Microsoft (MSFT) under attack, is it about to go under??? (Part 3 of 6)

By: ispeculatornew
Date posted: 06.12.2009 (7:23 pm) | Write a Comment  (1 Comment)

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firefox_internet_explorer-320x309In my opinion, Microsoft’s dealing of Internet Explorer over the past decade would be one of those classical cases that could be studied in management courses around the world. The situation was ideal for Microsoft. Thanks to its domination of its operating system, it had the “default” browser for most internet users around the world. In this new world, that can be of huge importance. Why? Because a browser gives access to a lot of information and a lot of possibilities in this new bright world.

First off, it seems clear that one of the main reasons why Microsoft lags on the internet is because of its poor understanding of what users are actually looking for. And through a web browser, Microsoft has(had) the possibility of gaining lots of knowledge about where the visitors were going, what they were searching for, etc. As well, in this world where Microsoft is desperate for market share in the search business (more on that next week), having a browser with a search box, as simple as it sounds, means big numbers, and big revenues.

So then, how is it possible that Internet Explorer went from virtually a 95% market share in 2002-2003 to a position where it now lags Mozilla’s Firefox. Simple: Arrogance from Microsoft. Microsoft’s head of Australian operations, Steve Vamos, said in 2004: “We do not see Firefox as a threat, there is not significant demand for the feature set of Firefox among Microsoft’s users“. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has used Firefox, but has commented that “so much software gets downloaded all the time, but do people actually use it?”The rival of course has appeal, it is open source, has lots of neat add-ins, is not backed by a powerful evil company (although that could be argued but more on that on a later day). But still, you would think that a web browser could not be improved enough for users to actually want to change. And yet they did, and so the users did. Small changes like adding tabs, a search box, etc made Mozilla a targetted resource.

How is it that it took years and years for Microsoft to adapt its product and at least match most desired and appreciated parts of the Mozilla browser. It seems crazy and yet that is exactly what happened. And if this is what happened with Internet Explorer, there is not that much to prevent a similar pattern to start on both the Office Suite and the Windows operating system. Would it take more time? Absolutely. But you still have to wonder if Microsoft will be more pro-active this time around instead of waiting for its competitors to gain significant momentum.

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1 Comment

  1. Comment by Zavi — June 16, 2009 @ 7:30 am

    I was complaining about Internet Explorer a while ago because of bugs (error this, error that). One of my friends suggested Firefox and I have to say that now I’m addicted to it. However some of the software I used (that require Java) do not support browser Firefox and Google Chrome and unfortunately have to go back to IE (what a pity!!).

    Have you heard that Microsoft pushed out IE8 as a critical security patch via Automatic Software Updates?!? Some windows users can be stuck with IE as their default browser with no ability to uninstall….

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