Bill Gates has nurtured Microsoft from obscurity to a giant corporation. The last few years haven’t been especially good ones for Microsoft, despite the fact that it made billion dollar from consumers since it released its last successful operating system Windows XP.
Although, the anti trust lawsuit by US Govt in the year 2001 did not dent company’s reputation much. But, the sequence of events after this incident smear the image of Microsoft significantly. I would like to highlight those areas.
- Vista got very cold reception from PC community. There are several reasons behind that. Those include lackluster UI, poor network transfer speed, low frame rate in Games and driver issues. It is kind of odd for Microsoft to release a major software that needed substantial bug fixes before they were fit for enterprise deployment. Upgrading to Vista means that businesses also had to update hardware, which involves extra cost.
- Microsoft dropped the offer to buy internet giant Yahoo because they could not reach to an agreement in the end. As per Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive of Microsoft , Microsoft had raised its original offer from $44.6bn to $47.5bn - $33 per share. But yahoo insisted $53bn, or $37 a share.
The popular convention is that Microsoft would destroy the Yahoo brand and operations in case of acquisition that the company built up in more than a decade into one most respected portals on the Internet.
- European Union charged a lawsuit against Microsoft for abuse of its dominant position in the market. EU formally notified Microsoft in mid-January, objecting to the bundling of the Internet Explorer browser with the Windows operating system. The Commission initiated the lawsuit due to a complaint filed by rival browser maker Opera. EU has given Microsoft two months to respond to the allegations.
- Additionally, Microsoft’s browser market declined continuously in the recent years due to the dominance of Firefox. In January, IE controlled 67.55 percent of global browser market share, down by 7 percentage points in a year, according to Web metrics company Net Applications. Meanwhile, Firefox gained more than 3 percentage points to 21.53 percent.
- The company tried to diversify after US Govt. anti trust lawsuit. They concentrated on Game console Xbox, Windows CE for handheld devices, music players with Zune, pen computing with the Tablet PC, MSN and Hotmail for dominance on Internet. Microsft failed to gain much inroads in all of these areas except Xbox.
- Microsoft faces stiff competition from companies like Google and IBM. Google Docs & Spreadsheets, as the service is now called, offers much of the basic functionality of Microsoft ’s Word and Excel office applications. The additional advantage is that they’re free and online.
IBM challenged Microsoft’s dominance with the release of Lotus Symphony. The suite contains word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software that is derived from the SUN’s StarOffice system.
Similarly, Apple’s iWork 08 throws strong competition to Microsoft Office for Mac users. Also, Yahoo is not far behind in this area after releasing Zimbra Office Suite, a browser-based package much like Google Docs.
Microsoft’s virtual monopoly on operating system is also under challenge from Open source Operating System Linux. The projection is that Linux’s share could grow to 7-10% by the end of the decade. The security loophole of Windows made many enterprises to switch for Linux because it is much stable and safe.