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Ability Software International survey reveals how cash-strapped Britons feel about spending on technology

Crawley, UK – 13 October 2008, British software supplier Ability Software International (ASI), has discovered that 95% of people surveyed believe that the British public and government should support the British technology industry.

ASI delivers office productivity, software management and graphics and image management software to the education sector, businesses and households, which provides the same capabilities and is compatible with Microsoft, but is available at a fraction of the cost.

With money saving now a priority for households and start-up companies operating during the credit crunch, the price of software is often disproportionately high in comparison to the cost of hardware. The decline in consumer confidence as the UK heads towards the economic slump was revealed in response to the question: “What would you do with the extra money saved [on Microsoft]?” The top answers were to save it (31%) and to pay the bills (27%). Only 11% of people said that they would buy themselves a treat with the cash; and 26 % said they would use the money to fund a holiday - revealing that if they up to £180 spare, over half of Britons would take a cautious approach to spending the money.

Based on results from a street questionnaire carried out in central London, the poll also indicated that people may not be as patriotic as you may expect with only 40% saying that the British were more inventive as the Americans. 39% saying the two nations had the same amount of brilliance when it came to technology.

British businesses, along with the Science & Technologies Facilities council, have criticised the government over failing to increase funding to home grown technology. Last year the government announced that funding for research into the science and technology sectors is to be slashed by £80million (1). This will only heighten the problem with an increasing number of technology graduates being forced to move abroad to develop their research. This will result in a shortage of a skilled workforce in this area.

Lyndon Chapman, chairman, Formjet Plc said: “The survey highlights how easy it is to forget Britain’s achievements in the technology field. These achievements should be a reminder that we can build on the already established success. In the same way that consumers are now becoming more savvy about their choices in the supermarket when choosing food, schools, businesses and households need reminding about technology choices that make financial sense and support British talent. The UK could be missing out on opportunities and the government also needs to change its attitude towards investment in the technology area.”

With the survey hoping to stir a patriotic mood for the British technology industry among those questioned it also uncovered how we view existing inventions and figureheads. When asked, ‘What do you think is Britain’s best export in the technology world?’ the light bulb was voted into first place with an exact 50% share of the votes with the video game, Grand Theft Auto, coming ahead of the fax machine. Over half of the people viewed Richard Branson as Britain’s answer to Bill Gates, with Alan Sugar and Clive Sinclair completing the top three spots.

The popularity of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den was revealed with Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones making the poll when also questioned ‘Who do you think could have been Britain’s Bill Gates?’



About Ability Software International
Established in 1986, Ability Software International (ASI, formerly ‘Ability’) is a global provider of cost-effective desktop software applications designed for the home user, small business and education markets. ASI offers SMEs and start-ups the only suite of essential office productivity software tools consistently branded across one range. ASI’s Ability Office suite is fully Vista compatible and will also run on Windows XP systems. The ASI range includes interoperable applications for word processing; accountancy and spreadsheets; presentations, graphics and images; business planning; human resources; databases; and IT security. The software is distinguished by its low memory footprint and uses a simple, intuitive and familiar user interface. The ASI range is distributed through resellers, OEM partnerships and retailers.

ASI Ability is a Formjet plc (FMJ.L) company. Formjet has developed PC software suites, based on the ASI range, for major retail chains including Tesco and Woolworths. Operational in the UK, US, Benelux, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Australia, France and Germany, ASI Ability is a headquartered in Crawley, UK. For more information please visit or

Further information:
Ellie Turner / Melanie Hesketh, Prompt Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8996 1650 /

Chris England, Ability Software Int., 0870 600 1434 or

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Prompt Communications Ltd in the following categories: Men's Interest, Women's Interest & Beauty, Consumer Technology, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit