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'Next Bill Gates may come from India'

A US survey finds that most Americans believe that the next Bill Gates may come from India, China or Japan.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2006 12:40 IST

Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the "next Bill Gates" will come from China, Japan or India, while only one in five believe that he could be a compatriot, says a new poll.

Practically half of all Americans (49 per cent) believe that the next great technology leader will come from either China or Japan, a poll by Zogby International and 463 Communications found.

Twenty-one per cent believe that he will come from the United States while 13 per cent believe he or she will come from India, according to the Zogby/463 Internet Attitudes poll released on Wednesday.

It is based on a nationwide telephone survey of 1,203 adults conducted during December 5-8.

"The next Bill Gates has already been born, and time will tell what country is providing the environment of innovation, entrepreneurism and opportunity to enable him or her to flourish with the next great idea," said 463 partner Tom Galvin.

The Internet Attitudes poll tested Americans views on their perceptions of Internet. Among the findings are:

• Kids are more Internet-savvy than Congressmen: An overwhelming majority - 83 per cent - believes that a typical 12-year-old knows more about the Internet than their member of Congress. Republicans (85 per cent) and Democrats (86 per cent) agreed with each other.

• Internet vs the printing press: While the Web is roughly 550 years younger than the printing press, one-third (32 per cent) of all Americans believe that the Internet is a greater invention.

• Sixty-five per cent said Johannes Gutenberg's printing press that merely nabbed him the title "Man of the Millennium" by Time magazine is a greater invention.

• Interestingly, while whites favoured the printing press over the Internet by 69 to 27 per cent, only 57 per cent of African Americans favoured the printing press and 41 per cent chose the Internet.

• Moreover, Hispanic Americans actually favoured the Internet 51 to 47 per cent and Asian-Americans surveyed also chose the Internet by 85 to 12 per cent.

• Car more important than email: While many may think the Internet is a historic invention, it still trails badly behind in what they depend upon for their work.

When asked "What would make it harder for you to work - your car not starting, or losing Internet and email access?", 78 per cent gave the nod to the car while only 10 per cent said the Internet.

Of those surveyed making more than $1,00,00 a year, 31 per cent chose the loss of Internet access, while only six per cent of those making less than $35,000 did.

First Published: Dec 21, 2006 12:13 IST