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Confirmation that the computer is no longer the sole domain of the middle class, nerdy male comes from Forrester Research, a US market research company. According to a new report, the rest of the population - women, non graduates and poor people - are now buying PCs. First time buyers will account for 40 per cent of the 1999 PC sales, the report said. More women and non-graduates will be represented in the group - only 37 per cent will have been to University. Low income households will account for a significant portion of the first time buyers. This group has been attracted by the sub $1,000 PCs that are easy to set up and use, the report says. Repeat buyers on the other hand will mostly be men and 65 per cent will have a college education. This group will have less interest in price and be more concerned with the spec of the machine. People buying additional machines are also less concerned with cost, but will be looking at network options to share peripherals and Internet access. Over half of this group cited education as their primary reason for buying a new computer. "PC makers will need to refine their product strategies to tap the motivations of each buyer category," said Shelley Morrisette, director of Quantitative Research at Forrester. Morrisette points out that the one constant demand from all groups buying PCs next year is the Internet. Forrester says that the number one motivation for buying a PC is going online, and suggests that all PC makers bundle Internet access with their PCs.®

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