“I realize that most inventions fail not because the R&D department can’t get them to work, but because the timing is wrong—not all of the enabling factors are at play where they are needed. Inventing is a lot like surfing: you have to anticipate and catch the wave at just the right moment.” – Ray Kurzweil
“The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” – William Gibson
“The thing about data is: it keeps changing. But that’s the point … it’s the meta that matters.” – Esther Dyson
“Building for the future is a very difficult thing to do; we cannot hope to complete the work in one generation; all the more reason to begin at once.” – Rene Cassin, Nobel Prize, Peace, 1968
We can agree that much of the world has changed.
But, what has changed and what has stayed the same?
Solid research can tell you what has and has not changed. Now, more than ever, a deep and fresh profile is critical to planning.
If your profession involves creating the future, and you want key decisions supported by solid data and fewer assumptions, you have come to the right place. MetaFacts helps leading technology firms measure their current and future customers with empirical research. We also help public policymakers measure progress across socioeconomic groups. This site describes the many answers that MetaFacts’ market research supports with its TUP/Technology User Profile service.
TUP is the longest-running continuous study of technology users
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, March 17, 2023
Microsoft announced an upcoming service for its Microsoft 365 service that integrates the user’s data using generative AI. Called Microsoft CoPilot, the service will first be offered to enterprises. This TUPdate measures the potential market of those most likely to adopt and benefit from the service.
The Microsoft CoPilot announcement
This week, Microsoft gave one of the most down-to-earth non-announcements among the many major companies exuberantly touting generative AI in some form. The announcement of Microsoft 365 CoPilot demonstrated how artificial intelligence capabilities might be deeply integrated into everyday Office 365 applications, especially those involving some creativity.
Microsoft has many challenges ahead to fulfill what was shown in the demo, including whether consumers, employees, or enterprises will be willing to share their words to be analyzed deeply. Also important will be whether the service adds enough value to counter the risk of getting the results wrong. After all, none of the generative AI tools to date have delivered on the promise of discernment.
Size of the market for creative activities
What we can do today is begin at the beginning – consider the size of the potential market. How many people are regularly doing any creative activities such as those illustrated in the demo? By starting with that assumption, the market size will be conservative. It’s more likely that people who need to get certain jobs done will look for the tool to assist them with what they are already doing. It’s less likely that a new tool will inspire many people to begin giving presentations or crafting videos. Just as buying a shiny new hammer doesn’t turn someone into a capable carpenter, nor does spicing up a spreadsheet make someone into a data analyst or executive decision-maker.
There are fewer potential users than Microsoft may hope, since just under half (46%) of all online American adults regularly do any of several major creative activities:
Use professional creative software
An even smaller share of online Americans regularly uses their connected devices for work-related creative activities. As of TUP/Technology User Profile 2022, 28% of online American adults actively use any of their devices for any of the creative activities identified.
Regular creative activities among online Americans
TUP/Technology User Profile 2022-US Table: CREATACTS
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, March 17, 2023
Most Americans use a printer at home, school, or in a workplace. However, market penetration has sagged over the last five years, and the divide between printer users and non-users has widened.
This TUPdate looks at the long-term trend of printer usage among each generation of Americans. It addresses the question of whether people born around the same time and having grown up with certain technology are increasing or decreasing their printer usage more or less than other generations. The analysis is based on twelve years of TUP user surveys (TUP 2011 through 2022) as each successive generation grows, evolves, and chooses the technology products and services that they use.
The next generation will not save printers
Not all Americans behave the same. Many pundits espouse that each next-younger generation will be the savior, the ones to quickly adopt any newest technology products and services. However, history has not borne this out, especially concerning printer usage.
Although Gen Z came out of the gate strongly upon reaching adulthood, with 82% using a printer upon reaching maturity, their penetration rate only slowly climbed until 2018. TUP uses the widely accepted definition of Generation Z as adults aged 18 or higher who were born in 1997 or later. As this younger generation met the pandemic and recession, many encountered roadblocks in the workplace and in schooling. Along with those blocks came reduced printer usage.
Millennials, well, are being millennials. Their printer usage crested in 2015 at 87% and has slid steadily ever since. At only one brief point since 2011 has this group of Americans used a printer as often as the next-older generation – Gen X. Millennials have experienced many technological advances in their lifetimes and found ways to leverage what they know in newer ways.
In fact, in only a very few cases has a younger generation used a printer more than their older counterparts.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, July 16, 2021
What do lawyer cat and Windows 11 have in common?
Embarrassment or fear of humiliation may boost home PC sales. If that doesn’t do it, staying connected and current will encourage home PC users to upgrade.
If you missed it, the “lawyer cat” viral meme recently had its day of fame. A tech-challenged lawyer compelled to participate in a mid-pandemic judicial hearing over Zoom got confused and embarrassed by having his face appear as a cat’s. Webcam software bundled with an older Dell PC featured a filter that changed a person’s image before being displayed through Zoom.
The lawyer cat meme has a connection to the upcoming launch of Microsoft Windows 11. There could be the fear of something going wrong using older PCs, especially those with older bundled software.
The newest version of the venerable operating system will reportedly require more robust hardware than is present in much of the installed base. The final requirements are still in flux. However, Windows 11 is likely to need users to have newer home PCs than what they’re actively using today.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, July 8, 2021
Building and maintaining an ecosystem promises untold benefits to companies. However, companies will not enjoy benefits unless customers see value in the collective experience. Encouraging customers to stay within a company’s family of products can reduce the expense of acquiring new customers and increase revenue from ancillary offerings. This TUPdate reports on the most pragmatic measure of acceptance – market penetration status of broad technology ecosystems. In this analysis, MetaFacts measures the market’s adoption of the three prominent operating system families: Microsoft Windows, Google Android/Chrome OS, and Apple iOS/iPadOS/MacOS.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, May 21, 2021
The term “geriatric millennials” recently spiked in awareness across social media. Although generational subgroups don’t often draw attention from the general public, this one seemed to strike a nerve. Are the oldest group of millennials – those born from 1981 to 1984 – really that different from other age groups in the technology they use? This MetaFAQs reports on the number of connected devices each generational age group uses. The device measured include any PCs, mobile phones, tablets, or game consoles.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, April 23, 2021
Samsung and Apple each have their most substantial market penetration with their smartphones. Each company is striving to deepen its connection to its core base with PCs/Macs and tablets. There is a distinct difference in market penetration by age group. This MetaFAQs details the device-type penetration of Samsung and Apple’s smartphones, PCs, and tablets by age group in 2020 in the US, UK, Germany, and China.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, April 22, 2021
Samsung and Apple have intensely competitive offerings with their smartphones, PCs, and tablets. Each company is vying to deepen its connection to its core base so customers of one device type will also use other types. One measure of loyalty is the range of device types that customers actively use. This MetaFAQs details the device-type penetration of Samsung and Apple’s smartphones, PCs, and tablets within each of their respective core bases in 2020 in the US, UK, Germany, and China.