Consumer Software Market

Software is very diverse. There is almost as many software types as human needs. Or is it? What are the biggest markets in software, what are the software, that most people use. If we skip the specialized markets (like dentist software for dentists, development software for developers, etc), what is left for real mass market. I’m looking from prospective of a software vendors on the markets where is possible to do business

Theory first

First, let try to guess by analyzing human needs. I’ve got this list from this great post on software:

What do users need for software:

Software type User need Software market
E-mail for writing to other people. Monopoly – Microsoft Office or free services
Instant messaging for talking to other people. Free, market is dead
Web browser for reading what people have written Free, market is dead
Word processing for writing something you’re going to print out and show to other people Monopoly – Microsoft Office
Graphics for creating artwork. To show to other people. Monopoly – Microsoft, Adobe
Presentation for communicating your brilliant plan. To other people. Monopoly – Microsoft
Games especially games that you can play online. With other people. Mature Market
Social networking websites Enough said Free, market is dead
Security software Too feel protected  (this one is from me) Mature Market

Red – means almost monopoly on the market. It’s very hard to compete with Microsoft Office. Possible, of course, by using guerilla tactics, for example providing software for free, like Open Office

Gray – means most of the services are for free. You just can’t enter this market with paid service, you have to invent some new business models to earn money there

Green – more-less normal market with competition, leaders, niche players, etc

Download Statistics

Ok, the theoretical picture looks a bit grim, but lets see if our thoughts are right. Let’s look first at Download.com Here you can find information about downloadable software, so no Microsoft, Adobe or other big vendors. Did we miss any big categories in the software, which could be downloaded?

software_cloud

We see Office, Security Software and free tools.

Lets look at TOP 20 of the most popular software :

  1. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition – Security
  2. Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition – Security
  3. Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus – Security
  4. LimeWire – Free Tools
  5. Avast Home Edition – Security
  6. Orbit Downloader- Free Tools
  7. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware – Security
  8. FrostWire- Free Tools
  9. WinRAR- Shareware Tools
  10. Advanced SystemCare Free – Security
  11. Camfrog Video Chat – Shareware Tools
  12. Spybot – Search & Destroy – Security
  13. Download Accelerator Plus- Shareware Tools
  14. VersionTracker Pro- Free Tools
  15. YouTube Downloader- Free Tools
  16. Smart Defrag- Free Tools
  17. IrfanView- Free Tools
  18. GOM Media Player- Free Tools
  19. BitComet- Free Tools
  20. FLV Player- Free Tools

The picture is the same, the most downladed tools are  – Security (mature market) or some free system utils

Wakoopa Statistics

Wakoopa is a great tool to measure the software usage on your computers. You need to install some applicaiton, which is going to send infromation about which application have you opened and for how long to the central server. I understand, it looks like Big Brother, they have some information on privacy.

Lets see the statistics from Wakoopa.

All time most used software: (this list doesn’t show security software, because it works in background)

  1. Firefox
  2. Windows Internet Explorer
  3. Windows Explorer
  4. Opera
  5. Windows Live Messenger
  6. Google Chrome
  7. Microsoft Office Word
  8. Microsoft Office Outlook
  9. World of Warcraft
  10. Microsoft Office Excel

We have the same picture here, free tools, microsoft, games.

Conclusion

If you’re a new vendor or new software e-shop, there is 3 major possibility for you:

  • to go to security market (while it’s still not eaten by Microsoft)
  • to go to Games market (while people still play games in PC, and not on game devices)
  • to become garbage collector, trying to make cheaper copies of Microsoft or Adobe software
  • to go to shareware market and sell wide varaety of small tools, which are not yet available for free
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