Retail sales of business software continued its lacklustre performance during March, according to latest figures.
According to channel research company Inform, sales are now 43 per cent below that of this time last year. The drop during March was less than 1 per cent on February figures, but the market has been hampered by ongoing negative growth and low shipments in the second half of 2000.
Creativity and development software applications have borne most of the downturn, sales dropping on last year by 57 and 50 per cent respectively. Publishers IMSI and Corel were most effected following very strong sales at the beginning of last year with clipart titles. But sales in this software have fallen a total 76 per cent, according to Inform.
"While there is no doubt that the clipart arena was hit hardest, desktop publishing, imaging and drawing have also suffered over the last year," the analyst revealed in its market report, Infocus.
Mattel Interactive remains number one in creativity software sales despite the strong performance of Microsoft's Publisher 2000 and Greetings 2000.
The top business software products were associated with Web development, particularly Microsoft's FrontPage 2000 and Macromedia's Dreamweaver. Shipments in finance, productivity and operating system software all fell, although anti-virus sales were up 17 per cent on the back of the Anna Kournikova virus.