Microsoft has suggested that there are a whopping 30 million PCs and laptops lying unused around the UK, suggesting we should use the old machines to get more people online.

Backing Marth Lane-Fox's vision of a Networked Nation and as part of the not-very-snappily-named GO ON: Give Someone Their First Time Online campaign (www.get-someone-online.com) Microsoft's research suggested some interesting trends.

Apparently, some 30 per cent of us have a PC or laptop at home they no longer use, 15 per cent have two unused machines and 9 per cent three or more.

This has led to the 30 million number being suggested, and those machines could be put to better use – according to the campaign.

"Live" offline...pah!

Nickie Smith, Marketing Director, Microsoft Advertising, said; "Working in the digital media industry it's very easy to forget that millions of people in the UK do live offline, and have no way of accessing the many benefits that the internet offers.

"With nearly one in ten (8 per cent) people in the UK planning to buy a new PC or laptop this Christmas, there is a real opportunity for people to do some good by donating their old machines to help someone else."

Martha Lane Fox added, "The 'Go On Give Someone Their First Time Online' campaign is a great opportunity for the millions of internet users in the UK to give the 9.2 million people a chance to enjoy the benefits that so many of us enjoy every day.

"If every connected person helped just one friend or family member to get online, the race would already be won.

"By working together we can accelerate progress towards building a more networked UK."