Top 10 Surveys, Polls, and Market Research Insights for Today

Here is a list of the some key surveys, polls, studies and market research reports that came out today, which may have implications for consumers and/or businesses.

Analyst estimates up to 16m iPod sales in Q4
Analysis of monthly NPD data by research firm Piper Jaffray for the first two months of Apple's December quarter suggests that the company is on track to sell 15.5-16 million iPods, well short of the 17 million figure (US sales only) estimated by CNBC earlier this week. "We believe the launch of the shuffle on 11/3 had a material positive impact on...

U.S. retail sales up 3.9 percent last week
U.S. retail sales rose 3.9 percent last week, a sign that holiday shopping is kicking into high gear less than two weeks before Christmas. Research firm ShopperTrak RCT Corp. said the pace of sales could pick up.

Study: 4 pct of search results risky 
It's slightly safer to use search engines, but about 4 percent of search results still lead to sites deemed risky, a new study finds. Ben Edelman, a security expert who serves as an adviser to security software vendor McAfee Inc., said that although the overall riskiness of search engines declined 12 percent since May, some 4.4 percent of results still lead to sites flagged with a "red" warning or a cautionary "yellow" by McAfee's SiteAdvisor service.

Nielsen//NetRatings and WebVisible Study: "I Searched, I Clicked, I Contacted... I Transacted": 
--  70% of Internet users report using search engines to find a local service; 46% in the last 90 days.
--  When searching for a local service website, searchers find what they want quickly -- averaging less than 3 searches.
--  Nearly 90% are happy with the results they get when they search locally for services.

Free Shipping is Key for Online Retailers
Shipping costs are a big factor in the decision to buy online, according to a study done by The Conference Board and TNS, a market research firm. More than 90 percent of consumers surveyed said free shipping would be an incentive to spend more online this holiday season.

STRATEGY ANALYTICS: Online Video Sales to Reach $1.5 Billion in 2007; Pent-Up Demand Revealed in Price Elasticity ... 
Online sales of TV shows, movies and other prerecorded video will become a billion-dollar business in 2007, predicts a new report from technology research firm Strategy Analytics.

EMA Publishes Latest Research Report on Application Performance
Troubleshooting a Top Priority, Security a Top Initiative in Application Performance Arena. Fully 64 percent of the respondents claim that their IT organizations have made organizational changes deliberately targeting superior collaboration between network and application management teams.

Gartner predicts Vista to be last major Windows 
Research firm Gartner Inc. turned soothsayer on Wednesday by predicting that Windows Vista will be the last big release of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system. Gartner also expects that the blogging trend will peak in the first half of 2007. Given the average life span of a blogger and the growth rate of blogs, the research firm predicted the peak number of bloggers will be around 100 million at some point in the first half of 2007.

Survey: College endowments top 10 percent returns 
Colleges and universities earned average investment returns of 10.7 percent on their endowments during fiscal 2006, narrowly beating the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, according to national survey results released Wednesday. Schools with endowments of $1 billion or more earned 15.2 percent during the year ending June 30, according to preliminary figures on 765 institutions collected by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA-CREF, a financial services organization. Colleges with less than $25 million earned just 7.8 percent.

Gates Beats Bush as Most Influential in Education, Survey Says 
Billionaire Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., beat out President George W. Bush as the most influential person in U.S. education for the past decade, according to a survey by a nonprofit education publisher Editorial Projects in Education Inc.

NBC/WSJ poll: New low in war confidence
As the White House searches for a way to move forward in Iraq after the midterm elections and the Iraq Study Group's recent recommendations, the American public has grown increasingly pessimistic that the war there can be won, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds.

Clinton's, McCain's Weaknesses Undercut Edge in 2008, Poll Says
The two frontrunners in the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain, face obstacles in their quest to win the White House, according to a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll.

Poll: Most Americans see lingering racism -- in others 
Most Americans, white and black, see racism as a lingering problem in the United States, and many say they know people who are racist, according to a new poll. Almost half of black respondents -- 49 percent -- said racism is a "very serious" problem, while 18 percent of whites shared that view. Forty-eight percent of whites and 35 percent of blacks chose the description "somewhat serious."

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