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Internet

268 million PCs due online by 2001

Some 82 million personal computers will be connected to the Net by year's end, up 71 percent from last year, according to a new Dataquest report.

Some 82 million personal computers will be connected to the Net by year's end, up 71 percent from last year, a study by Dataquest said today.

By the year 2001, 268 million computers are expected to be connected to the Net, the study added.

The report is the latest rosy prediction of growth on the Net. The market for Internet software and services is expected to become a $32 billion market by 2001.

"Businesses that already pay for desktop computers for employees increasingly recognize the incremental benefit of adding Internet access," Dataquest analyst Kathryn Hale said in a statement. "By 2001, it will become nearly pointless to pay for a desktop computer for an employee without including Internet access."

She added: "At $7 billion this year, the Internet services market is nearly 12 times the size of the Internet software market, and the services market is headed toward $29 billion in 2001."