Australian business software sales drop in January

IT channel research company Inform Business Development Pty. Ltd. has released data indicating Australian retailers' business software sales have continued to slide, dropping 44 percent year on year on January 2000 figures.

According to Inform, there has been a 14 percent drop in shipments from December, which has further compounded the weak performance of the market in the second half of 2000.

Inform research manager Phil Burnham said that in some areas of the business software market we have not seen any healthy pick up since the GST was introduced last year. "If you look at year-on-year sales, the business software market is 44 percent lower than January last year," Burnham said.

The creativity software segment suffered a monthly decrease in sales of 43 percent from December. In addition, development software shipments fell by 7 percent in January.

However, Burnham added that shipments of productivity software increased by 21 percent from December. He attributes much of this growth to consumers fitting out their new PCs with utility and anti-virus software.

He also said that it was influenced by people who had bought PCs from retailers in the lead up to Christmas and waited until the January sales to buy all the software they needed. "People are far more aware now that their computer is going to be affected by viruses," he said. "That's been a major driver."

Financial software also experienced growth, with unit sales up 13 percent on December.

Burnham said he hoped we would see a pick up in future months because, at the end of the day, people are always going to need software. "People are going to have to get back on track and start buying again," he said. But Burnham admitted that the current figures were not good news for resellers.

Burnham said all figures are based on sales through mass merchants and independent retailers.

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