Europe embraces the digital lifestyle

The UK leads in e-commerce enthusiasm, but some of our European neighbours claim to be far handier with the latest technology, says a new survey

The Italians reckon they're the most proficient technology users in Europe, according to a new survey.

The Digital Lifestyle Study, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Dell and Microsoft, found that over half (54 percent) of Italians think they're familiar with all or most of the features on their technology products, compared to 47 percent of Germans and 39 percent of UK IT users.

While the Italians may think they can use their digital goods with aplomb, the Germans (59 percent) think they're the most knowledgeable about technology in general, compared to 49 percent of UK tech owners and 46 percent of the people polled in Italy and Spain.

The Spanish are the most confident when it comes to setting up a PC, with 50 percent of respondents claiming proficiency in this area. The Italians struggle here, with only 26 percent saying they're able to get a PC up and running. In the UK, the figure is 40 percent.

But the UK leads the pack when it comes to PDAs: 24 percent of UK respondents said they could configure a handheld device, compared to a meagre 13 percent of Italians.

Sixty-seven percent of Germans and 66 percent of UK users feel they don't need to phone customer support with tech-related problems. This compares to 37 percent of Italians and 53 percent of Spaniards.

The survey also found that UK people are the most likely to shop online, with 19 percent expressing a fondness for e-commerce. That compares with just 8 percent of the French respondents.

Harris Interactive conducted 1,500 interviews among computer and digital technology owners (age 18+) in August and September, 2002. Telephone interviews were conducted among 1,000 owners in the US and 100 owners in each of the following countries: France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK.

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