NPD: Vista and Office 2007 drove software sales this year

Contrasting with the survey we reported on this morning, NPD Research has published a new report that paints a favorable picture of Windows Vista's success. As eWeek's Microsoft Watch explains, the report says the software category that has seen the biggest year-over-year increase in sales this year is operating systems, with growth of 49.4%. NPD Director of Software Industry Analysis Chris Swenson elaborates:

"Although shrink-wrapped Windows Vista is selling below shrink-wrapped XP levels in US retail at the same point after its release many years ago, year-over-year retail sales of Windows are up significantly over 2006," Swenson said. He attributed some of the large growth rate to the "sawtooth" effect. "We were at the bottom up of the XP sawtooth last year."

However, it was Microsoft's Office 2007, and not Vista, that was the big software sales driver between January and October of this year. Swenson says the new Office "commands 17.4 percent of all PC software dollar volume, including PC games." Thanks in large part to Vista and Office, the software market has seen a significant revival: NPD says year-over-year growth was 9.7%, compared to an average of -0.5% per year from 2000 to 2006.

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