jeudi 20 novembre 2008

Microsoft: Distribution channel for Live Search:

III – 1.2 Distribution channel for Live Search:

The distribution of a Web Search engine is for sure far different that the one of an Operating Systems. Firstly because this is a technology which is available to anyone who has an Internet access and because his use is totally free. His economical model is based on the advertisement it will provide to the company in exchange and the revenues which come from the ads which are posted in. What is very interesting to see with “Live Search” is that it has a technology which is far more recent that its three main competitors which concretely means that it has a technology which is below the others. Microsoft often played the follower position regarding R&D.
It however has 4th comfortable position whereas other competitors such as Lycos or Ask(two other small competitors) have better technologies, the reason is because Microsoft is not using the main distribution channel.
So the distribution channel examples I am going to give you are very interesting because they show how to distribute a bad product to the all world, how avoiding competitors and how to force people to use a product they do not want.
I until now counted 5 distribution channels for Live Search:
The first one which comes into my mind is Internet.
You can use it in an indirect way(you go to a website which have a link toward it: catalog, blog, websites) or you can directly type the Internet address.
The second one is through Web applications:
Last one in date is the partnership with Facebook the number one social web network application. Microsoft invested in 2007 240 millions of dollars in Facebook shares. It seems that this large investment contribute to the acceptation of this partnership. So now concretely when people are using the Facebook application on Internet they can look for information through the web without leaving the application.
This partnership has been sat up in July 2008.
Facebook is only one example among others. This is a channel which is very fashionable for example you can see on the portal of the university of Kassel that it is Google search engine which is included. The Kassel university website is then a distributor of Google.
Through his own products and services:
Here is a very interesting channel because it is not that used by its competitors. The reason is that you need for this to have a wide range of products and services and that they produce a dependence on you. For example Hotmail(Free Microsoft Webmail services) which has more than 260 millions users includes Live Search.
Same thing if you launch some research from Microsoft Office.
We can imagine the impact of such a channel when you have as Microsoft a huge number of users of his products and services which of course do not end here because Microsoft provide a very wide range of other software and services such as blog(, instant mail exchanges(MSN).
So even if you are not providing the best service you can get an important audience.“No matter what are the characteristics of the product it is before all a question of how you can show you off.”
The fourth Channel is the one of software. The last example in date is the one of the Java software("Java is installed on 800 millions of computers in the world, then 91% of the computers which have an Internet connection"), November the 10th 2008. Which one download users will have the possibility to download what we call the Microsoft research bar
The last one is the hardware distribution. This is as well a very important distribution channel which is moreover very dynamic with the rising up of the mobile technology. Two years ago Live Search made a partnership with Nokia the cell phone maker in order to include his technology as default search engine:
Of course such partnerships have already been developed with computers, for example recently Microsoft did a partnership with Hewlett Packard to set up their search engine by default on the computers they sold in the USA and in Canada:
"According to a Microsoft analyst, 40% of Internet users use the search engine installed by default on their computer” even if by reputation Microsoft statements have for reputation to not be that accurate it is for sure a distribution channel that we cannot deny is strongly efficient.
What is very important to highlight is that the four last distribution channels are imposed whereas for the first one you are free to choose it or not.

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