PC Pitstop Research Overview

Unlike any industry in the history of the world, the PC industry evolves at an incredible pace. At PC Pitstop, we have been tracking each and every trend related to CPUs, memory, storage, graphics, Windows, and bandwidth.

With tens of millions of PC’s in our database, Pitstop’s market research capabilities are unprecedented in terms of cost, depth, breadth, and accuracy. We have a front seat to all the most exciting trends in computing.

The charts are rendered dynamically so they are always up to date. We believe that our research capabilities are unparalleled in the PC industry and can complement your existing research. Please consider us for your market research needs.

    CD ROM, DVD and Blu-Ray Drives - Has Streaming Doomed Optical Drives into Obsolescence?

    September 27, 2016 by Lyle in Research,The Pit Blog
    Back in the mid-1990, the optical drive was introduced for use in PCs. One of its primary purposes for the CD-ROM player was to replace diskettes for distributing software. It also allowed users to play their audio CDs on their computers. The optical drive quickly caught on quickly. The technology evolved to include CD-ROM writers followed by DVD players and burners. During the first decade of 2000, Blu-ray high definition technology gained popularity. Then came advances in internet bandwidth. Video on demand and online streaming replaced the need for the PC hardware required for multimedia tasks such as playing audio and video discs. Software could be downloaded efficiently from the internet. A paradigm shift was well underway. The following chart shows the decline in attach rates for optical drives on PCs since 2010. opticaldrivear The data shows that Laptop PCs have always trailed the Desktop for the presence of optical drives. It's intuitive that just by the nature of portables, weight considerations often led to the removal of the optical drive from its configuration. While there will always be some demand for these drives, research shows that technology is changing the role that they once had.

    The Aging PC - How Old is Your PC?

    September 20, 2016 by Lyle in Research,The Pit Blog
    When a PC Matic customer scans their computer for the first time, we ask them in what year they bought their computer. Our analysis shows that folks are not replacing their aging PC as in years past. This chart shows the age range of computers from 2008 to 2016. pcagerange The data shows that in 2008 only 33% of PCs were 3 years or older. In 2016, the percentage of 3 years or older PCs has increased to 56%. Looking at the same data for the average age of home vs. business PCs, both home and business used computers showed a general increase in average age during 2008 - 2013. Since then, however, the average business PC age has somewhat flatten out while the home PC users continue to hold on to their aging systems. pcavgage

    Portable PC Usage by Generational Groups

    September 13, 2016 by Lyle in Research,The Pit Blog
    The PC Pitstop Windows PC form factor chart shows that the overall percentage of folks using portable PCs reached the 50% mark during August 2014. The portable percentage has grown at a very gradual but consistent rate over the years. The chart below shows the portable PC usage rate by generational groups. PortPctGeneration The data for this report comes primarily from our customers running the PC Matic scans for their PC systems each month. (Note: The erraticness of the Millennial generation plot line is likely the result of the smaller sample size of that group in our customer base.) While all groups have seen a portable form factor increase over the years, the older generations lag in their respective usage of portable PCs. As a member of the "older generation", this author doesn't find it too surprising. Usage habits and possibly some resistance to change likely play a role in the explanation of these results.

    Virus Bulletin Recognized as Most Respected Testing Agency

      Research testing is an important factor in determining the best security available… Overall, testing agencies help us conclude the “good vs. bad” when it comes to security solutions, and research testing helps us understand which solutions to trust. With ransomware on the rise, one way to find out which security solutions work is to look to testing agencies to find product test results and how they differ from the competition. In a recent study conducted by IDG, the world's leading technology media, data, and marketing services company, 211 IT professionals across the US were surveyed to find out important information on security platforms being utilized in the workplace. This survey asked IT pros to identify the most damaging types of cyberattacks, their consideration of deploying whitelist technology, as well as where they turn to get product results on buying the best security solutions. From these survey results, it was found which testing agencies were most acknowledged within the IT industry. The IDG survey asked IT professionals if they read or followed any testing house or reports when looking to information on security solutions. The results were revealing, as Virus Bulletin was reported as the most respected research testing agency. Virus Bulletin is a testing agency that focuses on the prevention, detection, and removal of malware and spam. Virus Bulletin features analyses of the latest virus threats and produces evaluations of current anti-virus products.   chart1   Taking a look deeper into preferred testing houses among IT professionals and the correlations between different industry sectors, it was no surprise Virus Bulletin ranked highly among all industry sectors; however, it was found government and trade sectors preferred AVTest.   ResearchTestingSite_SurveyResults2 Interestingly enough, when compared to other sites within the transportation and utilities sectors, research testing sites like AVComparative, WestCoastLabs, and AVTest ranked among most respected within this particular sector. However, Virus Bulletin continued to be the preferred research testing house among all IT professionals within the combined industry data.   So, it’s clear-- when IT professionals are considering different security solutions and platforms, they commonly look to public research published by research testing agencies for insight on product testing results. What works and what doesn’t? Research testing sites hold the answer. The information provided by testing agencies give professionals a deeper look into the solutions that offer the best product and protection.

    Dust Bunnies Cripple PCs

    Computers are an investment.  Many of us may not have the means to buy a new one each time something goes wrong.  So how do you take care of yours?  One key piece all PC owners should know is the importance of removing dust from the inside of their computer. We have spent a lot of time focusing on PC security, which is imperative.  However, we also need to reiterate the importance of basic computer maintenance. When we forget about basic computer maintenance, even the best security software won’t do us any good in the long run. I often give this analogy when educating people on the importance of this issue. A computer is like a car and every 3000 miles you have to change the oil. Now, you can go longer than that and not experience any problems. But if the neglect goes on for 2 years you probably won't have a car to drive. The older the car gets the more things that are going to go wrong with it physically. The same thing goes for our computers. Dust is hazardous to computer components and can cause overheating which results in events like unexpected shutdowns, blue screens, slowness etc. The great thing about this is you don’t need to be a computer genius to do the necessary maintenance. All you need is a screwdriver and a can of compressed air (that’s it). With the computer turned off, unplug it from the outlet or power strip. Once unplugged, press the power button to discharge any residual power. Open the sides of the computer, and touch some bare metal, to discharge any static electricity in your body, then spray the can in an upright position for 2 to 3 seconds at a time. Repeat this until all the dust has been eliminated.  Best practice is to perform this procedure at least once a year. For Laptops, this process is slightly different and you will need to consult your product manual for instructions on how to remove the battery and remove the keyboard to spray inside. Hope this helps. Cheers!

    92% of IT Experts Did Not Predict the Ransomware Explosion

    Researchscape surveyed 275 IT experts in the month of January and the results are surprising... Over half of those surveyed, did not identify ransomware as a top security threat. security risks Yet, 65% of those surveyed reported having a moderate to extreme concern regarding ransomware affecting their customers. concern Perhaps, had they known that ransomware was going to explode the way it has, they would've placed more emphasis on it.  But they did not.  In fact, 92% of the IT experts underestimated the impact ransomware was going to have in 2016. ransomware trend expectations Below is a graph from Proofpoint regarding the significant increase in ransomware variants from the end of 2015 to the end of March, 2016.  Although very few of these variants have reached the destruction level of popular ransomware viruses such as Locky, it does not mean the potential is not there. growth in ransomware As if this graph is not alarming enough, according to Neowin, ransomware actually had a 158.87% increase from March to April in 2016. It's time we start taking this epidemic seriously.

    Microsoft Windows 7 OS - Still Going Strong

    March 09, 2016 by Kayla Thrailkill in Research,tips
    windows 7 marches on

    Operating System Adaptation Trends

    As Microsoft continues with a steady stream of operating system options and service packs, we here at PC Pitstop, have an insider's view into the world of Microsoft Windows. In particular, we have a front row seat to the rate at which Microsoft's latest operating systems are accepted into the market place.

    With Alternative OS Upgrades Available, Windows 7 Still Going Strong

    According to the data PC Pitstop is able to accumulate based upon the operating systems of our software users, it has been found that Windows 7 is still being utilized by a large percentage of users.  The real-time statistics shown below display how Microsoft Windows 7 is still going strong, even with two alternative upgrades, Windows 8 and Windows 10, available.
    Home users decrease Windows 7 use at a faster rate than businesses... Since the start of 2014, personal home use of Microsoft Windows 7 has decreased at a steady rate, until early 2015 where a drop off occurred.  On the other hand, business users increased their use of Windows 7 use, until early 2015.  At that time, businesses joined the trend and Windows 7 use significantly decreased.  However, roughly 45% of businesses continue to use the Windows 7 OS.

    Windows 7 Usage - Home v Business

    PC Pitstop Customers' Radio Listening Habits

    February 24, 2016 by Lyle in Research
    How does radio affect your purchasing decisions? A January 2016 PC Pitstop survey reveals America's radio listening habits.

    How much do you listen to the radio? How likely are you to respond to a radio advertisement? In preparation for running a radio advertising campaign test for PC Matic, PC Pitstop was interested in the role that radio plays in the lives of our customers and potential customers. PC Pitstop included a survey link in a January 2016 weekly newsletter to determine how people interact with the sound waves bouncing around our atmosphere. Below is a summary of what we discovered.

    Survey Methodology Overview

    The survey link was distributed via one of our weekly newsletters. The newsletter is sent to all of our customers and web site visitors that have opted in to receive it. There were 687 people that responded to the survey. 116 responded that they do not listen to the radio and those folks exited the survey at that point. The responders skewed towards male, representing 83% of the total sample. The survey also was skewed towards older folks, with over 54% identifying themselves as age 65 or older. 1.4% of the responders were under age 35 and those responses were removed from the age group analyses as being statistically too small of a sample to draw any accurate conclusions.

    Almost 17 Percent of Folks Don't Tune In

    When asked if they listened to the radio, approximately 83% of folks overall, indicate that they listen at least once a week.


    For People that Listen to the Radio

    Of the people that listen to the radio, more than 46% listen every day. The older one gets, the less amount of time they spend listening to the Radio. The survey also showed that men listen slightly more frequently and for more hours than women.



    Terrestrial AM / FM Broadcast is Most Popular

    People are still tuning in to AM / FM signals. It is interesting the the 65 and older group are more likely to listen to satellite radio. This may likely be a function of disposable income.


    Listening to the radio in one's vehicle is not surprisingly a popular location to tune in. Approximately 10% of pre-retirement age people listen at work.


    The working age groups are tuning in during their morning commute. Retirement age people are listening more during the daytime hours. Music is the most popular type of programming across all age groups. Talk Shows come in second and are actually the most popular during the over night listening hours. Women tend to listen to music more than men. Men tune into News /Sports News more than women.





    Station loyalty appears to increase with age.


    Radio Ad Responsiveness Appears to Decrease with Age

    Almost 60% of the 65 and over age group don't recall ever responding to a Radio Ad. Men are less likely to respond to a radio ad than women.



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