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Windows takes over Europe

A new trade association survey shows that Windows applications now account for more than 90 percent of software sales in Western Europe.

Microsoft's Windows operating system hasn't quite taken over the world, but it pretty much has taken over Western Europe.

As of the end of 1995, Windows applications dominated 92 percent of the PC applications market in the region, according to a report released today by the Software Publishers Association. That compares with an estimated 93 percent in Eastern Europe, 89 percent in the Asia/Pacific region, and 75 percent in Canada and the United States, according to the association.

The overseas market is critical to all the large software vendors; international sales account for nearly 60 percent of Microsoft's revenue for example. Sales of PC applications in Western Europe totaled $1.99 billion in 1995, a 19 percent increase over 1994.

The survey spelled more bad news for the struggling Apple Computer, which appears to be losing ground even faster in Europe than in North America.

Applications for the Macintosh OS accounted for only 3.8 percent of sales in Western Europe in 1995, just ahead of DOS applications, with 3.5 percent. Macintosh applications account for 14 percent of the North American PC software market, while DOS accounts for 9.5 percent, according to the SPA. The survey said that revenues for Macintosh applications tumbled 35 percent in the fourth quarter alone compared to the same period the year before.

Windows applications exceeded the 90 percent mark for the first time in the fourth quarter of 1995 largely because of the release of the Windows 95 upgrade in most Western European countries in October, according to the report.

The estimates are based on confidential figures submitted by 38 primarily U.S.-based companies, including Microsoft, Adobe, Borland, Lotus, and Claris.