Problem 5 from midterm exam (subject in blue, 文法動詞in red, 意義動詞 in green)
The top five applications, according to NetRatings, are the Microsoft Windows Media Player, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger and RealPlayer. Windows Media has the largest active user reach at 34 percent, followed by AOL Instant Messenger and RealPlayer, both at 20 percent, with MSN Messenger Service at 19 percent and Yahoo! Messenger Service drawing 12 percent of the active user base.
The research results indicate that the browser may no longer be the predominant means of connecting to the Internet, said NetRatings senior analyst Abha Bhagat. This does not mean that the browser's days are numbered, she told NewsFactor, explaining that both business and home users are integrating a number of different types of Web access.
"Instant messaging has been seen as an application used primarily by young people, but this research indicates that it is being adopted in the workplace as employees use it to communicate with each other," Bhagat said.
The fast speed and always-on connectivity offered by broadband Internet access has contributed to the adoption of multimedia and messaging applications, she said. This research should be of interest to marketing firms who may want to consider other applications, beyond the Web browser, in reaching potential customers, she added.
Yankee Group analyst Michael Kelleher questioned the findings, though, telling NewsFactor that qualitatively, the Web browser remains the first port of call for Internet users. "For text-based research, the browser is best -- in large part because it presents a lot more information than a pop-up application," he said.
Still, he acknowledged that media players and chat applications enjoy widespread use for specific tasks. As music listening, media streaming and online chat gain popularity, the number of interfaces for such activities increases, said Kelleher, but they are often used in conjunction with other browser-based Internet activities.
Results of such surveys rely heavily on the audience being polled, Kelleher noted. It is no secret that young people are flocking to communications and music applications. Yet, in a recent online-activity survey tilted toward adults, Yankee Group found that 50 percent of users preferred news and information applications, with 30 percent using the Web for e-commerce tasks, such as banking and shopping -- both of which rely on browsers.
"The browser is far from dead," the analyst said, noting that with Microsoft's MSN, the browser is typically an integral component of any new product launch.
The NetRatings report also names the most popular Internet brands among home and business users, with the MSN portal drawing the most visitors. Yahoo is second, followed by AOL, Google and eBay to round out the top five.
Among online advertisers, Dell is No. 1, with some 2.8 billion page impressions during November. The PC manufacturing giant is followed by travel company InterActiveCorp, DVD rental provider Netflix, the Apollo Group and LowerMyBills.com.
Overall, Internet users spent an average of 3 hours and 37 minutes per month using Internet applications, researchers reported.