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The high cost of PCs is still a major barrier to the widespread take-up of the Internet in Europe, according to research from Jupiter MMXI.

Its quarterly survey - Online Market Landscape - found that two thirds of Net users in Britain and around a half of users in France and Germany access the Net from home.

However, a staggering 5.6 million Germans, 4.4 million French and 4.1 million Britons don't have a PC at home and instead nip round to a friend's house to use it there.

Analysts claim that this shows that "ownership of a PC is still a barrier to all Europeans having Internet access".

What a revolutionary concept - make PCs cheaper and more people will buy them. Sheesh.

And in another piece of common sense research, the boys at Jupiter found that consumers are more likely to revisit Web sites that are fast loading.

In its report - Back to Basics: Enhancing User Experience at Low Cost - analysts discovered that 40 per cent of online surfers will visit a content site more often if its pages load faster.

Only 20 per cent said they would revisit a site if it had lots of bells and whistles.

Said Jupiter analyst Cormac Foster: "To make the best use of their budgets in the near term, most companies should avoid risky, glamorous Web enhancements."

Whatever would we do without these guys? ®

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