In Europe itself, software makers will post, on average, slight or no growth in 2012, IDC said.
According to the market research firm, the fastest growing software markets in 2011 were enterprise social software, virtual machine software, and team collaborative applications. The fastest growing developer software segment was the relational database management systems (RDBMS) market. Asia/Pacific and Japan showed strong regional growth and now represent 16.5 percent of all software sales globally. America still dominates with a 53 percent share and was supported by strong gains in Latin America last year.
"2011 delivered nearly double-digit growth in the worldwide software market, the highest annual growth rate in the years since the 2008 financial crisis," said Patrick Melgarejo, an analyst with IDC. "However, IDC expects the overall software market to return to more conservative growth in the years to come. The major driver behind this decelerating growth is the forecast for close to flat performance in EMEA, due to the economic difficulties in that region."
Among software companies, Microsoft remained the largest software vendor worldwide, raking in 17.8 percent of all sales, which was more than twice the share of IBM, which came in second. Oracle and SAP were placed third and fourth. 35 of 1,164 monitored software companies reported revenues of more than $1 billion. Those 35 companies accounted for 62 percent of the software market, while 1,129 vendors and smaller "others" shared the remaining 38 percent. However, only three billion dollar companies - VMware, Salesforce.com, and Cadence Design Systems - were able to achieve more than 20 percent revenue growth in 2011, IDC said.