According to a survey conducted by The NPD Group, the popularity of home networking is on the rise and PC companies such as Dell and HP are establishing themselves as the choice supplier for home networking consumers. Overall, Dell was identified as the clear choice among potential suppliers for those planning to install a home network. Dell was cited as a leader in developing home networking products by close to half (49 percent) of those who have a home network and more than half (57 percent) of those who don't yet have one. HP came in a few percentage points under Dell among those who currently have a home network (44 percent) and 40 percent of those who are planning to install one. Regarding functionality, the home networking survey found that consumers planning a home network are expecting significantly more functionality than is currently available. Planners anticipate being able to easily add devices to their network and to use the devices to do tasks such as media file sharing and streaming among the devices.
"Today, digital photo and video sharing represent the most popular media-related task accomplished on the PC. In order to capitalize on the consumers' interest in home networking, manufacturers must develop and support improved media-sharing products," said Stephen Baker, The NPD Group's director of industry analysis. "If suppliers are not able to provide the next wave of buyers with devices and infrastructure that meet these expectations there is potential for disappointment and unhappiness among these network planners."