Homes and small businesses are missing out on the full potential of the PC according to a new UK survey. The research was carried out by YouGov on behalf of Microsoft .

The findings were revealed at the London launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007 yesterday. The survey shows that many PCs are still used only for book-keeping; 85 per cent of respondents stated that this was one of their main activities.

The report noted the following findings:

  • 82 per cent of those surveyed have a web presence, but less than a third are using it to generate new trade.
  • Loss of data is one of the main reasons for inefficiency since less than 50 per cent of businesses backup data daily. The DTI has previously estimated that 70 per cent of companies go out of business after they have suffered major data loss.
  • IT security is another big issue, costing over 60 per cent of businesses an estimated £1,259 per annum. A shocking 40 per cent of respondents don't even have a firewall.
  • A fifth of businesses are not using their PCs to maintain databases for their clients.