Microsoft wants to know what you do when you poo


What do you do when you poo? It is the kind of question you might expect your ten year old son to ask his ten year old mates in the school playground. However, it seems that Microsoft has been asking pretty much the same thing in order to generate some much needed publicity for Windows Mobile.

Yep, people from Synovate on behalf of Microsoft Mobile Communications Business have been conducting a survey of mobile phone usage in the toilet amongst Australians.

Well, actually, they claim it is intended to determine just how integral the mobile phone is to the people of Australia, but that amounts to much the same thing. We have seen this kind of thing before, of course. I recall the tale of mobile phones and GPS being combined to provide a SatLav service in London last year as well, especially for those people caught short when in need of a pee.

And who could forget the survey into mobile phone use during sex for example? That survey, from the summer of 2008, revealed that three quarters of a million folk in the UK admitted to chatting on their mobiles during the act of lovemaking. Funnily enough, it too could not resist the playground lure of the toilet and also revealed that 35 percent of Brits use their mobile phone while on the loo.

This new survey, however, would seem to suggest that the Australians are even more anal when it comes to their mobile phones, with some 48 percent admitting to using them in the lav. I am led to understand that the survey also questioned users in Taiwan and they proved to be the most attached to their mobiles with an astonishing 68 percent using them while busy doing other things in the restroom.

So what else do Australians like to do when using their mobiles? Well the most popular would seem to be eat. To be precise, eat a meal with others. And there I was thinking the muffled sound when I spoke to my Australian chums was down to a bad connection or the quality of their Bluetooth headset, when actually they were just stuffing some more prawns down their necks.

Next up on the phone use popularity front was, really rather worryingly, driving. Some 62 percent admit to this usage which is even more dangerous than trying to poop and text at the same time (the consequences of a slip are beyond thought.)

The survey goes on to reveal other things about mobiles in Oz, such as how 58 percent of married women check their husband's text messages and some 25 percent are happy to use GPS capability to track spousal movements. But perhaps the most unusual usage has to be the 48 percent of Australians who claim to use their mobile phones when trying to sleep.

The Director of Mobile Communications Business in Australia for Microsoft, Grace Kerrison says "With the arrival of smartphones, people are doing even more on-the-go. It’s exciting to see Microsoft’s vision of making mobile communications a reality for users everywhere coming to fruition!”

Oh dear, my ten year old son is rolling about on the floor now repeating "she said doing even more on the go" and you know what, he has a point. Sometimes, there is no escaping that surveys are just a load of crap.

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

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