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Home Office Life Improves

Las Vegas--Consumer product officials from Microsoft, IBM, CompuServe, Intuit, and U S West convened here this afternoon to discuss upcoming advances in the home-office business market. The session was hosted by Xerox in advance of a new survey on the home business market slated for release next week.

Conducted by TechKnowledge, the survey of 440 home office users indicates that those who equip themselves with leading-edge technology are convinced they are more competitive as a result. Eighty percent of home office users with state-of-the-art technology said their investment helps them be more competitive; only 64 percent with less current technology think it lends no competitive advantage.

"We found that home office users are extremely knowledgeable technology consumers," said Laura Cory, vice president of marketing for desktop document systems at Xerox.

Industry analysts estimate that home office users will have spent $25 billion on computer sales in 1995. According to home office experts Sarah and Paul Edwards, there are currently about ten million home offices.

CompuServe panelist Rob Mainor, vice president of product marketing, revealed that the commercial online service provider is currently working on several fronts to make life easier for home office users. CompuServe is in discussion with all of the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) to extend ISDN to subscribers. CompuServe also plans to offer low-cost minimum display videoconferencing access in the future.

Xerox's query is still fighting its traditional big business. "In the past, home office users saw Xerox products as very reliable, very expensive, and probably not for them," said Cory.

In the future, Xerox will focus on providing better integration with PCs and better-looking, more attractive home office products.