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.