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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Getting Behind Small Businesses Contd...

While some experts hailed this ad campaign as innovative, others felt that the ad could be intrusive and thus a source of annoyance to the visitor. Experts' opinions were also divided on the Office Live offering. When Office Live had been launched as beta, it had disappointed many experts when they realized that Office Live was not a hosted version of the MS Office applications, as the name seemed to suggest. They felt that extending the Office brand to Office Live was unwarranted and a branding misstep. Some analysts said that much should not be read into the 'free' offer made by Microsoft, as they felt that it was a ploy by Microsoft to win over new customers for its software and services.

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

Others felt that by providing the entry level software for free, Microsoft was removing a big barrier to the adoption of its product. They felt that as the small businesses gained in confidence and expanded their operations, they were likely to switch to the higher versions.

Through the launch of Office Live, Microsoft's increased focus on the small business software market had become evident. Earlier, in October 2006, Microsoft had launched two new accounting software packages for small and medium businesses (SMBs) - Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007 (OAE 2007) and Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2007 (OAP 2007).

Microsoft saw this as a major growth opportunity because a large portion of the market had remained untapped by technology vendors. Schultz agreed that Microsoft was indeed making a huge strategic push in the SMBs segment.

Microsoft was also focusing on integrating Internet based services in its software applications as part of a major strategic shift of the company toward software with an Internet-based service component. Analysts saw this as Microsoft's bid to counter the advantage enjoyed by firms like Google, Inc.8 (Google) and Yahoo! Inc.9 (Yahoo!) in the Internet age...

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8] Google Inc., headquartered in Mountain View, California, USA, is an Internet firm that specializes in Internet search and online advertising.

9] Yahoo! Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, USA, is a global Internet services company.


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