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Youths are actively shaping a new digital world in Asia: Microsoft

Dec 22. 2016
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By The Nation

Asian youths today are showing strong awareness of cyber-risks while devices and digital services are front and centre of their lives, according to Microsoft Asian Millennial Poll. 

The online poll was conducted in September 2015 with 1,200 Asian millennials under 25 years old across 14 Asian markets, include Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, China, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

There are 1.1 billion youths in Asia, which makes up about 60 per cent of the world’s youth population. Inevitably, youths are driving the agenda how future Asian workforce are centering their work and live in an increasingly digital world.

The poll showed the pervasiveness of devices in the lives of Asia millennials, where all respondents own a smartphone. Notebooks or laptops are their choice for a full-productivity device followed by desktop PC and tablet. 

Almost 40 per cent of all respondents own a gaming console. Wearable devices are still at a nascent stage of adoption where only about 17 per cent of respondent own one.

The poll shows that these Asian millennials are already making their own purchase decisions with all their devices. Approximately one third of the respondents desire to purchase smartphones followed by 19.3 per cent and 13.3 per cent wishing to get laptop and tablet relatively.

Here are the six key findings about what Asian millennials expect of their devices and services:

1. Youths want mobility: The poll showed the pervasiveness of devices in Asia millennials, where all respondents own a smartphone. Notebooks or laptops are their choice for a full-productivity device followed by desktop PC and tablet. Almost 40 per cent of all respondents own a gaming console. However, wearable devices are still at a nascent stage of adoption where only about 17 per cent of respondent own one

2. Youths want natural gestures with their technology: From smartphones to their notebooks, they want stylus and touch experiences embedded in their devices within 6 months’ time.

3. Youths want convenience of the cloud: Respondents want to store their files in the cloud for easy access across devices and locations.

4. Youths want a safer digital environment: Majority of respondents dislike the lack of privacy and security in their digital lives – in fact, 70 per cent are willing to pay to overcome their current privacy and security challenges. It is not surprising that of the biggest technology advances that they would like to see in three years’ time is integration of biometric features in their devices, such as iris scan.

5. Youth wants simplicity in an increasingly complex technology environment: 610 of respondents felt that one of the biggest challenges in their digital lives is having too many passwords to remember.

6. Youths want to build a brighter future with technology: The poll showed that 70 per cent of youths believe that technology can solve social issues such as equality, diseases and environmental issues we are facing today.

The poll showed that by 2020, Asian youths would like to see their devices able to have holographic displays, virtual personal assistants, brain-computer interface, gesture controls and ability for software to conquer language barriers.

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