Research

Anti Spyware Software Prevalence Trends

The overall prevalence of Anti Spyware Software has been relatively steady with a slight decreasing tendency during the past year. For PC’s with Anti Spyware Software, the majority have more than one Anti Spyware title.

P2P File Sharing Software Trends

Peer to Peer file sharing software and technologies have experienced turbulent times. PC Pitstop analysis shows that the United States has the lowest penetration of file sharing software among the worldwide regions. Our analysis also shows that just under 15% of PC’s used for business have P2P software installed.

Hard Drive Fragmentation Trends

Analysis of PC Pitstop users show average hard drive fragmentation has experience a modest decline during the past years, while average free hard drive space has shown significant increases. A larger hard drive with more available space doesn’t necessarily reduce the need to defragment your hard drive, but it does help to reduce the amount of fragmentation that occurs “naturally” over time. PC Pitstop still recommends that you defragment your drive at least once a week.

Digital Rights Management

Extended Copy Protection (XCP aka Sony Rootkit)

In November of 2005, Sony BMG Music Entertainment was in the headlines because of the dangerous consequences of their decision to place First 4 Internet Ltd’s XCP technology on selected audio CD’s. (See Rob’s December 12 Sony’s Rootkit article). The software would load onto a person’s hard drive when an XCP protected audio CD was inserted into their PC. The purpose of the software was to limit the number of copies that CD owners could make. The technology used rootkit hiding techniques that could be used by other hackers to enter a PC without the owner’s permission. As a result of the pressure from the media and consumers, Sony has stopped distributing and using the XCP technology.

Regional PC Technology Analysis

Take a look at worldwide regional PC technology trends. The charts below show processor, memory, drives, operating system and broadband connectivity trends across regions of the world.

Wide Screen Display Trends

Wide screen displays are becoming more popular. Portable PCs are rapidly leading the trend. Whether your need is to view wide spread sheets, watch a wide screen DVD movie or multitask using multiple screen windows, wide screen displays, which are replacing the traditional personal computing 4:3 and 5:4 aspect ratio displays, may be the answer.

Optical Drive Capabilities

The following charts analyzes over time what % of PC’s have the ability to read and burn CD’s and DVD’s. We use a proprietary analysis technique to determine the read and write capabilities of each CD and DVD drive in the PC.

Hard Disks

Unlike any other research house, our diagnostics are querying user’s hard drives, gathering hard drive usage information no where else to be found in the world.

Hard Drive Size Summary

Bandwidth Performance Ranges

The internet keeps getting faster as ISP’s continually increase performance to be more competitive. The following results are based on the actual bandwidth tests run by PC’s at PC Pitstop.