Small Hard Drive Partitions

Some PC vendors are making a practice of creating a small partition on a system’s primary hard drive in which to store the systems’ original restoration information. Generally these partitions are 5 – 12 Gigabytes in size and are preformatted during the manufacturing process. The practice appears to have replaced the inclusion of a restoration CD for some PC vendors. While it may be considered a convenience by some to have the operating system and driver backups loaded on the local hard drive, the practice should not be considered a safe backup practice for these system files.

US Income Tax Preparation Software Prevalence

Each year, the publishers of US tax preparation software bombard the ad space with their promotions for US tax preparation software. PC Pitstop took a look at just how prevalent this type of software is on US PCs. We also took a look at the most popular titles to see how they compare.

Prevalence of Canadian Digital Media Sharing & Copying Sftwr

A January 2007 news story reported that according to a Twentieth Century Fox investigation, as much as fifty percent of the world’s pirated movies come from Canada. The article cites that the Canadian Copyright Act, as well as the internal policies of police forces, make it extremely difficult for them to crack down on movie piracy. The focus of the article was on the practice of “camcording” of movies in Montreal movie houses.

Microsoft Zune

In mid November 2006, Microsoft released Zune, their brand of portable media player in the US markets. The product was targeted to compete with the popular Apple iPod. The launch model of Zune, included a 30 GB hard drive, built in FM tuner and a 3 inch screen. Microsoft attempted to differentiate their product from the competition by adding a built in Wi-Fi that allows Zune users to wirelessly share songs, playlists and pictures with other Zunes.

Wireless Networking Survey

The results of our September 2006 Wireless Networking Survey are in. The overall survey summary results are shown below.

Don’t touch that mouse!

Our survey results show that a lot of Pitsters are saving time using keyboard shortcuts.

Sometimes it seems as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Take the kids to school, pick up the dry-cleaning, morning meeting at the office – there is just too much to do. As the times keep moving faster and our lives keep getting busier, we often find ourselves trying to save a little time wherever we can.

PC Safety Survey

The results of our October 2006 PC Safety Survey are in. The overall survey summary results are shown below.

Password Management Survey

The results of our November 2006 Password Survey have been tabulated. Below is analysis that show how responses varied by age and pc expertise followed by the overall summary results.

Digital Music Survey

The results of our July 2006 Digital Music Survey are in. We have completed our detailed analysis showing some of the interaction between responses. Generally, the younger crowd have indicated that they are embracing digital music and its technology.

Digital Music News Research Group

Digital Media Desktop Report: November, 2006 Price: $195

Buy Now

This report tracks the month-to-month global install base for leading digital music applications. Several types of applications are covered, including those related to paid downloads, subscriptions, music management, and file-sharing.

Market Research Video: Software Stocks

The PC Pitstop Market Research team is pleased to share this exclusive report detailing key trends related to publicly traded software companies. From anti-virus leaders like Symantec in a free fall of market share to the emergence of a new player in the Microsoft dominated office productivity space, this analysis uncovers some very intriguing shifts in the industry. View the video below to learn more.

Analog Modem Attach Rate Trends

As the popularity of broadband internet connections has increased, the prevalence of analog modems has declined. Over 40% of desktop PCs running the PC Pitstop on-line tests do not have a modem installed.

Windows First OneCare

On May 30, 2006, Microsoft entered into the security software market with its U.S. release of its fully supported version of its Windows Live OneCare software. The OneCare product includes firewall, anti-virus, back-up and restore utility, as well as Microsoft’s Windows Defender anti-spyware technology. Also included is a tune-up utility which performs routine maintenance tasks such as defragmenting and temp file clean up. Office Productivity Suite 2.0 was released in October 2005 and is proving to be a formidable contender in the office productivity suite arena. The fully featured open-source suite is freely distributed and is a direct competitor of Microsoft Office. The suite contains word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, graphic and database modules. It can read and write most of the of the file formats found in Microsoft Office and many other applications.

70% of PC’s are not Vista Ready

Microsoft has released their recommended hardware requirements for their new operating system called Vista.

PC Pitstop compares those RAM, CPU and Hard Drive requirements against the hardware found in systems being processed through our on-line tests to determine the percentage of PC’s that do not meet Microsoft’s recommended requirements. Also shown is a historical look at the percentages of PC’s that did not meet the recommended requirements for Microsoft’s XP operating system for the months prior to it’s launch.