Dec 30, 2003 (08:12 AM EST)
Instant Messengers, Media Players Top List Of Apps Used To Access The Net

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

Three out of four people connect to the Internet by using applications that aren't Web browsers, according to a survey released Tuesday by Net ranking firm Nielsen/NetRatings.

The trend, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, is one that continues to blur the lines between what's on a user's desktop, and what's not--coming instead over pipes from the Internet.

"With 76% of Web surfers using Internet applications, functionality has grown beyond the browser to become a fundamental piece of the overall desktop," Abha Bhagat, a senior analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings, said in a statement. "It's become harder to distinguish when you're on the Internet."

The top five applications used to connect to the Web are a collection of the most popular instant messengers and the two most prominent media players, said the survey, which was conducted in November.

Windows Media Player leads the pack, with 34% of the users polled claiming they use Microsoft's player utility to access the Internet. AOL's Instant Messenger came in second, at 20%, while Real Network's RealPlayer, Microsoft's MSN Messenger, and Yahoo's instant messenger client round out the list.

In other findings from Nielsen/NetRatings' monthly report on Web usage, the audience-ranking firm noted that the number of people accessing the Internet in November 2003, was up 11% over the same month last year.