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Commentary

The Ups and Downs of Software Spending: Report

Business software sales -- including Microsoft's Office programs for Windows and Apple's MacIntosh computer -- for January rose 34 percent year-over-year, according to market research firm NPD.That said, total software sales for the month were down 12 percent year-over-year -- a sign that consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending in the face of a weakening economy, said NPD analyst Chris Swenson, who was surprised that business software managed to keep afloat.

Not so lucky: sales of personal productivity programs fell 26 percent, antivirus programs and backup software were down 8.4 percent, and computer games dropped a whopping 52 percent, according to NPD.Reuters