Microsoft: Lots of PC owners use more than one device at once

If you own a PC, a smartphone, game console, tablet or TV, there's a good chance that you use more than one of those devices at the same time. That's the conclusion of a new study that was recently commissioned by Microsoft Advertising.

The Microsoft Advertising blog reveals the main bullet points of the study, which shows that 68 percent of the PC owners who were surveyed have taken part in the most common form of this trend, called "content grazing." Microsoft says this happens when a person uses at least two screens, but their activities are unrelated to each other. For example, people might watch television while using their notebook on the couch to check their email.

Of those surveyed, 57 percent take part in what Microsoft calls "investigative spider-webbing," when they see something on one screen and try to look up more information on the first screen's content on a second device. One of the most common examples is watching a movie on TV and then looking up information on that movie on a PC, smartphone or tablet.

Another second-screen experience is called "quantum journey," where two screens are used, but not at the same time, for a related task. Microsoft says 46 percent of its survey respondents claim to take part in this activity. "For example, you snap a picture of a pair of shoes on your mobile that you see for sale while shopping, and then look up reviews about the shoes on your PC at home before purchasing," the report states.

Finally, the survey showed that 39 percent of PC users use two or more screens for "social spider-webbing," when someone takes part in an activity on one screen, such as playing a game on a game console, and then goes to another device to talk about their play accomplishments with their friends (such as on Facebook or Skype).

Microsoft has its own mobile second-screen app, Xbox SmartGlass, where iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 device owners can connect to the Xbox 360 console for various functions. Microsoft Advertising is looking to see how such experiences could be used by companies to promote their products. Naturally, it's also interested in promoting its own advertising venues to those companies as well.

Source: Microsoft Advertising | Image via Microsoft

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