves. For example, when an immigrant comes to America and cannot speak English, they are immersed in situations where they cannot communicate with others, without some kind of interpretation, they are lost—“submerged.” Baldwin give details about a moment in time when a family member spoke to him in a language, Black English, that a white man couldn’t understand, in order to warn him about a danger he was in. Therefore, people adapt to their circumstances, they meld what they understand with what they do not.

Circumstances may present situations where to use a language is unsafe. Baldwin speaks about this when he writes, “There have been, and are, times and places, when to speak a certain language could be dangerous, even fatal” (Baldwin 93). For example, In Iraq it is very dangerous to speak English because it reveals that one is from a western culture. Speaking English in a region of Iraq where insurgents are known to occupy exposes one to hostility, torture, mutilation, and death if taken hostage by insurgents. In the news this past year an American Iraqi teenager took a journey to Iraq, while shopping at a market in Baghdad he did not speak the Iraqi language, Arabic, he spoke English, immediately he stood out, the people around him knew that he was not from the same culture as they were, even though he looked like them, he did not speak like them. After realizing his mistake he found safety. This is just one example of how circumstances can present a situation where the use of a language is dangerous.

Stavans talks about how culture and circumstance affected one of his students, Lisa Martinez. Lisa, an East Los Angeles native and ex gang member, felt disconnected from her true self. Lisa, “nostalgic for la casa” felt out of place in Amherst, Massachusetts. Stavans reveals to the reader the personal conflict that Lisa was going through while attending college. “..Lisa felt disoriented…anxious to finish and return home. She also expressed her ambivalence at being an affirmative action student, enticed to the place by a fellowship, but often looked at suspiciously by her Anglo counterparts because her skin color…and her ethnic idiosyncrasy” (Stavans 101) Lisa dealt with her circumstances by adapting her language even thought she did not like doing so, she conformed. She spoke the language of the academic culture in which she was a part. The culture shock that she experienced made her feel out of place; she craved to be around people who accepted her. She yearned for home. Cultural differences can affect how one feels about adapting language.

People use language to express thoughts, ideas, and feelings with others. Without language or the ability to express one self, one would be isolated; left out, submerged, According to Baldwin they would experience “death”. Baldwin reveals this to the reader when he writes, “What joins all language, and all men, is the necessity to confront life, in order, not inconceivably, to outwit death” (Baldwin 93). All human beings have the need to interact with other human beings, without this capability they would experience separation, isolation—“death”. Through out life, people experience situations where they adapted their language in order to fit in to a different culture than their own.

Through culture and life’s circumstances people adapt their language to keep from being drowned in situations where they cannot express themselves. Language is affected by culture and reality. Without language, one would be unable to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions with others. Baldwin makes known the struggles Africans face when they were brought to America, and the way they melded their language together to create Black English. In Stavans’ essay he reveals the influence; specifically Spanish culture has on language. Both Baldwin and Stavans prove that through culture and life circumstances that people must adapt in order to remain articulate.

Microsoft vs. Gateway

Customer Support Websites Reviewed

In this essay I will discuss the similarities and differences of two popular customer support websites: support.microsoft.com and support.gateway.com. I will provide a review of Microsoft’s and Gateway’s support Web sites based on content, format, organization, mechanics, and ease of use. I will point out key elements and provide you with my pick of the best for ease of use.

Microsoft’s support website, http://support.microsoft.com, exhibits a very appealing look and feel. The blue theme Microsoft chose invites the user to explore and provides a sense of tranquility. Microsoft’s support content is up-to-date, robust, and informative once you’re able to find it. Its content is written more for the experienced professional, non technical-savvy end-users may have trouble understanding the techno-jargon Microsoft employs. The format of the site which includes the FAQ knowledge base, and support contact information are simplistic and easy to find.

The website navigational controls shift from the left side of window to the right, depending on the link that you clicked, this could confuse or frustrate site visitors. The navigational links are context sensitive and change according to the type of support page that you are viewing. Clicking on the Windows XP link displays a webpage with Windows XP’s Latest News and Solution Center articles that are placed in the main content area of the webpage. The organization of Microsoft’s support website pages are somewhat awkward and are presented with a vast amount of information, a significant amount of scrolling is necessary to view all of the material. It is easy to get lost or distracted when surfing the site.

The consistent element throughout Microsoft’s website is the navigational banner at the top of each web page. It is the only element that never changes, and it is home to the Microsoft’s website search engine. The search engine allows users to search Microsoft’s content more quickly. A link to Microsoft’s site map, support, and home page are also in this area. Microsoft’s support site is very informative; but it contains some confusing navigational controls. I found no spelling or grammar mistakes anywhere. Microsoft’s support site is definitely tailored towards power-user and computer professionals and leaves the average end user scratching their heads. Microsoft’s web site has the potential to be a better support site than it is, all it needs are few usability tweaks and content adjustments.

Gateway’s support site, http://support.gateway.com, boasts a brilliantly designed user interface. The home page is appealing to the eye and welcomes the user to explore the website. The first element that you see when the website loads is the navigational aids at the top of the webpage. This gives the user a sense of control and direction. Like Microsoft, Gateway also displays a search engine at the top of every web page.

Gateway’s content is easy to follow and understand than Microsoft’s support website. The unique design of the user interface provides ease of use and quick access to content, downloads and technical support. Gateway also includes a help link that displays an FAQ and the website requirements and procedures. Quick links back to the home page and site map round off the top navigational element. Gateway also provides the user the opportunity to provide feedback. It is obvious that Gateway put a lot of time and effort into the design and implementation of their end user support web site. Gateway’s support site features well formatted easy page views with very little scrolling. Users are able to find content in a matter of seconds. The step by step layout ensures that users find the right support needed quickly.

I like Microsoft’s and Gateways look and appearance, they are both very eye appealing. Equally both support websites display a consistent navigational and search engine element at the top of each webpage. However, that is where the similarities end. Gateway support website is easier to navigate and provides the user quick and easy access to needed information, driver downloads, and technical support. Gateway also put text-only navigational links at the bottom of each page with little or no scrolling. The ease of use, the layout and the content are concise and to the point, that’s why I prefer Gateway’s support website over Microsoft’s.