Email is the most frequent activity of users on all primary home PCs

What’s the most popular activity which is starting to lose its power?

The main activity for all primary home PC users is sending or receiving email.

Households with older versions of Windows are different in their activities from other OS users. Users of older Window OS’s second-most frequent activity is searching the Internet on other issues, instead of for news, like other OS users. Users of older Windows PCs’ sixth activity is searching on health issues.

The two largest rank differences for users of older Windows OS’s are in personal/household activities (recipes, home design, etc.) and listening to music CDs or MP3s. Personal activities rank higher (9) for older Windows OS’s than other OS users, especially higher than Vista (21) and Apple (22) users. Users of older Window OS’s frequency of activity for listening to music CDs or MP3 was, at 24, well below Apple users at 9, and 13 for both Vista and XP users.

Vista and XP users ranked their highest 10 activities very similarly. There is a difference in the 6th and 7th ranking, but otherwise they share the same order of activities.

Apple users are similar to Vista and XP users for the first 5 activities. They begin to differentiate afterwards. Apple users have a higher ranking than Vista and XP users for working with text (6 vs. 10) and listening to music CDs or MP3s (9 vs. 13).

Ranking of PC/Online Activities for Primary PC Users - Home Operating Systems Profile Report

Ranking of PC/Online Activities for Primary PC Users – Home Operating Systems Profile Report

Other findings in the MetaFacts Operating Systems Profile Report include:

  • Operating System Landscape
    • Multi-PC and Multi-OS Households
  • Home Operating Systems and Demographics
    • Having children in the household does make a difference for Vista
    • Household employment and operating system
    • Education level and operating system within the household
    • Annual household income and operating system
    • People age 18-34 are using more Apple primary home PCs than older people
  • Purchase Channels
    • Apple gets a bigger share of direct sales than Windows PCs
  • PC Brands & Operating Systems
    • New PC brands bought by operating system
    • Total installed base for all primary home PCs shows some movement from the big brands in the new PC market
  • Changes in PC Form Factors – Laptops are coming on strong as new primary PC form factor
  • How Different Operating Systems are Used Differently
    • Email is the most frequent activity of users on all primary home PCs
    • New primary home PC user activities
  • Operating Systems and Other Consumer Electronics
    • Handheld device use and operating system of the household
    • Imaging behavior and household operating system
    • Television viewing habits and operating system in the household
    • Convenience is the key for households that have at least one Apple Home PC
    • Some Older Windows Households are planning to upgrade while still taking advantage of older technology
  • Technology Attitudes and Operating Systems
    • Attitudes of adult PC users vary with operating system

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Broadband, Digital Imaging, and many other technology industry topics. These Profile Reports are in a series on specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

News flash: even more recent updates to this information are available to subscribers to the full Technology User Profile service, the TUP Overview Report, and other TUP Profile Reports.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300 or

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008