Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington that develops, manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of products and services related to computing. The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975. Microsoft is the world’s largest software maker measured by revenues.
It is also one of the world’s most valuable companies. Microsoft was established to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800.
It rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems. The company’s 1986 initial public offering, and subsequent rise in its share price, created an estimated three billionaires and 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has increasingly diversified from the operating system market and has made a number of corporate acquisitions. In May 2011, Microsoft acquired Skype Technologies for $8. 5 billion in its largest acquisition to date. «About Microsoft inc. As of 2012, Microsoft is market dominant in both the PC operating system and office suite markets (the latter with Microsoft Office). The company also produces a wide range of other software for desktops and servers, and is active in areas including internet search (with Bing), the video game industry (with the Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles), the digital services market (through MSN), and mobile phones (via the Windows Phone OS). In June 2012, Microsoft announced that it would be entering the PC vendor market for the first time, with the launch of the Microsoft Surface tablet computer.
In the 1990s, critics began to contend that Microsoft used monopolistic business practices and anti-competitive strategies including refusal to deal and tying, put unreasonable restrictions in the use of its software, and used misrepresentative marketing tactics; both the U. S. Department of Justice and European Commission found the company in violation of antitrust laws. Microsoft just lost a world-record to Apple. Microsoft was valued to $619 billion during the last tech bubble in 2000, and the current value of Apple is $623 billion – so Apple currently is the most valuable publicly traded company of all time (If you ignore inflation.
IBM was worth $1. 3 trillion in 1967 if you adjust for inflation). Microsoft seems to lose more and more of their market shares to competitors. Google’s web-browser Chrome is the largest web-browser – Microsoft Explorer has the second place. Is Microsoft the next large tech company to fall into the graveyard of the old once mighty forgotten companies? To find out, one way is to make a SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis StrengthsWeaknesses •Strong brand •Increasing research and development investments •High financial strength•Lack of innovations •Bugs •No proud users OpportunitiesThreats Windows 8 •Xbox 720 •New logo•Piracy •Tablets competition •Open source model Strengths •Microsoft is the number 1 in the following areas: oXbox 360 – 47 percent of the market before Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii oOffice – 94 percent of the market «Microsoft. com» oWindows is the largest operating system in the world – 92 percent of the market before Apple with 6 percent «Microsoft. com» •Microsoft may not always be number 1, but they are number 2: oExplorer is the second largest web-browser – behind Google Chrome oBing is the second largest search engine – behind Google Sometimes you don’t have a choice. If you are buying a PC today, you are going to buy it with Microsoft Windows pre-installed. If you are working at a large company, you are going to use Microsoft Office •Microsoft is a company with a high financial strength: oDistributes a dividend 4 times each year – currently $0. 23 per share oAre buying back shares – the 2012 outstanding shares have decreased by 16. 6 percent since 2006 oRevenues in 2012 have increased to $73,723 million from $44,282 million in 2006 oEarnings per share in 2012 have increased to $2. 72 from $1. in 2006 «Can the once mighty Microsoft rise again? » Weaknesses •Lack of innovation. Microsoft and Facebook both spent about $1 billion. Facebook bought Instagram, and Microsoft bought patents «Microsoft. com» •Lack of innovative company culture. The employees are competing with each other – not with other companies – thanks to the management system inside Microsoft that says that everyone in a group can’t be top performers. Each unit is forced to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, good performers, average, and poor – no matter how good they are.
One of the employees said: “It was always much less about how I could become a better engineer and much more about my need to improve my visibility among other managers. ” «Can the once mighty Microsoft rise again? » •Bugs – Microsoft has a reputation for making software with bugs. Everyone can remember when Bill Gates was going to make a presentation and the famous blue screen appeared. Go and check it out here if you have missed it: YouTube. Have you ever seen a similar presentation by Apple?
The problem with creating a software such as Windows is that Windows needs to work with many different computers from different manufacturers. It is easier for Apple to create software without bugs since they are manufacturing their own computers •No dedicated users. Apple users loves to show that they are using Apple devices, but who’s proud of using a device from Microsoft? Opportunities •Next generation products such as Windows 8 and Xbox 720 •Microsoft has just changed its corporate logo – and the logo now includes a symbol Threats Microsoft is a PC company while more and more people are shifting to mobile and tablets. They are trying their best with Surface – their own tablet. It’s hard to compete with Apple today since you also have to compete with iTunes Store with millions of apps. If you create a better iPhone competitor, people are still going to use the iPhone because of all the apps available •Open source models: oLibre Office is free and as good as Microsoft Office if you are only using the basic functions oOuya – the open source Android video game console may be a low-cost competitor to the Xbox