Harris Interactive Poll Reveals Hottest Home Technology Trends: Americans Turn to the Computer for Home Entertainment

REDMOND, Wash., May 19, 2003 — The focal point of home entertainment is changing as the computer edges out traditional consumer electronic devices in overall importance, according to the results of a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. for Microsoft Corp. The survey, which polled more than 2,000 computer users ages 13 years and older, revealed that the computer is redefining how people entertain themselves in the home. Almost half of those surveyed said their computer is more important than their television (43 percent), while nearly two-thirds said their computer outranks their CD player (63 percent), stereo (61 percent) or DVD player (59 percent).

“We were blown away with the number of people who are using the computer as their center of entertainment,”
said Hal Quinley, group president at Harris Interactive.
“These results indicate people look to their computer as a TV, DVD player, stereo and CD player combined. The increased simplicity in using the computer to acquire, edit, organize and enjoy music, movies and photos is clearly driving this hot trend in 2003.”

As its role in home entertainment expands, the computer is moving out of the home office and into more-social rooms of the house, according to respondents. More than half of those polled (63 percent) use a computer in the living room, family room, den, dining room, kitchen, media room or other group space in the home, including 28 percent who use a computer in the living room specifically.

People are also becoming more confident about creating and enjoying their own entertainment content on the computer, the survey shows. For example, 44 percent of respondents said they consider themselves either
knowledgeable about burning CDs, and 48 percent said the next computer they buy absolutely must have a DVD burner. More than half (57 percent) said the ability to edit personal photographs is important to them.

Consumers’ increased confidence in digital media also has resulted in growing interest in new ways to use the computer to enjoy entertainment. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they are interested in having access to their digital music collection from anywhere in their home, as well as access to videos (51 percent) and photographs (51 percent). Sixty percent are interested in accessing entertainment on their computer without using a mouse or keyboard.

“Entertainment on the computer is more accessible than it’s ever been before,” said Kevin Eagan, general manager for the Windows®
eHome Division at Microsoft Corp.
“People are discovering how easy it is to use their home computer to record their favorite TV shows, listen to music, or share digital photos and videos with family and friends. Innovations like the Media Center PC have offered an easy-to-use, fun and convenient way to enjoy digital entertainment using the computer, and consumers are responding with interest and excitement.”


This survey was conducted online in the United States between Feb. 24 and March 12, 2003, among a sample of 2,070 computer users (ages 13 years and older) who were the primary computer users in their household. A total of 367 interviews were conducted among those 13 to 17 years old, while the remaining 1,703 interviews were conducted among those 18 and older. The data were weighted to known proportions for age, gender and region among U.S. computer users.

In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points for the overall sample, 5.1 percentage points for the 13- to 17-year-old sample and 2.4 percentage points for the 18 and older sample of what they would be if the entire adult population had been polled with complete accuracy. This online survey is not a probability sample.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive ( http://www.harrisinteractive.com/ ) is a worldwide market research and consulting firm best known for The Harris Poll®
and for pioneering the Internet method to conduct scientifically accurate market research. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, U.S.A., Harris Interactive combines proprietary methodologies and technology with expertise in predictive, custom and strategic research. The Company conducts international research through wholly owned subsidiaries — London-based HI Europe ( http://www.hieurope.com/ ) and Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan — as well as through the Harris Interactive Global Network of local market- and opinion-research firms, and various U.S. offices.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft®
Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

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