April software sales hit two-year low

April's business software market fell to its lowest level since 1999, with both the market value and shipments of software down by 35 per cent on the previous month and 50 per cent lower than April 2000, according to trans-Tasman IT channel researcher Inform.

Specifically, productivity software, which makes up about 50 per cent of business software sales Inform says, slid by 40 per cent in monthly shipments.

Network Associates fared worst in this area as poor performance in the antivirus sector forced its sales down by 67 per cent in April, the researcher said, leaving the vendor with 10 per cent share of the productivity software market, down from 18 per cent in March.

In turn, Symantec increased its share by one per cent to 33 per cent after shipments of its utility software kept the company's sales steady, Inform's figures showed.

Microsoft also performed well, increasing its market share despite the fact that the Office 2000 product range slowed marginally leading up to the launch of Office XP in early June.

The financial software market was the strongest sector, but it still suffered a 25 per cent drop in shipments, Inform said. Quicken maintained its lead over MYOB for sales in this area.

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