Feeds

Cloud computing, eBooks - no thanks (or not just yet)

Canny UK consumers are wary

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

We promised one final instalment for you from law firm Wiggin's epic annual consumer media survey - and here it is. Look away now if you're anticipating quick riches from your investments in eBooks, 3DTV or cloud computing. In all three areas, a wary public is going to keep its cash safe. At least for now.

On the other hand, if you've bet on MMORPGs or - and this might raise a few eyebrows - magazines, there's better news.

The sample used by the pollsters is a pretty tech-savvy one. 48 per cent use social networks, although for the purposes of the survey, YouTube counts as a social network. 35 per cent own a satellite dish, 29 per cent have Sky+ and 23 per cent Virgin cable. 41 per cent have a Wii at home, and one in four some kind of PVR. 24 per cent own an iPhone.

But this doesn't mean punters are taking a swing at anything going. Almost two thirds are not interested in eBooks, either on a mobile device or a dedicated reader. A whopping 89 per cent want only paper content from their newspapers and mags, or paper plus the occasional bit of digital content. Just three per cent have a Kindle.

The reason for this bears out the proposition put forward in Nick Carr's new book The Shallows, if not Nick's conclusion. Refuseniks cited the look and feel and ease of use of traditional paper technologies - including the ability to read in the bath - as a reason for preferring printed out. But 36 per cent agreed with the objection that "I spend long enough looking at screens" and "I like to relax with a magazine not a screen".

Consumer cloud computing services also receive the wait-and-see approach.

71 per cent prefer their personal documents to be stored locally, with just four per cent in the cloud. 59 per cent prefer their work documents with them, with eight per cent in the cloud (and nine per cent for both). Only amongst games users, many of whom have been online subscribers for years, is the figure under 50 per cent, with 16 per cent saying they're happy for the games to reside online, and 14 per cent for both.

Plus points include the unavailability of files if there was a problem with their computer (65 per cent) and mobility.

What's the objection to a cloudy future, then? 50 per cent cited security concerns and a reluctance to pay a fee. The same number cited objections to paying a fee. 40 per cent wanted control over where the files are stored, and knowing exactly where they are.

Maybe broadband has to become several times more reliable than PCs, before it can win punters' trust. Being perceived as equally unreliable just isn't going to give cloud services much of an advantage. Just a thought.

When asked what they expected to be doing more of in the coming year, the most popular activities cited were online games, watching TV over the interwebs, and downloading unlicensed movies.

When it comes to paying for content, around a third are happy to get TV programmes and albums online, but not so keen for newspapers and magazines. 81 per cent agree with the statement that "there is enough free news content on the internet so I don't need to pay".

Who wants a Paywall?

A quid a week for online newspaper access?

For 3DTV, 15 per cent said they'd be prepared to shell out for the kit needed to watch it at home - even after they were prompted about the cost of doing so, around £2,000. That's not a mass market, but it's a sizeable enough number to encourage the vendors and retailers. Eight per cent of the sample have a Blu-Ray box, a figure expected to grow.

And there's signs of trouble ahead for social networking sites. 42 per cent agree with the sentiment: "I'm getting bored with social networks." Two thirds of the sample want personal information to go only to people or brands the user trusts.

There's a good Mailbag on this coming up. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.