DAVOS, Switzerland — Jan. 24, 2014 — A new global survey of Internet users conducted by Microsoft Corp. reveals distinct regional findings and differing viewpoints between the developed and developing world. However, overwhelmingly the more than 10,000 people surveyed from 10 nations said they embrace personal technology, particularly in emerging markets, and see it as the foundation of innovation and economic empowerment.
Microsoft unveiled the results of its new survey today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in the report titled, “Views from Around the Globe: How Personal Technology is Changing Our Lives.”
Mark Penn, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Advertising and Strategy, presented the poll’s findings followed by a panel discussion moderated by award-winning journalist and author Maria Bartiromo. The panel included Marc R. Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com; Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO, Publicis Group; Bill McDermott, co-CEO, SAP; Alan Murray, president, Pew Research Center; and former U.S. Treasury Secretary and current Charles W. Elliot university professor, Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers.
“Whether you live in a world capital or a remote village, personal technology is seen as empowering and as a vehicle to individual economic growth,” Penn said. “Despite varying rates of personal technology adoption and cultural differences, there is an overwhelming sense globally that improvements are being experienced across the board.”
Among the key findings of the study are these:
• A majority of the people surveyed around the world believe that personal technology has the most positive impact on innovation in business and empowering people to start a new business.
• People surveyed in developing countries — especially Brazil, Russia, India and China — believe that personal technology is creating job opportunities and helping bridge economic gaps.
• People in China say that personal technology has positively impacted personal freedom more than people in any other country surveyed.
• Those in developing countries — especially India — say that personal technology is improving education, health and healthcare.
• In Brazil, people say that personal technology had a strong impact on arts and culture.
• In China and India, they say their quality of life has improved due to personal technology.
Although personal technology was seen overwhelmingly as a positive force in both developed and developing countries, there were concerns that focused on personal safety and security, family bonds, and, most significantly, privacy. Interestingly, the survey found that the developing countries are more willing to trade privacy for security. Despite privacy concerns, however, nearly three-quarters of parents around the world want their children to have more, not less, access to personal technology. This is particularly true in developing countries, where parents are especially supportive of increased access to technology. Opinions are mixed in developed countries, where more parents feel there should be limits to technology access.
About the poll
The Microsoft poll was conducted between Dec. 26, 2013, and Jan. 3, 2014, and surveyed 10,009 Internet users in the United States, France, Brazil, Russia, China, India, Japan, Germany, Mexico and Turkey. The results were then weighted based on the size of the Internet populations in each of the 10 countries. The full survey findings and comprehensive analysis of the poll can be found at http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2014/01/23/personal-technology-is-changing-lives-around-the-world-what-we-learned-from-talking-to-10-000-people-in-10-countries.aspx.
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