Half of US PCs Wired to Net

The latest Technology User Profile Study from Ziff-Davis’ InfoBeads found that 67.5 million US PCs were connected to the Internet in January of 1999, a 50 percent increase over January of 1998.

This number indicates that 56 percent of all installed PCs in the US are connected to the Internet. While home/family PCs account for the largest number of Internet-connected PCs (31 million), the workplace segment contributed the highest increase, growing 76 percent last year to almost 28 million PCs.

According to the study, 60 percent of US households with a PC accessed the Internet at year-end 1998, bringing the total to 31.3 million. More than 8 million new Internet households went online in 1998, a 35 percent increase over the previous year’s 23.2 million households. The study also found that consumers are buying PCs for the purpose of going online. Three-quarters of consumer PCs purchased in 1998 were used to access the Internet by the end of the year.

“Most Internet users today are relative newcomers to the Net,” said Miran Chun, an InfoBeads analyst. “We’ve witnessed a real explosion of Internet users in the last couple of years, so it is not surprising to see that almost two-thirds of them have been online for two years or less.”

E-mail continues to the top Internet activity among all types of users and has driven much of the growth of the Internet to date. “There is a network effect working here,” Chun said. “The more people accessing the Internet, the more attraction and value it has for each additional user. The emergence of cheap PCs has diminished the cost barriers associated with connecting to the Internet. People who may not have purchased a PC before may do so in order to send email to friends and family.”

The InfoBeads Technology User Profile is based on interviews with more than 11,000 PC users.

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