Total Software Sales Up in 1998 Despite Lower Prices

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The total sales of computer software through retail and mail-order channels in 1998 reached $5.2 billion, up 13 percent over 1997 totals, despite a decline in the average price per title of 8.9 percent, to $38.68, according to a report released last week.

Reston, VA-based PC Data, which issued the report, said the price drop was the largest year-over-year decline it has ever recorded.

The top-selling software publisher in 1998 was Microsoft, whose Windows 98 Upgrade was the No. 1 software title. Microsoft garnered 23 percent of the total software market in terms of dollar volume, according to PC Data, followed by reference and education publisher The Learning Co., which captured 11 percent of the market.

The largest growth occurred in the reference, finance and education software categories, which increased 21.5 percent, 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively, compared with results from 1997.

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