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U.S. National Survey on Computer Usage

Using computers solely for basic tasks such as sending and receiving emails and typing reports is certainly a thing of the past. Today, computers are used for everything from downloading movies and music, to editing digital photos to playing games on the Internet; and for many users, the ability to perform various computer applications quickly and simultaneously is a necessity.

A recent survey by Harris Interactive conducted among U.S. adults who own computers explores the types and frequency of their engagement in computer-related activities. The survey also examines consumer perceptions of dual-core processors, a new technology designed to increase a computer's performance and efficiency when running concurrent tasks.

Below are some of the results of The 2005 Technology Report: Hot Issues Facing the Industry, a study conducted quarterly by Harris Interactive. The most recent study was conducted online from December 2 to 8, 2005 among 1,039 U.S. adults, of whom 1,012 are computer owners.

Not Your Father's Computer

The role of the home computer is morphing. It is no longer that boring white box that lives on your desk that crunches numbers and does word processing. The new PC is all about multi-media applications and serves as the new hub for a wide spectrum of activities around the home. When using their computers today, vast majorities of computer owners say they occasionally or frequently perform basic tasks such as sending email (96 percent), scanning their computer for viruses, spyware, worms, etc. (83 percent), and making purchases online (75 percent), while substantial numbers also use their computer for entertainment purposes. Here are some things they occasionally or frequently do:

Listen to music (56%)
Edit digital photos (56%)
Share pictures on the Internet (54%)
Play games on the Internet (45%)
Create their own music CDs (40%)
Download music/movies (27%)
Play graphic intensive video games (26%)
Watch movies (22%)
Edit their digital videos (19%)
Watch TV programming (10%)
Create their own DVD movies (9%)

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