Microsoft Strategic Management Techniques

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Microsoft has always been known as a software company, and not well known for its hardware. In fact, the only hardware that Microsoft sells to the retail market is branded peripherals. In its heyday, Microsoft was a market leader, bring an operating system to the masses, and leading in internet search. In recent years, however, most of the moves that Microsoft has made have not been in a market leader position, but have been in response to competitors threatening Microsoft’s positions.

For instance, Microsoft had no interest in supplying the market with web-based versions of its office software until Google had tremendous success with Google Docs. Microsoft, until then content with sales of the traditional installed versions of its office suite, was forced to counter Google Docs and create a Software as a Service (SaaS) compliment to its current offering. To differentiate itself from Google, Microsoft seems to have spent more time on formatting, and syncing with the desktop version, while Google has concentrated on ease of use and promoting collaboration.

Similarly, Microsoft has lost its edge with both search results and web-based e-mail to Google search and Gmail. Again, Microsoft was too slow to respond, and while Live Mail and Bing are now respectable products, upgrades were so long in coming that Microsoft will have to heavily invest both time and money to win back a skeptical audience. In fact, Microsoft has recently started a points program that rewards users with points redeemable for prizes if they use Bing search with an installed toolbar.

Finally, Microsoft waited too long to update its web browser to be competitive with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Once again, while the final product is very well do...

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