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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Where Will the Next Bill Gates Come From? Not the United States

Only one in five Americans believe that the "next Bill Gates" will come from the United States, according to a new poll released today by Zogby International and 463 Communications.

The Zogby/463 Internet Attitudes poll found that practically half of all Americans (49 percent) believe that the next great technology leader will come from either China or Japan. Twenty-one percent believe that "next Bill Gates" will come from the United States while 13 percent believe he or she will come from India.

Bill Gates is the chairman, former CEO and founder of Microsoft Corp. A global software firm responsible for Internet browsers, PC operating systems and other software, Microsoft had revenues of nearly $40 billion for the fiscal year ending June 2005. Microsoft employs more than 61,000 people in 102 countries and regions.

"The next Bill Gates has already been born, and time will tell what country is providing the environment of innovation, entrepreneurism andopportunity to enable him or her to flourish with the next great idea," says 463 partner Tom Galvin.

The Internet Attitudes poll tested Americans views on their perceptions of Internet. Among the findings:

* Kids are more Internet-savvy than congressmen. An overwhelming majority -- 83 percent -- believes that a typical 12-year-old knows more about the Internet than their member of Congress. Republicans (85 percent)and Democrats (86 percent) agreed with each other.
* Internet vs. the printing press. While the Web is roughly 550 years younger than the printing press, one-third (32 percent) of all Americans believe that the Internet is a greater invention. Sixty-five percent said Johannes Gutenberg's printing press that merely nabbed him the title "Man of the Millenium" by Time magazine is a greater invention. Interestingly,while whites favored the printing press over the Internet by 69 to 27 percent, only 57 percent of African Americans favored the printing press and 41 percent chose the Internet. Moreover, Hispanic Americans actually favored the Internet 51 to 47 percent and Asian Americans surveyed also chose the Internet by 85 to 12 percent.
* Car more important than email. While many may think the Internet is a historic invention, it still trails badly behind in what they depend upon for their work. When asked "What would make it harder for you to work --your car not starting, or losing Internet and email access?" 78 percent gave the nod to the car while only 10 percent said the Internet. Of those surveyed making more than $100,00 a year, 31 percent chose the loss of Internet access, while only 6 percent of those making less than $35,000 did.
* Internet everywhere. Two-thirds of Americans believe that soon there will be no place in the world where we won't be able to access the Internet. Sixty-six percent said that in 10 years they will be able to access the Internet anywhere they are in the world.
* We are voyeurs. Two in three Americans believe what Paris Hilton and Britney Spears already know. Sixty-seven percent agreed that new camera and Internet technologies are turning us into a nation of voyeurs and paparazzis.
* Katie Bests YouTube, for now. But at the same time, while "You" isthis year's Time magazine "Man of the Year," most Americans aren't quite ready to rely on Internet delivered "citizen videos" for our news just yet. Seventy percent said they would rather watch the evening news coverage instead of an Internet citizen video report on an event. Though, only one year after the Internet site YouTube burst onto the scene, fully 25 percent of those 18-49 years old would chose citizen video. Self-described progressives picked citizen video 30 percent of the time, while only 19 percent of those calling themselves conservatives did.

The nationwide telephone survey of 1,203 adults was conducted Dec. 5 through Dec. 8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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