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Software Sales Slip In 2006

3/12/2007 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Non-gaming software sales in the United States declined 2 percent to $2.9 billion, according to The NPD Group.

The drop was primarily attributed to a fall off in sales of operating systems and finance software, while these were somewhat offset by increases in business and system utility software. The latter two rose by 10 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

"The steep decline in retail operating system sales in 2006 was due primarily to the fact that most consumers that needed to upgrade older desktops and laptops to Microsoft XP have already done so," said Chris Swenson, NPD's software industry analysis director.

Swenson expects the release of Microsoft Vista on Jan. 30 to significantly alter the software retail landscape in 2007 and help boost dollars sales for the year.

Security suite software was the big winner in 2006, posting a 19 percent increase in dollar sales, while finance software sales declined for the first time since 2000. Swenson pointed to falling sales of tax preparation software as the main culprit as consumers have chosen to use online services offered by the major tax preparation companies.

2006 Top 10 PC Software Titles
Sold in U.S. Retail channel, Ranked by Total Dollar Sales
RankTitlePublisherRelease DateASP
1MS Office 2003 Student/Teacher EdMicrosoftOct 03$136.91
2TurboTax 2005 Deluxe With StateIntuitNov 05$38.41
3Norton Internet Security 2006SymantecSep 05$65.39
4Quickbooks 2006 ProIntuitNov 05$171.22
5MS Office 2004 Student/Teacher EdMicrosoftMar 04$147.73
6Norton Antivirus 2006SymantecSep 05$34.89
7Spy SweeperWebrootApr 03$16.90
8TurboTax 2005 Premier With StateIntuitNov 05$67.59
9MS Windows XP Home Ed. UpgradeMicrosoftOct 01$93.34
10Norton Internet Security 2006/System Works 2006 Upgr BundleSymantecNov 05$59.21
Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service ©TWICE 2007

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