Solid growth in the U.S. retail channel helped drive sales of Office 2007 and Office for Mac, analysts say.
Microsoft's strong second-quarter financial results surprised not only
analysts, but also the company's own executives by coming in $300
million above the high end of their forecasts.
Microsoft also reported Jan. 24 a 30 percent rise in revenue, to a record $16.37 billion,
in its fiscal quarter that ended in December, on the back of what
company officials said were "robust holiday sales and enterprise
That success was in no small part due to hefty ongoing sales of Office
2007 as well as strong sales of Office for Mac, thanks to retail
promotions, Chris Swenson, an analyst with the NPD Group, told eWEEK.
"Office 2007 sales literally doubled the sales volume that we saw for
Office 2003 during the same point in time-the first 11 months on the
market. If I look at all the dollars spent on software in the
U.S. retail channel in 2007, Microsoft Office captured just shy of 17 percent of that," he said.
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There was also solid growth in the
U.S.retail channel in the quarter, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. Black Friday
week sales, in terms of dollar volume, increased 65.8 percent compared
with the same period in 2006, while Office for Mac sales surged 215.8
percent due to a special $100 rebate that Microsoft ran on Black Friday
and a longer-running promotion where customers of Office 2004 for Mac
could get the new Office 2008 product when it was released in January
for a few more dollars, Swenson said.
"Clearly, those two promotions helped drive sales of Mac Office during
the holidays, resulting in Office sales surging 50 percent year over
year in terms of dollar volume. But Windows also performed strongly,
with dollar volume up 40 percent year on year," he said.
With regard to Windows Vista, sales of which have reached the 100 million shipped mark,
Swenson said there was a sharp increase in the percentage of PCs that
now ship with the new operating system, a number he expects to "really
skyrocket when SP1 [service pack 1] is released in February."
While more than 80 percent of the 100 million figure comes from the OEM
channel as installations on new computers, a good chunk is for the
full-packaged product. Retail data also showed that more than 95
percent of all PCs sold at retail have
"We're seeing a dramatic rise in the percentage of PCs going out the door with
Vista loaded," he said.