More than 30 million PCs and laptops are currently lying unused in homes across the UK, says Microsoft.
Research by the tech giant as part of the GO ON: Give Someone Their First Time Online campaign which aims to help ensure every single Brit can get online by 2012, revealed nearly a third (30 percent) of Brits admitted to having one laptop or PC in their house that is never used, while 15 percent claimed they had two unused machines and nine percent reckon that have three or more.
Furthermore, 16 percent said they store an old PC and generally forget about it once they've purchased a new machine. Worryingly, seven percent admit they throw old machines away, meaning no one else can benefit from their unused machine.
Nearly a quarter of Brits reckon they could cope for just half a day in their normal life if they had no web access. However one in ten said they'd last just one hour.
Furthermore, 26 percent said the web was 'core' to who they are and what they do, while 13 percent admitted they'd lose touch with friends and 10 percent said they'd have to work longer hours to complete tasks.
Nearly a third (29 percent) said the web had helped them find a job, while 13 percent met their partner online and more than one in ten stumbled across their dream home on the net.
According to the Network Nation manifesto, which was published by UK Digital Champion and founder of Lastminute.com Martha Lane-Fox, there are 9.2 million adults who are currently offline. However, if Brits ensure their unused machines are given to good homes, it will help towards meeting Lane-Fox's target of ensuring all of the UK's working population is online by the end of the current parliament.
The GO ON: Give Someone Their First Time Online campaign is hoping to encourage Brits to recycle their old PCs at any of the 475 Age UK charity shops across the UK, which are being turned into donation centres for old.
"The campaign is a great opportunity for the millions of internet users in the UK to give the 9.2 million people a chance to enjoy the benefits that so many of us enjoy every day," said Lane-Fox.
"If every connected person helped just one friend or family member to get online, the race would already be won. By working together we can accelerate progress towards building a more networked UK."
Nickie Smith, marketing director, Microsoft Advertising, added: "With nearly one in ten (8 percent) people in the UK planning to buy a new PC or laptop this Christmas, there is a real opportunity for people to do some good by donating their old machines to help someone else."
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