MARKETING PROJECT REPORT

Study on 4 C¶s of MICROSOFT

Submitted By: Kumar Shaurya (09BSHYD0399) Abanikanta Sahoo(09BSHYD0011) Srikanth KG(09BSHYD0587) Vivek Chauhan(09BSHYD0987) Akshar Samla(09BSHYD0 Ashwin PN(09BSHYD0 Samita Mishra(09BSHYD0 Neena Wilsons(09BSHYD0 Jatinder Singh(09BSHYD0
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We sincerely thank Prof. G.Radhakrishnan to provide us an opportunity to select the project of our interest and work on it to understand the concepts of marketing (4C¶s).

We would also like to acknowledge the help provided by the IBS Library to gather information during the analysis of our project.

We would also like to express our gratitude to the Microsoft Company¶s site www.microsoft.com which helped us to gather relevant information to understand the concepts using the various products of Microsoft.

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CONTENTS
1. Introduction««««««««««««««««««««««««..4 2. Methodology««««««««««««««««««««««««5 3. Window and Office««««««««««««««««««««.....6 3.1 Company««««««««««««««««««««««««7 3.2 Channel««««««««««««««««««««««««..8 3.3 Customer««««««««««««««««««««««««10 3.4 Competitor«««««««««««««««««««««««.13 4. Windows Server««««««««««««««««««««««..16 4.1 Company««««««««««««««««««««««««17 4.2 Channel««««««««««««««««««««««««..19 4.3 Customer««««««««««««««««««««««««20 4.4 Competitor«««««««««««««««««««««««.22 5. Xbox Gaming Console««««««««««««««««««««.24 5.1 Company««««««««««««««««««««««««25 5.2 Channel««««««««««««««««««««««««..27 5.3 Customer««««««««««««««««««««««««28 5.4 Competitor«««««««««««««««««««««««..30 6. Conclusion«««««««««««««««««««««««««31

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INTRODUCTION
Microsoft Corporation is a multinational computer technology corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices. Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, its most profitable products are the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. It¶s founder(s) are Bill Gates, Paul Allen. The key personalities of the company are Steve Ballmer (CEO), Ray Ozzie (CSA), Craig Mundie (CRSO), Don Mattrick (Senior VP of Entertainment and Devices) . They arte in the following fields: y y y y y y y y y y y y Industry Computer software Consumer electronics Video game consoles Products Microsoft Windows Microsoft Office Microsoft Servers Windows Developer Tools Microsoft Expression Business Software Games & Xbox 360 Windows Live Windows Mobile Current Company Statistics Revenue US$ 60.420 billion (2008) US$ 22.492 billion (2008) US$ 17.681 billion (2008) US$ 72.793 billion (2008) US$ 36.286 billion (2008)

Operating income Net income Total assets Total equity

Employees 93,000 in over 100 countries (2009) Source: Website microsoft.com

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METHODOLOGY
1. To analyze the 4 C¶s namely Company, Channels, Customers and Competitors of Microsoft. 2. We have selected three product categories of Microsoft. 3. y y y Out of these product categories each subgroup have selected one product namely Popular Products- Windows and Office Servers ± SQL Server Entertainment ± Xbox gaming

4. Based on our understanding we have put the analysis in this report.

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1.Windows and Office
About the Product:
Microsoft Windows is a series of software operating systems with graphical user interfaces produced by Microsoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Microsoft Windows is clear market leader in the market for Operating Systems with a market share of over 90%.

Its best selling products are:

-

Operating System all versions included: Windows 2000, XP, Vista,etc.

- Microsoft Suite Office;

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The Company:
Microsoft is known by its flagship product, the Windows operating system. Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the Windows line of operating systems. Its products have all achieved near-ubiquity in the desktop computer market. One commentator notes that Microsoft's original mission was "a computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software." Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows in November 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). It has produced many versions, including Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows Vista. Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market, overtaking Mac OS*, which had been introduced previously. Since the 1980s, Microsoft has been the focus of much controversy in the computer industry. The majority of criticism has been for its business tactics, often described with the motto "embrace, extend and extinguish". The company has been the target of criticism, including monopolistic business practices and anti-competitive strategies including refusal to deal and tying. In January 2009, Opera Software ASA filed a complaint to the European Commission stating that Microsoft's inclusion of Internet Explorer with Windows-based personal computers is a violation of European competition laws. As of July 2009, Windows had approximately 93% of the market share of the client operating systems for usage on the internet. The most recent client version of Windows is Windows Vista. Vista's successor, Windows 7 (currently at release to manufacturing), is scheduled to be released on October 22, 2009.

* The original form of what Apple would later name the "Mac OS" was the integral and unnamed system software first introduced in 1984 with the original Macintosh, usually referred to simply as the System software.

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The Channel:
The Operating System Microsoft Windows can be sold in two different ways: ±Individual Copy Distribution ± Bundled with the purchase of the hardware; If the first one seems obvious the second one is a bit unexpected and actually illegal according to the law. Individual copy distribution : ± It is sold at any store which is distributing the Operating System (specialized stores, supermarket...). Contrary to Apple with the Apple stores Microsoft does not have his own physical outlet ± Sold Online. For information Microsoft online personal stores just opened, it seems that it is the way Microsoft prefer instead of providing physical stores ± Donated, this is the case for Microsoft in Africa. Weakness :- As already said selling individually this product has a very low demand because the operating system is always sold with the computer and will maybe cover the whole life of the hardware. The problem is that Microsoft has to provide this solution anyway to its customers. A small market but divided a bit everywhere means a lot of money to allocate to a marketing campaign and of course a strong repercussion on the final price of the product. If price is high then (and moreover in the software industry) people will look for substitute products which means in some cases: Piracy. Strength:- Microsoft believes that pirated copies of Microsoft Windows help them in a way because it is actually increasing the number of users who might turn payable customers in future. Moreover it is actually driving the other competitors out of business. Bundled with the purchase of the hardware : The distribution channel used the most by Microsoft in order to sell the Operating System is through hardware (desktop or laptop computers as well as mobile devices such as cell phones). You have of course here then several ways of distributing the final product but it depends on the partnerships you made with the hardware manufacturer.

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Vendor Lock-in: In vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in, or customer lock-in, makes a customer dependent on a vendor for products and services, unable to use another vendor without substantial switching costs. Lock-in costs which create barriers to market entry may result in antitrust action against a monopoly. Microsoft Windows carries a high level of vendor lock-in, based on its extensive set of proprietary APIs, File Formats etc. Their degree of lock-in combined with their market share has made them subject to a number of antitrust lawsuits

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The Customer:
Mass Marketing: Microsoft engages in the mass production, mass distribution and mass promotion of one product for all buyers. It creates the largest potential market, which leads to the lowest costs, which in turn leads to lower prices and higher margins. Business implications of good customer connections: y y y y y Customer Connections Impact Results. ³Very Satisfied´ customers are 6 times more likely to repurchase than merely ³Satisfied´ customers Companies that retain 5% more customers typically increase profitability by 25% 90% of customers state that personalization would influence their propensity to repurchase Acquiring new customers is 4 to 10 times more expensive than retaining existing customers

Microsoft Value ³Simplify how your people access customer information and work together to turn µmoments of truth¶ into µmoments of growth¶´. Microsoft believes that the customer satisfaction should move from Traditional Approach to Customer-Centric approach. Traditional approach to customer management:y Focus on the Customer relationship management (CRM) application. The results of the traditional approach are: ‡ ‡ ‡ Limited to enterprise boundaries. Inconsistencies and disconnected CRM structures. Limited re-use.

In the traditional approach, the full value of CRM is not realized. Customer Centric approach of Microsoft: y y y y Customer experience focus across extended company Easy access to customer data and intelligence Collaboration across boundaries Enhance the value of existing investments
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Customer Value Chain:

Microsoft has launched the website- http://www.microsoftcustomers.com for all kinds of users. It¶s a very organized comprehensive website for its customers. The website has several features. Some of them are: y Documents Licensing Product information Event decks y Lists Events Calendar for South Central Area (TX,OK,LA,AR)

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y

Microsoft Resources Free self-paced training courses Product Links and Resources Subscribe to Microsoft Customers via RSS Feeds Partner Links Product Links and Resources

y y

Discussions Sites Reach Program Information SharePoint TechFest

y

People and Groups.

Microsoft has launched another website to provide efficient support for its customers,http://Support.microsoft.com. It¶s a one stop solution for all the product related queries. The main feature of this website is Product solution centre. It has the following sub-features under ity y y y y Error messages Downloads and updates Installation and setup Security Using Windows XP

These websites are designed so as to address the Five stages of the Consumer Buying Process i.e., 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Problem recognition Information search (a commercial source) Evaluation of alternatives Purchase decision( tries to pacify all the 6 risk concerns of the customer) Post purchase behavior (enhances customer satisfaction through technical support)

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The Competitors:
Microsoft Windows faced intense competition in this category of their product although their strength was GUI which was very well accepted by the users at the time. Some of the competitors for Microsoft in this product category are: y Solaris is a UNIX-based operating system introduced by Sun Microsystems as the successor to SunOS. Solaris is certified against the Single UNIX Specification. Although it was historically developed as proprietary software, it is supported on systems manufactured by all major server vendors, and the majority of it¶s codebase is now open source software via the Open Solaris project. Linux computer operating systems based on the Linux kernel. It was originally written by Linus Torvalds and volunteers from around the world under free and open source collaboration. The underlying source code can be used, freely modified, and redistributed by anyone under the terms of the GNU GPL and other free licenses. Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) is the UNIX operating system derivative developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group of the University of California, Berkeley, from 1977 to 1995. Today, the term of "BSD" is often nonspecifically used to refer to any of these BSD descendants, e.g. FreeBSD, NetBSD or OpenBSD, which together form a branch of the family of Unix-like operating systems. Mac OS X is a line of computer operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc., and since 2002 has been included with all new Macintosh computer systems. It is a Unix-based operating system, Its sixth and most recent version, Mac OS X v10.5 is certified UNIX 03 while running on Intel processors.

y

y

y

Microsoft has developed Microsoft Office which is an office suite of interrelated desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Microsoft¶s competitors have left no stone unturned in capturing the market share in this categoty and give stiff competition to Microsoft. Major competition for Microsoft comes from: y OpenOffice more formally known as OpenOffice.org is an office application suite available for a number of different computer operating systems. OpenOffice.org was originally derived from StarOffice, an office suite developed by StarDivision and acquired by Sun Microsystems. The source code of the suite was released with the aim of reducing the dominant market share of Microsoft Office by providing a free and open alternative; later versions of StarOffice are based upon OpenOffice.org with additional proprietary components. KOffice is an office suite for the K Desktop Environment (KDE). It was developed by The KOffice Team under free software/open source licenses The current KOffice 2.0.0 series is designed for Unix, but also added the compatibility for Mac OS X and Windows.

y

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y

IBM Lotus Symphony is a suite of applications for creating, editing, and sharing text, spreadsheet, presentations and other documents, and is currently distributed as freeware.

Strategies for the Competitors: 1. Enter evolving mass markets early or stimulate new markets with ³good´ products that set industry standards 2. Incrementally improve new products and periodically make old products obsolete. 3. Push volume sales and exclusive contracts to ensure that company products become and remain industry standards. 4. Take advantage of being the standards provider with new products and product linkages. 5. Integrate, extend and simplify products to reach new mass markets.

Set industry standards: Microsoft¶s operating systems have been standard providers. Microsoft frequently makes incremental improvements and occasionally introduces major advances in its products. While doing little more than packaging many incremental innovations, these major changes make older Operating System versions obsolete. With a continual cycle of incremental and occasionally more radical innovations, competitors have little opportunity to challenge the market leader. With its extremely robust R&D wing, Microsoft makes it extraordinarily difficult for competitors to keep up. Unusual strategy: Dominant firms generally hesitate to introduce new products that steal sales from their existing product lines. Eg: It could sustain the dominance of MS-DOS with Windows 3.1 (with both GUI and new operating system functions, Windows 3.1 made sales of MS-DOS alone and DOS applications largely obsolete). Bundling: Continually integrating, linking, repackaging and often simplifying its Operating Systems and application software such as MS Office. The main objectives are to enter new markets with products that combine multiple functions that were once separate, and to make products more accessible to broader sets of users. This pattern of competition and innovation has enabled Microsoft to extend its reach to the enormous mass markets of the computer novice and the home consumer. Customer Loyalty: Microsoft Windows integrates features in smaller number of products makes it easier for Microsoft to market Windows and attract large number of new customers. Adding more features can also help retain an existing base of users: Customers are likely to buy product upgrades and newer versions of Windows, thus enhancing customer loyality.

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Embrace, extend and exterminate: Microsoft enters emerging product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors. This has been applied in the promotion of Microsoft Office. MicroPro started the PC word processing mass market in 2979 with a product called WordStar. Because WordStar was difficult to use, there remained an opening for such early entrants as WordPerfect Corporation and Microsoft. Microsoft developed a new product, Word, specifically for MS-DOS and the 16-bit IBM PC. It was launched in 1983 with brilliant mass-marketing promotion that gave away 450,000 demo diskettes in a special issue of PC World magazine. This dealt a lethal blow to the rest of the players. The Microsoft Way: Microsoft windows is said to be the strongest in standard features, ease of use, learning, documentation and technical support. Microsoft Windows targets mass-market users better than any of its competitors in these aspects. Windows clearly outscores the Open-source Operating Systems like Linux here. Volume Sales: Microsoft pushes volume sales and exclusive contracts to ensure that company products become and remain industry standards. It prices, markets, licenses and supports Windows in a way that aggressively promotes volume sales. This enabled Microsoft to sell millions of copies of Windows and Office , which helped to make OLE into a de facto standard for application developers. Long term contracts with hardware vendors makes it particularly difficult for competitors to introduce competing products.

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (or FUD): It is the appeal to fear in sales or marketing; in which a company disseminates negative (and vague) information on a competitor's product. FUD creates a situation in which buyers are encouraged to purchase by brand, regardless of the relative technical merits. Microsoft has been caught on wrong foot using this strategy against the key competitor of the Windows, Linux by making what the critics claim to be unjust. Most recently, Microsoft has issued statements about the "viral nature" of the GNU General Public License (GPL), which Open Source proponents purport to be FUD.

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2.Windows Server
About the Product
Microsoft Servers (previously called Windows Server System) is a brand that encompasses a line of Microsoft server products. This includes the server editions of Microsoft Windows operating system itself, as well as products targeted at the wider business market. Microsoft has a market share of 18.2 % and the buying is mainly rational buying and it is segment marketing which is done.

Microsoft SQL Server Microsoft SQL Server is a relational model database server produced by Microsoft. Its primary query languages are T-SQL and ANSI SQL. The following resources will help you complete a database comparison of SQL Server database against other database systems. This database comparison activity will help you see how the SQL Server database performs and delivers flexible and reliable functionality in comparison with other database offerings, and how the SQL Server database will meet your business intelligence (BI), availability, productivity, and security needs.

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The Company:
In 1988, Microsoft released its first version of SQL Server. It was designed for the OS/2 platform and was developed jointly by Microsoft and Sybase. During the early 1990s, Microsoft began to develop a new version of SQL Server for the NT platform. While it was under development, Microsoft decided that SQL Server should be tightly coupled with the NT operating system. In 1992, Microsoft assumed core responsibility for the future of SQL Server for NT. In 1993, Windows NT 3.1 and SQL Server 4.2 for NT were released. Microsoft's philosophy of combining a high-performance database with an easy-to-use interface proved to be very successful. Microsoft quickly became the second most popular vendor of high-end relational database software. In 1994, Microsoft and Sybase formally ended their partnership. In 1995, Microsoft released version 6.0 of SQL Server. This release was a major rewrite of SQL Server's core technology. Version 6.0 substantially improved performance, provided built-in replication, and delivered centralized administration. In 1996, Microsoft released version 6.5 of SQL Server. This version brought significant enhancements to the existing technology and provided several new features. In 1997, Microsoft released version 6.5 Enterprise Edition. In 1998, Microsoft released version 7.0 of SQL Server, which was a complete rewrite of the database engine. In 2000, Microsoft released SQL Server 2000. SQL Server version 2000 is Microsoft's most significant release of SQL Server to date. This version further builds upon the SQL Server 7.0 framework. Now in 2005 Autumn season using the DOT NET / XML and many new Capabilities into SQL Engine SQL 2005 was released. The Context of SQL as just OLTP/OLAP has changed and new things like Business Intelligence, Notification Services, and Service Broker have been introduced Brief land Marks of SQL History 1993 - SQL Server 4.21 for Windows NT 1995 - SQL Server 6.0, codenamed SQL95 1996 - SQL Server 6.5, codenamed Hydra 1999 - SQL Server 7.0, codenamed Sphinx 1999 - SQL Server 7.0 OLAP, codenamed Plato 2000 - SQL Server 2000 32-bit, codenamed Shiloh 2003 - SQL Server 2000 64-bit, codenamed Liberty 2005 - SQL Server 2005, codenamed Yukon

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SQL Server 2008 SQL Server 2008 delivers on Microsoft¶s Data Platform vision by helping your organization manage any data, any place, any time. Store data from structured, semi-structured, and unstructured documents, such as images and rich media, directly within the database. SQL Server 2008 delivers a rich set of integrated services that enable you to do more with your data such as query, search, synchronize, report, and analyze. SQL Server 2008 provides the highest levels of security, reliability, and scalability for your business-critical applications. To take advantage of new opportunities in today's fast-moving business world, companies need the ability to create and deploy data-driven solutions quickly. SQL Server 2008 reduces time and cost of management and development of applications. Access data from across your enterprise and provide control over your data no matter where it¶s stored²from the largest servers within the data center to desktops to mobile devices. SQL Server 2008 provides a comprehensive platform that delivers intelligence where your users want it. Information workers can access data directly using the tools they use every day, such as the 2007 Microsoft Office system. SQL Server 2008 enables data to be consumed from custom applications developed using Microsoft .NET and Visual Studio and from within service-oriented architectures (SOA) and business processes through Microsoft BizTalk Server.

Future of SQL Server SQL Server 2008 R2 is the next generation of the Microsoft SQL Server database platform, planned for release in the first half of calendar year 2010. The R2 release brings significant new capabilities and enhancements that can help your business keep pace with today¶s growing and changing data management needs. Increase productivity and reduce data management costs by taking advantage of an even more scalable platform with comprehensive database and application management tools. SQL Server 2008 R2 helps users to build rich analysis and reports and helps organizations improve the quality of their data.

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The Channel:
To reach end users, businesses need a well knitted network. The network includes manufacturers, retailers, OEMs, system builders and distributors that are in business lingo named as ³Channel Partners.´ The channel partners play a vital role in success and failure of business. They are actually the bridge between vendors and end users thus framing the outline for a company in end users mindset. A business house operates through the intermediate people constituting ² - Direct (on-site) - Direct Mail - Telemarketing - Internet (e-commerce) - Agents - Wholesalers and Retailers Redington India Ltd. , Ingrain Micro and eSys Distribution are three leading product Distribution channels of country and are working for various companies like HP, Microsoft, IBM, Canon, Cisco, EMC, HCL, Epson, Philips, Wipro, Hitachi, McAfee, Quantum etc. Microsoft distribution for SQL servers is through Site, Windows Server Update Services, Catalog

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The Customer:
Microsoft has come out with different versions of SQL server as shown in the table below keeping in the mind the different requirement of the customers and adopting differential pricing strategy. Value proposition i.e. the cluster of benefits which Microsoft is offering to its customers which is more than the expected benefit is one of the reasons for its steady growth rate. Microsoft follows a innovative approach in its Customer development process it has beautifully converted the potentials into its partners. Microsoft has also created ties with institutions like Dell which has helped both and also helped in creating hard core loyal customers from switchers, split loyal, shifting loyal. Core Editions Enterprise Enterprise Target Scenarios workloads that need redundancy and built-in Business Intelligence CPU OS Maximum Standard Shared data scenarios in departments and small to large businesses Specialized Editions Workgroup Web Developer Full featured edition for development and testing only Free Editions Express Entry level database, ideal for learning and ISV redistribution 1 CPU 1 GB 4 GB Compact 3.5 Embedded database for developing desktop and mobile applications OS Maximum OS Maximum 4 GB

Remote For web offices that application need local hosting instances of company data 2 CPU 4 GB Unlimited Volume Licensing Microsoft Store Server/CAL Per Proc Per Proc 4 CPU

4 CPU OS Maximum Unlimited

OS Maximum

Memory OS Maximum DB Size How to Buy Unlimited Volume Licensing Microsoft Store Licensing Server/CAL Per Proc

OS OS Maximum Maximum Unlimited Unlimited Volume Licensing Microsoft Store Developer Tools

Volume Licensing Microsoft Store Server/CAL Per Proc

Volume Licensing

Download now!

Download now!

Free Editions

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Customers include Turkey¶s Arcelik, Egypt¶s Bavarian Auto Group, Russia¶s Baltika Breweries , CareGroup Healthcare System , Australia¶s CSR ,UK¶s FWBS, India¶s Infosys Turkey¶s Arcelik Moving 5 Terabyte SAP database from Oracle to SQL Server 2008 As one of the largest appliance manufacturers in Europe, Turkey¶s Arçelik uses SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) to help manage its global operations. When Arçelik needed to refresh its software and hardware infrastructure, it faced the question of whether to update its existing Sun/Solaris/Oracle technology stack or migrate to a new solution. After analyzing options, including conducting onsite proof of concept testing of an IBM/DB2 stack and the Microsoft® Application Platform hosted on HP servers, Arçelik decided to migrate to the Microsoft/HP solution, including a forthcoming upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 Enterprise database software running on the Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise operating system. The software is hosted on HP Integrity rx8640 and HP ProLiant DL380 server computers. Arçelik has enjoyed 3 times faster performance and a lower total cost of ownership. United Kingdom Software Provider Cuts Development Time by 20 Per Cent FWBS, a leading United Kingdom software developer and Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner, specialises in IT solutions for corporate professionals, including law firms. The company aims to enhance the business value of its case management software by integrating the latest Microsoft technologies and delivering new feature sets to its customers. To stay ahead of its competitors, FWBS integrated Microsoft Visual Studio® Team System 2008 development system, Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 database software, and the Windows Server® 2008 operating system with its core OMS Matter Centre product. The company has reduced development time by 20 per cent and increased programmer productivity. It can also deliver new features to clients more efficiently, enhancing the user experience and simplifying IT management. Infosys Creates Cloud-Based Solution for Auto Dealers using SQL Data Services Infosys Technologies Ltd. is an IT transformation leader for its clients around the world. With over 95,000 employees in more than 64 offices around the world, the company constantly searches for the best technology to help its customers meet their business goals. As Infosys began designing a solution to let automobile dealers share information on inventories and other resources, it wanted to offer a cloud-based solution that would be simple to deploy, easy to scale, and require zero maintenance from the customer. To create its hub-in-the-cloud solution it needed a cloud-based database, which it found with Microsoft® SQL Data Services, part of the Microsoft Services Platform.

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The Competitor:
The competitive analysis is a statement of the business strategy and how it relates to the competition. The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited within the product development cycle. The first step in a competitor analysis is to identify the current and potential competition. The first method is to look at the market from the customer's viewpoint and group all your competitors by the degree to which they contend for the buyer's dollar. The second method is to group competitors according to their various competitive strategies so you understand what motivates them. Once you have grouped your competitors, you can start to analyze their strategies and identify the areas where they are most vulnerable. This can be done through an examination of your competitors' weaknesses and strengths. A competitor's strengths and weaknesses are usually based on the presence and absence of key assets and skills needed to compete in the market. SQL Server compared to Oracle Microsoft SQL Server 2008 provides a data platform with many advantages and business benefits including better security, performance and scalability, developer productivity, and Business Intelligence tools (BI) ± all at a lower total cost of ownership. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 advantages over Oracle 11g
y

y

Better Performance and Scalability: SQL Data Services, Filtered Indexes, Advanced Sparse Columns, Column Prefix Compression Better Security: Module Signing using Certificate, and integrated updates and patching

SQL Oracle Server 11g Performance and Scalability More Secure (Less Vulnerable) Developer Productivity

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Business Intelligence* Microsoft Office Integration* Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

y Better Business Intelligence (BI) tools:

Optimized cube designers, on-demand processing and instance-based rendering, optimized integration with the 2007 Microsoft Office system

y

SQL Server 2008 reduces cost and delivers more value Oracle provides only partial functionalities in these areas and requires additional licensing costs.SQL Server provides both performance and value for customers who are running Oracle applications such as PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel. Compare SQL Server to IBM DB2 Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and ROI TCO and ROI ‡ Initial acquisition costs are lower than for IBM DB2. SQL Server¶s superior price-toperformance ratio lowers hardware costs. ‡ SQL Server 2008 automates, streamlines, or eliminates many routine database management tasks, lowering database administration costs below those of IBM DB2. ‡ SQL Server 2008 includes features that IBM DB2 customers must buy as additional addins, including: all Business Intelligence, reporting, analysis, ETL, XML capabilities, data warehousing, security, and performance optimization. ‡ SQL Server license fees are lower than for IBM DB2, lowering its ongoing TCO and raising its ROI. DB2 can be 5-6 times more expensive to license than SQL Server, with an even higher multiple for multi-core licensing. o Understanding Database Pricing and Licensing whitepaper describing how different databases are licensed o SAP TCO Study shows customer lowered DBA costs by 55% and total TCO by 37% with SQL Server compared to other databases Compare SQL Server to MySQL Zero cost, scalable, reliable, PHP Develop and deploy ASP and PHP applications on SQL Server, using free and compact editions and grow seamlessly to include enterprise capabilities not found in MySQL. Innovate with geospatial maps or native XML, and scale up to 256 processors
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3.XBOX Gaming Console
About the Product:
The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console produced by Microsoft. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market after having with Sony's PlayStation 2, Sega's Dreamcast, and Nintendo's GameCube. The integrated Xbox collaborated with Sega in porting Windows CE to the Dreamcast console and competed Live service allows players to compete online. Gates stated that a gaming/multimedia device was essential for multimedia convergence in the new times, confirmed by Microsoft with a press release. When Bill Gates unveiled it at the Game Developers Conference in 2000, audiences were dazzled by the console's amazing technology. Gates made the announcement when, Sega's Dreamcast was diminishing and Sony's PS2 was just hitting the streets in Japan.

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The Company:
US based Microsoft, a major software developer, entered into the gaming industry by launching Xbox in 2001. Microsoft was the first American company to manufacture gaming consoles. By entering the market, the company intended to move ahead of companies like Nintendo and Sony, which had a strong presence in the gaming consoles market. Since Xbox videogame system was Microsoft¶s first foray into the videogame industry, Microsoft had to avoid its PCish look and prove it was serious about his home console. Now that Xbox is an established player in the industry, Microsoft is extending the entertainment capabilities of the Xbox platform by incorporating a vast array of new features related to digital entertainment. However, Xbox performed below expectations, while Sony's PlayStation 2 gaming console gained significant share in the market. To compete with Sony successfully, Microsoft planned to launch the next version of Xbox, well ahead of Sony's PlayStation 3. Thus came up the new version of Xbox, called Xbox 360, was launched in November 2005. Xbox 360 received rave reviews for its additional features like Media Center, photo archive, music download, and Internet access and for its sleek design. Bill Gates, in an interview with the BBC, said Microsoft is determined to make the Xbox 360 the ³most reliable video game box out there.´ Microsoft is teaming up with a charity foundation to deliver Xbox 360 kiosks to children¶s hospitals across America. Each of these kiosks will come with games, movies and access to a private nationwide network that¶ll allow hospitalized children to play or chat with one another. This is a brilliant marketing strategy for the following reasons: 1. It penetrates the target market. While video games are enjoyed by people of all ages, children are an ideal target market because marketers want to plant the seeds of brand recognition from early on: their end goal is to develop long-term consumer loyalty. Kids discharged from hospitals might continue playing the Xbox or recommend it to friends through word-of-mouth. 2. It improves the company reputation. When businesses µgive back¶ to the community or practice philanthropy, they inevitably improve their reputation. Consumers generally think better of a company if they know that it performs charity or cares about the less fortunate. This initiative is one way to improve perceptions of Microsoft¶s brand. Microsoft released today its financial results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year. Even if the Entertainment & Devices Division (which includes the Xbox, Zune, Windows-based PC and online games and services) saw its revenues down in the fourth quarter, the division recorded its second straight year of profitability and mostly thanks to the Xbox business.
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"While economic conditions presented challenges this year, we maintained our focus on delivering customer satisfaction and providing solutions to our customers to save money," said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. "I am very excited by the wave of product and services innovations being delivered in this next fiscal year." Talking about the Future plans of XBOX, One interesting new product that we had not heard of before will actually extend all Xbox 360 controllers to the Windows PC platform. The Windows wireless adapter will allow people to plug in a USB wireless device that will then load drivers and allow any Xbox 360 wireless controller to work on your Windows PC. There is no price point or release date yet, although we believe it's due out sometime this fall of 2009. Through XBOX Microsoft achieves its main objective of designing a Gaming Console to ³create a living entertainment experience powered by human energy.´

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The Channel:
The release of any new computer gaming system carries with it a huge number of distribution and logistical challenges. In managing its Intermediaries and customers, MS had to decide how much effort to devote to push versus pull marketing. When MS launched XBOX in Jan,2001, it started with a push strategy. But for XBOX 360 , they adopted a pull strategy, thus inducing the Intermediaries to order it. ZERO-LEVEL CHANNELXbox Live Arcade is an online service operated by Microsoft that is used to distribute video games to Xbox and Xbox 360 owners. The service was first launched in late 2004 and offers games from about $5 to $15 USD. To publicize the service Microsoft distributed a starter disc that contained the Xbox Live Arcade software and a free version of Ms. Pac Man. Once connected to Xbox Live, customers could purchase additional titles by using a credit card, or download a 30-minute limited trial version of each game. Mainly for Habitual Shoppers from the same place in the same manner over time. Xbox Live Arcade games can also be purchased using Microsoft Points. These points are distributed by Microsoft sold via the Xbox Live user interface. By requiring customers to purchase points in bulk quantities that differ from actual game cost, customers will always have some remaining points that they can "top up" to purchase something else. In the process they Personalized their marketing. Also, XBOX Live integrated with online social network, Facebook and Twitter, at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles. Microsoft's Xbox team will be able to more efficiently interact with their audience, alerting them to new games and features. EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTIONMS secured distribution deals from all the major Japanese players. They secured contracts with Japanese giants Square Enix, Capcom, Konami, Namco Bandai, and Hudson. They even helped create some companies of their own, including Mistwalker Studios, a joint venture between Microsoft and the creator of the multi-billion dollar grossing Final Fantasy series, Hironobu Sakaguchi, to release Japanese games exclusively to the Xbox 360 (Guth, 2005). Activision, Inc., a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of video games and other interactive entertainment products, has been selected by Microsoft as a distribution partner for the Xbox video game system in Germany. Activision will distribute Xbox system hardware and software to the German independent retail channel, excluding the toy channel. Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division has zeroed upon Redington as its solitary distribution partner in India for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system. Microsoft will power Redington¶s 9000 strong network for reaching out to resellers and other consumer touch points across top seven cities in the country namely Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkatta and Pune.

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The Customers:
The Xbox µvalue proposition¶ included not only µa great gaming space¶ but also high gamer security, Product quality and total customer satisfaction. All these together where the part of core positioning of the offering. PRODUCT QUALITYXBOX was the first major console to incorporate a hard disk drive, used primarily for storing game saves compressed in ZIP archives and content downloaded from Xbox Live. This eliminated the need for separate memory cards. Xbox Live online gaming service, fulfilled a gamers ultimate competitive need by allowing subscribers to play online Xbox games with other subscribers all around the world and download new content for their games to the system's hard drive. An Xbox user could rip music from standard audio CDs to the hard drive, and these songs were used for the custom soundtracks in some games . Project Natal is the code name for a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" for the Xbox 360. It was first announced on June 1, 2009 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The add-on peripheral enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without a game controller, but rather though gestures, spoken commands, and/or presented objects and images. In a move to benefit customers, Microsoft Corp. announced that it will change the Xbox 360 warranty from 90 days to one year from the date of purchase in the United States and Canada.

SECURITYXbox has also pioneered safety features, such as breakaway cables for the controllers to prevent the console from being pulled from the surface on which it resides. Several internal hardware revisions have been made in an ongoing battle to discourage modding(hackers continually updated modchip designs in an attempt to defeat them). In addition, the Xbox Dashboard allows Xbox LIVE users sign in, and manage their own account. The user can also access Xbox Live messages and friends list. It also allowed for personal and music settings, in addition to voice or video chats, or returning to the Xbox Dashboard from the game. TOTAL CUSTOMER SATISFACTIONThey adopted multiculture marketing to address the different gaming tastes of different region. For example in Japan ,the original game controller design, which was particularly large, was similarly often criticized since it was ill-suited to those with small hands and caused cramping in the hands of some users. In response to these criticisms, a smaller controller was introduced for the Japanese Xbox launch called "Xbox Controller S". In addition, Microsoft in Japan is developing a number of titles for a Japanese launch lineup, such as "Nexmix" (a mouse
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adventure game) and "Kakuto Chojin" (a fighting game) locally. The game titles being promoted are different, and the exclusive-for-Japan Xbox Special Edition, manufactured in a limited edition of 50,000 units, will be sold as part of the launch campaign to create excitement among core gamers (and) early adopters. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfil their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality giving them µthe ultimate gaming experience¶.

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The Competitor:
XBOX¶s major competitors are Sony's PlayStation 2, Sega's Dreamcast, and Nintendo's GameCube . Gates made the announcement when, Sega's Dreamcast was diminishing and Sony's PlayStation 2 was just hitting the streets in Japan and that¶s when Microsoft Xbox entered the market. In 2002, Xbox reached one milestone that few people would have predicted when Microsoft overtook Nintendo to capture the second place slot in consoles sold in North America. The vast multimedia functionality and smooth Xbox Live integration of the 360 places it streets ahead of current generation consoles. SALES VOLUMEDespite a tough economy, the gaming industry held strong in 2008 and Microsoft Corp.¶s Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system recorded the biggest year in Xbox history, with more consoles, games and online entertainment experiences sold than any previous year. It was a year in which life-to-date unit sales of Xbox 360 systems climbed to 28 million consoles worldwide ² expanding the product¶s lead over Sony PlayStation 3 to more than 8 million units. The Xbox LIVE community also grew to more than 17 million active members, as online consumer spending increased 84 percent from last year. Since the launch of the Xbox 360 three years ago, more than $1 billion has been spent on Xbox LIVE. This amazing growth was fueled by the launch of the New Xbox Experience1; the broadest selection of hit games, TV shows, and movies available; and mass-market price points, starting at $199. Xbox 360 is experiencing record-setting sales around the globe, particularly in Japan and Europe, nearly doubling market share in these key territories. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) specifically, Xbox 360 has now sold more than 8 million units, extending its lead over the PS3 by more than 1 million units. In preparation for its launch, Microsoft acquired Bungie and used Halo: Combat Evolved as its launch title which was already a runaway hit in US. The Bungie acquisition proved itself, giving Microsoft a good application to drive its sales. In 2002, Xbox reached one milestone that few people would have predicted when Microsoft overtook Nintendo to capture the second place slot in consoles sold in North America. SUPERIOR FEATURESFeature-wise the actual hardware on the Xbox is just about as good as it can possibly get with a console. It sports an Intel 733 MHz processor, clearly above every other system out there. The two other consoles barely manage to make half of that with the GameCube clocking in at 400 MHz and the PlayStation 2 clocking in at 300 MHz. What's more, the Xbox features an NVIDIA graphics processing unit -- GPU -- that makes it the best looking system, graphically, out on the market today. This allows for a very fast system with virtually no load times you could possibly think of.

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CONCLUSION
Microsoft has moved from one type of software and mass market to another, as well as from one generation of products to another. Sometimes it has achieved this diversification or evolution by technically linking products and certain enabling technologies. These adaptability and changes helped Microsoft to maintain as a tough competitor and strong player in the market. In spite of the high growth of Google and Apple the future of Microsoft is bright and can actually help to make the market more balanced in terms of decreasing the monopoly of any single player.

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