PCs - love 'em and stroke 'em

Microsoft recently commissioned a survey* in five European countries - Britain, Sweden, France, Germany and Spain - trying to determine people's attitudes to computers versus other elements in their lifestyles, including food, sex and sport. The results were intriguing: 11 per cent of Swedish PC owners would rather spend the evening with their computer than with their loved ones, while a whopping 25 per cent of Britons also eschew sex in favour of mouse clicks. In fact, in Sweden, the definition of "loved ones" may have to be altered, as some 20 per cent of computer owners admitted to stroking their PCs. More than 50 per cent of British respondents also admitted to talking to their computers.

The Spanish have a rather more fiery relationship with their information appliances, with 18 per cent admitting they are sometimes driven to tears of frustration, and 57 per cent saying they have had occasion to hit their computers and monitors.

And in France, where last year's World Cup victory made soccer the national religion, 90 per cent of computer owners would rather use their computers than watch soccer. Come to think of it, so would we.

* Standard Bytesback disclaimer: be very wary of any story you read anywhere that begins with the words "Microsoft recently commissioned a survey".

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