Microsoft's Strategy for Small Businesses (B): Marketing MS Office Live

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG168
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 2005-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Microsoft Corporation
Industry : Computers and Information Technology
Countries : Europe, USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates (Gates) and his friend Paul Allen in April, 1975 at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over the years, the company has grown to become a global computer technology corporation. It is based in Redmond, Washington, USA and develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software application products. As of 2006, it had a strong dominance in the desktop computer operating system (OS) and work group server OS market. The company also markets gaming consoles, mobile devices, and computer hardware. Microsoft's annual revenues for the financial year ended July 2006 were US$44.28 billion with a net income of US$12.59 billion (Refer to Exhibit I for Microsoft's logo and pay-off line, and Exhibit II for its five-year financial summary)...

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

The Big Battle for Small Businesses

As per Microsoft's definition, businesses with 25 or less PCs (or less than 50 employees) were small businesses. Businesses with 25 to 50 PCs (or 50 to 1,000) were considered as mid-sized businesses. Sometimes, experts put both small and midsized business together as "small and midsized businesses" or SMBs because they had similar needs. The core business needs of SMBs were how to manage cash flow, connect with new customers and increase sales to existing customers...

Office Live - Going Beta

In late 2004, Jeff Raikes president of Microsoft's Business Division formed a team to start the development of software as a service in an effort to deliver more value to the customer (especially, small businesses) that were not very IT-savvy. Rajesh Jha (Jha) took over as the leader of the team in January 2005. The team worked closely with the Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows Live groups to ensure that the Office Live offering was consistent with the needs of the end-user. The launch of the Office Live service was announced by Microsoft in November 2005 (Refer to Exhibit IV for Microsoft Office Live's logo)...

Office Live Goes Live

On November 15, 2006, Microsoft launched Office Live. There were three levels to the service: Office Live Basics (OLB), Office Live Essentials (OLE) and Office Live Premium (OLP) (Refer to Table II for Office Live - a fact-sheet). The final versions were enhanced after taking into account the feedback of the users who had enrolled for the beta version...

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