Microsoft, a new horizon that has given the world a revolutionary WINDOW to the most advanced technology Computer. Microsoft is a Multinational technology corporation, formed in the summer of 1975 between two graduate students William Henry (Bill) Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque - US. The current best selling products are MS Windows and MS Office suite, over the past 28 years has positioned itself as the crucial base of almost all computers rolled into use across the world.
The current Operating System Leader started with Xenix, which was the Microsoft version of UNIX. But DOS (Disk Operating System) was the first successful operating System and gave the company a place in the market, which lead to the Microsoft towards IBM in future. On August 12, 1981 contract from IBM changed the fate of Microsoft, as IBM (International Business Machine) was the leading computer company at that time, which gave Microsoft awareness of the market.
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As the key to the success for the Microsoft was the next one, an operating system with GUI (Graphical User Interface) support, changed the concept of computing from the scratch named Microsoft Windows. Which was a revolution from dark black screen to colourful desktop. The great success story of Microsoft Starts here with Microsoft Windows & Microsoft Office (a bundle of office use software, initially launched in 1989).
(Microsoft' Logo and Slogan)
Not only operating system & Office package Microsoft also provide a wide range of software which are managed in three divisions.
As it can be observed that Microsoft has expanded itself into different software and devices markets, so accordingly they are to face different competitors in different segments. So precisely let's have a look to the main brands of Microsoft and the competitors so that we may have SWOT analysis of Microsoft.
In the market of Operating System, Microsoft captures 92.97% of the market by its wide range of WINDOWS (Windows XP 63.47%, Windows Vista 21.13% , Windows-7 8.37%). Next to Windows is Mac OS (which was replaced by Windows in starting zone, holding almost 4%) and the only emerging competitor is Linux.
Like Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office is also the market leader and the only solution in its own category, until now no potential competitor is present in the market but some are predicted to be there in near future as Open Office (a free alternative to Microsoft Office) and IBM recently launched its LOTUS SYMPHONY, a free desktop software pack.
Windows Live Hotmail (previously MSN Hotmail) is the Microsoft Webmail Server sharing the market leader seat with Yahoo Mail and third to come is Gmail.
Bing was introduced by Microsoft in 2009, and holding the third place in Search Engine Market after Yahoo and the Market Leader Google.
Xbox 360 (the latest release) is Microsoft's game console competes with Sony's Play Station 3 (PS3) and the market leader Nintendo's Wii.
SWOT ANALYSIS OF MICROSOFT
Microsoft's main products, which have given the Microsoft the top place are Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. Microsoft Windows initially replaced Mac Operating System because of Graphics and ease of use.
Basically the main strength of Microsoft is the same its unique Graphical User Interface (GUI) not only gave the computer use a new look but enables a lot of user to operate computer easily and the number of users had greatly increased.
And the Great Bill Gates (the co-founder of Microsoft and richest person of the world) has the vision for his company "to get a workstation running our software onto every desk and eventually in every home" has came true today.
But as the company achieved great successes, now it has added a lot in its strength. Microsoft is producing a great deal of software and provides a wide variety so never leave a place in the market to enter any other company. It is expanding itself into every direction of computing (from TV Station to Games Console) to capture more business and expand its market.
The main weakness (but not the main one, as the organization never leaves any stone unturned to keep the top place to itself), it is trying to expand its business in a way which is not acceptable for many other organization and countries. The way selected by Microsoft is, it is using its previous success to get into the new markets. Microsoft Windows is being all over the world, and Microsoft is restricting other software to easily work under Windows and enables (by compatibility) its software to work better and try to use the same successful concept of other software in its software.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
But due to same Microsoft had to face legal prosecution in Europe. So now Microsoft had to openly compete in the market with other software.
On the other hand as compare to other brands available in the market Microsoft is enjoying its monopolistic approach and charging high rates for its products. Some other brands like Linux is available free as compare to its leading competitor Microsoft Windows. This approach is also influencing some of the users (although till to-date the ratio is minor) are switching from Windows to Linux. But it may be a hazardous weakness for the Windows in future.
Microsoft started with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office and earned great successes in Operating System and Office package markets but did not stopped there and expanded its business to avail more opportunities available in the market.
One of the best examples is Microsoft's games console ‘Xbox 360', which was launched in November, 2005 to enter a large market of games.
Because of rapid improvements in its software, beautiful graphical interface, wide range of utilities and variety of software Microsoft has made itself unbeatable and not only sustained well in the existing market but entered and captured other markets as well. Microsoft was the name of the Operating System and Office package specialist company extended its image in the field of computing by providing developers tools (Microsoft Visual Studio), webmail server (Hotmail), Search Engine (Bing) and gaming console (Xbox 360) (these are some of the examples of the extended opportunities of Microsoft).
So Microsoft on one hand have to face the emerging threats for its leading brands like Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office in the form of ‘Linux' and ‘Openoffice' the free software and on the other hand the in the new markets, Microsoft has to fight hard to emerge and get its share from the existing companies and brands like ‘Bing' and ‘Xbox 360' are to compete with the existing leaders ‘Google‘ & ‘Nintendo WII‘ respectively.