Consumers Turn Noses Up To Home Networking
The majority of consumers who do not have a home network see no reason to get one, a sign that companies will need to intensify efforts to set the foundation for the digital home, a research firm said Monday.
A survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults found that only about 1 in 5 said they had a home computing network, with 88 percent of those without networks saying they saw no need for one, Harris Interactive said.
"The challenge, or opportunity, for companies to get the right message to consumers," Milt Ellis, senior consultant for Harris, said.
Today, entertainment is not a reason for having a home network, the Harris study found. Eighty-four percent of the respondents said they wanted to share an Internet connection among computers, 64 percent wanted to share printers and other peripherals, and 58 percent wanted to share files.
These types of networks, however, are the building blocks for more advanced entertainment networks that would enable consumers to access music, photos and video across multiple devices at the same time, Ellis said. But before consumers are convinced to buy, they will need more than just a good marketing pitch.
Eighty-four percent of the respondents said product reliability was a key factor in deciding what to buy. Speed of data transfer was second with 79 percent, followed by compatibility and interoperability with existing components, 77 percent; and ease of set up, 77 percent. In addition, 74 percent said products having a do it yourself option was a key selling point.
The Harris study findings mean consumer electronics companies have a long ways to go before reaching their vision of a digital home for most people. Computer makers, digital set-top box manufacturers, and others are adding features and components that they hope will lead consumers into making their products the home entertainment hub that can share content among connected devices.
People with home networks today are early adopters of the technology, and their recommendations to friends and families will be important in driving adoption by others, Ellis said.
People who saw no need for a home network were more likely to be women, aged 40 to 59, married and with a high school education or less, Harris said. The percentage of adults with home networks was projected to increase by only 3 percent to 24 percent at the end of this year from 21 percent at the end of 2004.
WiMAX To Challenge DSL, Cable Broadband
A report released Monday predicts that the controversial wireless technology WiMAX is likely to eventually take its place as a major broadband service-providing platform competing vigorously with DSL and cable broadband.
F5 Networks Expands BIG-IP Line Of Network Management Hardware
F5 Networks has enhanced and expanded its BIG-IP line of network traffic management devices. Led by the new 6800 platform, the BIG-IP version 9 devices offer greater reliability and accelerated application performance.
Survey: Majority Of Federal Workers Express Interest In Telecommuting
Despite a threat of financial penalties, federal agencies have been slow to implement telework programs, even though there's an overwhelming interest in telecommuting by government workers.
Skype VoIP Service Expands To Linux, OS X
Skype Technologies announced Tuesday that its version 1.0 Skype for Linux and 1.0 for Apple's MAC OS X are available for downloading from the Internet. Previously, the releases had been in Beta test status.
Microsoft Refreshes Desktop Search Toolbars
Along with the official launch of its home-grown search engine, Microsoft also refreshed the beta of its desktop search utility Tuesday.
Mass Mailed Worms Here To Stay
Predictions of the demise of the mass-mailed worm are premature, a security researcher said Tuesday.
Verizon Wireless Launches Video Entertainment Service
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday launched its multimedia video service, rolling out news, sports and entertainment clips that the company hopes are compelling enough to lure customers from competitors.
Putting An End To Attacks That Slip Through The System
Brett Childress doesn't want his network to get nailed by the next fast-spreading Internet attack. Childress, director of IT infrastructure for National Instruments Corp., the $514 million maker of test and measurement systems, is confident in the company's security defenses, including firewall, antivirus, and patch-management programs. But there's always the chance something wicked gets through.
Microsoft Launches Home-Grown Internet Search Service
Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday launched its own Internet search engine and a multi-million-dollar marketing campaign meant to draw the attention of consumers away from its top rivals Yahoo Inc. and market leader Google Inc.
Google Revenue Doubles
Google Inc. on Tuesday reported record revenue of $1.03 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up 101% year over year, and 28% over its previous quarter.