US computer buyers are happy as ever, with Apple machines yielding top satisfaction and Windows 7 operating system making amends for a loathed prior generation of the Microsoft software.

Annual figures released on Tuesday by The American Customer Satisfaction Index showed a four-percent improvement in the way people felt about their computers, with Apple leading the way by pleasing 86 percent of buyers.

Overall satisfaction with personal computers averaged 78 percent, with Windows-based models by Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others coming in one percentage point below the average, according to the index.

"Nearly all brands showed increases in satisfaction and no manufacturer declined," Index creator Claes Fornell, director of the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan, said in his findings.

"Lower prices, better service, and an emphasis on new, smaller systems and a variety of portable PCs helped drive the improvement."

Apple has dominated in PC satisfaction in the index for seven consecutive years and set a new record for the culture-shifting California company this year, according to Fornell.

Computers running on Windows operating systems "made large gains in the second year of Microsoft's release of Windows 7, marking a recovery from the problems associated with the Windows Vista software," the professor said.