January 05, 2010 09:00 ET

Consumer Research Suggests PC Buying Habits Are Misguided

Major Reasons Are Performance-Related, Yet Less Than One Quarter of Users Run Utility Software

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 5, 2010) - A new research survey, commissioned by Windows optimization software specialist TuneUp and conducted online from November 17-19 by Harris Interactive®, found that consumer PC buying habits and maintenance trends seem to be misguided. Results showed that while many U.S. adult home PC users purchased a new computer as a result of slow speed or poor performance, very few understand the advantages of utility software and basic maintenance steps that can be taken to improve their systems.

Of home PC users who have tried to improve their computers' performance, the majority have scanned for viruses (90%), defragmented disks (76%), or removed software or files to free up space (77%). In contrast, about a third of these PC users (34%) have tried to speed up their systems by running utility software, which could have postponed the need to replace their computer in the first place.

Key Findings

  • Seventy-seven percent of home PC users are either not using or are not sure if they are using utility software.
  • An astonishing 91 percent of PC users have tried to improve their home computers' performance, but only one-third have tried running a utility software solution.
  • Thirty-eight percent of home PC users, who have ever upgraded their system, typically did so after only four years or less. However, 56 percent of home PC users think their computers should last five years or more before it becomes outdated, causing the need to upgrade to a newer system.

Supporting Quotes

  • "These research findings show a real need to educate the public on PC maintenance and Windows optimization," says Tibor Schiemann, president and managing partner, TuneUp. "If people were aware that utility software can improve their computers' performance by simply cleaning up any clutter and disabling background processes or unnecessary functionalities, their PCs might actually last as long as they think they should, or even longer. Extending the life of your computer for longevity's sake, however, is not the goal. Keeping your PC running smoothly and efficiently for that extended period of time is what utility software suites like TuneUp Utilities are all about."


  • Research results and graphics are available upon request. Please contact for a report summary.
  • To purchase or download a fully-functional, 30-day trial of TuneUp Utilities 2010, please visit
  • Interact with TuneUp via its blog or on Twitter.

TuneUp, Harris Interactive, TuneUp Utilities, PC, maintenance, Windows optimization, performance, computer, utility software

About TuneUp
TuneUp, based in Darmstadt, Germany, makes it possible for Windows users to fine-tune their PCs for optimum performance. PCs that are maintained using TuneUp Utilities are less cluttered, and are proven to work faster and be more stable.

The success story began twelve years ago when TuneUp founders Tibor Schiemann and Christoph Laumann developed Germany's first complete package for the optimization of Windows PCs. The program was called "TuneUp 97 -- the intelligent tuning tool." Back then, the TuneUp founders considered "intelligent tuning" to be the effective optimization of PCs that takes care of as many of the necessary steps as possible for the user.

Since 2003, TuneUp has been expanding internationally. TuneUp Utilities is currently used by more than 13 million people worldwide, and is now available in English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and Polish. End users can find TuneUp Utilities directly on the company's home page (

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us -- and our clients -- stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

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