The explosion of multiple-PC households, including home-offices, means that home networking products will be among the hottest technology areas in 1999, according to a new study by IDC.
Vendors are also set to release scores of products that connect PCs to each other and to other electronics, IDC said in the report, which was prepared by Warren Childs, research manager, home office market.
Of the 37.3 million home offices in the US, almost 8 million of those have more than two PCs. Home networking products are increasingly being used to connect those PCs with each other and with peripherals such as printers and scanners, as well as to allow shared access to the Internet, IDC said.
A home office is defined as a household where work is performed as part of an in-home business, telecommuting or corporate work done after hours.
Only 910,000 home offices in the US have networks today, said IDC, but by 2002 that number is expected to skyrocket to more than 8 million.
Recent announcements that Compaq will begin shipping its Presario 5670 with a home network adapter and that Cisco Systems plans to introduce networking equipment for the home are the first of many home networking announcements expected by major PC vendors and networking companies this year, IDC said.