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Microsoft 33 years on

Alex Christie

4 December 2008

From a little software company to the industry giant in the space of 33 years.  That is the success story called Microsoft. We look at the key points that made them so effective, but also the things that did not always go according to plan.

Here are some of the key success points:

  • Bill Gates, Microsoft founder identified very early on that a common software was needed  and had to be shared across all computer brands and broke down the walls of brand exclusivity.  By the mid 1980’s MS –dos became the operating system on almost all manufacturer brands of computers.
  • They outsourced most of the sales function to partner resellers enabling them to focus on manufacture and design side of things. Today it is estimated that 90% of all sales is delivered by resellers.
  • Microsoft’s  products was cost effective in relation to its competitors enabling both the man in the street and big corporate agencies to purchase their products.
  • The current CEO, Steve Ballmer still promotes this strategy passionately and that is making all products user friendly to developers courting them with products like Visual Studio and Azure.
  • And lastly, from the offset they had taken a long term view with new products in an unfamiliar market. A good example of this would be the X. Box. Most pundits expected them to fail against established gaming brands but they stood firm in their marketing plan and made an over whelming success.

As with anything, there has been some failure down the years; like the now defunct LAN manager and WebTV. Even with these they exercised maximum patience before determining that it was a worthless venture.

Microsoft continues to explore and research potential new sources of revenue spending billions in the process. It seems a small price to pay for 33 years of success.



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