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Corporate Strategy Case Study

Case Title:

Microsoft’s Biggest Threat: Microsoft’s Success

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: Dakshi Mohanty, T. Phani Madhav

Industry: Internet and e-commerce


Case Code: COS0020

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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By the end of the 1990s, Microsoft seemed to be experiencing a crisis. As a major part of its revenues came from Windows and Office, Microsoft was busy making incremental improvements and persuading customers to buy upgrades. As a result, it missed several opportunities of growth in other areas. On top of it all, came the security threats, antitrust lawsuits and Linux open source software raising questions about the growth prospects of the company.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the major success factors of Microsoft in the PC software industry
  • To discuss the threats and opportunities for the company in the future
  • To discuss how the company's success and its strong foothold in the operating system and office management software, with its flagship Windows and Office suite, was considered to be hindering its growth
  • To discuss the growth strategies of the company after Steve Ballmer took over as CE

Keywords : Microsoft's monopoly; Steve Ballmer; Entry barrier; Windows; Office Suite; Patents; The Internet tidal wave; Microsoft's cash cows; Cost economies; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; Linux threat; Theory of increasing returns; Upgrades to Windows; Microsoft innovations; Microsoft matures; Saturation in PC market

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