Microsoft is a multinational corporation that deals in licensing, development and support of software for a variety of computing devices. The company also develops gaming devices and has a strong performance in its global operations. Among the company’s most notable products include Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, Xbox and the Surface Tablet. With a mission of enabling people and businesses worldwide to achieve their potential (Microsoft, 2014), the company has had success in its operations reporting $24.52 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2014 ending in January. This was an improvement from the $18.53 billion realized in the first quarter.
Microsoft’s strengths are in its brand loyalty and a strong brand standing. Most of the PCs run the company’s software, which include Windows and Office. The Microsoft brand is additionally reputed highly, ranking among the top most valuable brands in the world with a worth of over $57 billion. Moreover, Microsoft’s software is easy to use and is of great quality (Microsoft, 2014). The company has had a strong financial performance continually growing its revenues, as well as having a strong distribution channel with collaborations with major computer manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Toshiba.
Of Microsoft’s weakness is the dependence on PC manufacturers. Apart from Surface and Xbox, most of the revenues generated by Microsoft are software related. Any stoppage by PC manufacturers will therefore mean the death of the company. The company is also slow to innovate since it was a late entrant into the mobile OS, which has made its penetration quite low. Additionally, the company has been under criticism over the security flaws on its OS, with regular virus attacks and threats (Markoff, 2006).
Opportunities flourish for Microsoft in the mobile device industry. There is currently a faster adoption of smartphones and tablets, which the company can maximize on by introducing their own branded smartphones and tablets. The cloud computing service is also catching up, which Microsoft can use to grow its sales. Additionally, the company could look into mobile advertising and acquisitions to bring in new technology, skills and competencies.
Current threats to Microsoft include intense competition from other software manufacturers such as Apple and Google, which are fast to innovate. Additionally, many open source software are in the market offering similar or even better options to Microsoft’s alternative.
Microsoft has objectives that cover the individual customer experience as well as the company’s growth goals. For service delivery, the company’s objective is the delivery of novel end-to-end experiences that allow the connection of users to information, communications, entertainment, and people in creative ways across different spheres of life and across multiple devices, whether stationary or mobile (Microsoft, 2014). The company also aims at making technology that is simpler and more accessible to use in line with the new changes in people’s interaction with technology, and therefore create new market opportunities and novel computing experiences.
Additionally, the company aims at growth of its revenue in the PC Division, with the emerging trends in the market as the catalyst for this growth. Specifically, the company looks into growing its annuity in the Server and Business Tools Division, as well as launching new devices and software in its PC and Entertainment Divisions (Microsoft, 2014).
Known as Microsoft Accessibility, the company uses strategic executions for the achievement of its objectives. The company provides support and information sharing on its products through guides, demonstrations and tutorials. Additionally, it has personalized its product information to be available in 58 regions and in 41 languages (Microsoft, 2014).
The company is also on the frontline in innovation by creating products that are accessible to different niches and markets. These include products that make it possible for individuals with low vision limited agility and other disability to use the PC and other products by the company (Microsoft, 2014). Thus, the company has a wide range of products that include Windows 7 and 8, Office 2010, 2013 and 365, all of which provide variety for choice and prices as well as for individual preferences.
Risk Contingency Plan
Being a technology, and largely software company, Microsoft’s contingency plan will largely be IT related. The company therefore uses its software-based tools for risk management and creation of the contingency plan. The first step in the company’s risk management is the isolation of the threat as well as anticipation of the threats, given the advancement in technology (Microsoft, 2014). After this, the company has set up a virtual security perimeter that uses firewalls and other technologies to ensure safety of its devices.
While such as contingency plan is important, it is possible that it is still vulnerable to manipulation and attack by hackers. The plan works to deter attacks, however it is not completely fail proof as vulnerabilities still exist in the software and within the networks that the company uses.
Microsoft’s strategy in diversity and innovation is a good way of driving its business. However, the company plays catch-up in its diversity and innovative approaches. Having the larger of the PC market share, the company was in a position to start the revolution into the mobile OS, however, it waited for Apple to release both the iPhone and iPad for it to come in with Windows Phone and its Surface tablet.
Even in its diversification into the gaming industry, Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s Ply Station are still ahead of it. Investment in research and development, and release of novel products could salvage Microsoft’s bad luck with innovation. The company therefore needs to be more aggressive in its innovation and diversity, as well as product placement. While its relies on PC manufacturers for its licensing and software sales, these only make it vulnerable given that the PC market is fast shrinking, while the market looks more productive.
Markoff, J. (2006, December 25). Flaws are Detected in Microsoft’s Vista. The New York Times.
Microsoft (2014). Microsoft Accessibility. Microsoft.