Analysts at Gartner have estimated that there are already one billion computers in use worldwide right now. That's a big number, but it's the estimated rate of growth in PC ownership that jumps off the page in their report -- 12 percent a year. That means by 2014, they estimate two billion people worldwide will be able to leave bizarre comments on YouTube videos or press the autosum button on a spreadsheet.
“Whereas mature markets accounted for just under-60 percent of the first billion installed PCs, we expect emerging markets to account for approximately 70 percent of the next billion installed PCs,” says Gartner research vice president Luis Anavitarte.
The firm cites the explosive expansion of broadband and wireless connectivity in emerging markets, the continuing fall in PC average selling prices, and the general realization that PCs are an indispensable tool for advancement.
If you conisder the productivity gains in the developed world that flowed from the computer, and apply them to another billion person section of the world population, the world is going to get very rich very fast. And when you're rich, you can buy -- another computer.