Microsoft UK has been quick to exploit the change of government, and has already started lobbying and campaigning on a wide number of initiatives with junior ministers and senior civil servants.
Shaun Orpen, the company's marketing services director, met Department of Trade & Industry and Department for Employment & Education officials last week to brief them on the findings of Microsoft's State of the Nation research into public attitudes towards technology.
The research, conducted by NOP and involving interviews with almost 1,300 businesspeople, housewives, children and teachers, provides a snapshot of how rapidly (or slowly) the wider population is adopting and using desktop technologies, including the Internet.
Among the 200 businesspeople interviewed, 88% had used a PC, half used a PC at home and 39% had accessed the Internet. But their use of the Internet was not particularly sophisticated, with Email being the most popular application, mentioned by 81%.
Orpen said: "The UK is thought of as being two years behind the US in terms of our adoption of the latest technology, but we cannot afford to be that far behind on the Internet. The research suggests there is an opportunity for the UK to leapfrog the US and Japan, where Internet adoption over the past 18 months has been frightening."
The research is one of a number of measures being taken by Microsoft UK to raise its profile as an influential (and responsible) company capable of making a difference at government level and elsewhere. "We want to be respected in the wider community," Orpen said.
- Leader page 26.
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