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Consumer PCs are selling faster than business PCs in Western Europe thanks to the Web stampede, according to IDC. Cheaper and more attractive hardware, as well as the rush to get onto the Internet, will drive PC sales in the home user sector up by 20.7 per cent in 2000. This compares to 18.5 per cent in the education sector, and 13.9 per cent for business PCs. IDC also expects PC sales growth to drop to 11.5 per cent in 2000 for companies with more than 100 staff. "A sharp drop in prices, down to as little as $600 for entry-level desktops, has attracted a new range of home buyers," said Catherine Pennington, research analyst for IDC's European personal computers programme. "The consumer market is one of the least saturated markets now in Western Europe. "The Internet is a driving factor. But, basically, people underestimate the power in the consumer space of attractive designs," Pennington added. "We'll start to see a lot more people pushing into this area after the success of Apple's iMac last year." The findings complement a survey released earlier this month by Dataquest. It found that the profile of the average European PC user was changing from "lone gamer, isolated and hidden away in his bedroom" into an Internet sophisticate. ® Related Stories Dell eats into Compaq's European sales European Internet users to pass US by 2003 – IDC

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