Microsoft Watch reports Windows Vista and Office 2007 are providing a significant uplift to U.S. retail software sales:
The big sales driver: Office 2007, which is selling like gangbusters. When comparing Office 2007 sales to version 2003 during the same early sales period, unit sales of the newer productivity suite are about double the older one, according to NPD.
"Office commands 17.4 percent of all PC software dollar volume, including PC games," Swenson said. "When people go to the store to buy software, there's a good chance they'll end up buying Microsoft Office."
The category with biggest year-over-year growth change and highest average selling price is operating systems. There, Windows Vista overwhelming leads the category, which is up nearly 50 percent from 2007. Vista's sales pull is surprising considering lackluster sales comparisons to Windows XP.
"Although shrink-wrapped Windows Vista is selling below shrink-wrapped XP levels in U.S. 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."