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April 12, 2006

Microsoft market stats: PCs and IM good, search bad

Posted by David Hunter at 9:55 PM ET.

It’s good news for Microsoft’s Windows cash cow when PC sales are good, and Amanda Cantrell at the AP reports that 1Q US PC retail sales were zooming based on data from market analysis firm, Current Analysis:

Computer makers enjoyed strong year-over-year growth during the first calendar quarter this year, according to new U.S. retail sales data.

Of the companies and retail stores that Current Analysis tracks, first quarter laptop sales grew 43.6 percent over the previous year, while first quarter desktop sales grew 16.3.

The caveat is necessary because they don’t track direct sellers like the top vendor, Dell, and they don’t track all retail sales. Some company numbers: HP up 29%, HP Compaq up 69%, Gateway up 166% in laptops. The growth seems to be the result of falling prices across the board, with laptop prices in particular down 20% on average. One other factoid: “PCs running Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center OS now dominate the market, accounting for 60 percent of desktops sold in U.S. retail.”

Meanwhile in instant messaging, comScore networks released a study claiming that Microsoft’s MSN Messenger is the number 1 client worldwide:

The MSN Messenger application has the strongest penetration worldwide, with 61 percent of worldwide IM users utilizing the application in February. MSN Messenger is also dominant in Latin America, reaching more than 90 percent of IM users, and in Europe and Asia Pacific, reaching more than 70 percent of IM users in each region. North America is the most competitive IM market, with MSN Messenger, AOL/Aim and Yahoo! Messenger each garnering between 27 percent and 37 percent of IM users in February.

Also interesting were the differences in IM use by geography with Latin America being the IM leader.

Finally, the bad news for Microsoft was Internet search. Mary Crane at Forbes:

According to the latest data released by comScore, a global market research provider, Google continues to dominate the online search market worldwide.

Google’s market share increased to 60.3% in February, from 60% the month before, and gained most of its market share from Yahoo! and Microsoft MSN, reports Bear Stearns analyst Robert S. Peck in a Monday research note.

Not a big change, but no one seems to be able to dent Google’s share so far.

Filed under AOL, Coopetition, Financial, General Business, Google, MSN, MSN Messenger, MSN Search, Microsoft, OS - Client, Skype, Windows XP, XP Media Center, Yahoo

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3 Responses to “Microsoft market stats: PCs and IM good, search bad”

  1. 21talks Says:

    Most Popular IM: The winner is…

    Before disclosing the ranking, some interesting numbers that comScore provides lately. Around 82 million people, or 49% online European population used IM applications regularly. It’s like the total population of Germany gets hooked over the Inte…

  2. Will MSN Messenger by another name smell sweeter? -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Globally, MSN Messenger is the most popular instant messaging client, with 204.6 million users in April, according to comScore Media Metrix. Yahoo is No. 2 with 76 million users, while Time Warner Inc.’s AIM and AOL messaging products together had about 51.3 million users, the research firm said. That’s what we’re used to seeing, but there are various ways of counting for these market stats so you may see different rankings like eBay’s Skype as number 1 followed by AIM and then Yahoo. [...]

  3. Amazon leaks US Vista prices and availability -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] My take is that only diehard geeks are going to be doing upgrades from XP or even buying retail copies of Vista. Everyone else will get it with their next PC and may end up getting the premium versions with the Anytime Upgrade so what really matters in the consumer space are the OEM prices and the Anytime Upgrade prices. For large businesses of course, the volume purchase prices are what are important. If we wildly assume that all these unknown Vista prices will bear the same relationship to XP prices as the retail prices do, then it doesn’t look like much of a change except that the days of cheap Media Center systems seem to be over since they have been replaced by the pricey Vista Ultimate. [...]

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