vendredi 21 novembre 2008

Google: Sources

V - Sources

Google: Conclusion

IV - Conclusion

Even and it is true that we could have some things to say regarding how Google targeted Asia which remain until now the place where Google have the most difficulties to enter, we cannot deny that Google did an incredible work in terms of international marketing.

In ten years it has covered almost all the planet with more than 60% of the market(and it is growing year after year). We could even think at least for Europe that most of the users are Google dependent.

His secret is coming from a mere idea of his creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin(both engineers): a very simple tool and easy to use.

It was that simple and that easy that making it available to the all world seemed to have been a kid game(easy to translate and to export through the net).

We however still have some questions tags regarding his implementation in Asia and moreover on four countries:

    • Why is it facing a so fierce competition in China, South Korea and Japan whereas it is the only three countries to which it accepts to make a specific customization?

    • Why his main competitor is far better than him in this area?



South Korea




Yahoo: 64%

Naver: 77%

Baidu: 60,9%

Yandex or 47,61%


Google: 29,6%

Daum: 10,8%

Google: 27%

Google 25,67%


Microsoft: 2,8%

Yahoo: 4,4%

Sogou: 3,1%

Rambler 12,17%


Others: 3,6%

Google: 1,7%

Yahoo: 2,4% 5,53%


Others: 6,1%

Others: 6,6%

Others: 9,02%

Google: Drivers of internationalization

III – 8 Drivers of internationalization

Demand drivers: when Google just started to come out the demand was high and this all over the world. Such a service was needed. The ones which were on the market were too complicated. A mere product was needed.
Cost drivers: Google is by chance a cheap product. Easy to acquire a domain name and few translations to handle in order to make the product available abroad.
Government drivers: none, even if installed firstly in the Silicon Valley I wonder if Google has not been well helped by the American Government
Technical drivers: Google operating on Internet when it was a real boom it has been for sure well driven.
Competition drivers: There was a competition at that time but other services were young as well so it was possible to make the difference. Or the main other search engines have been trapped by their starting strategies as Yahoo for the translation of its home page.

In order to conclude I would say that the launch of Google abroad has been helped by the situation at that time. It was really favorable for it.

Google: The overall motivation of internationalization

III – 7 The overall motivation of internationalization

It is definitely a pro-active motivation which pushes Google to go international. Google was a service already made from his conception to go international. If it did not went abroad its competitors will have came up on his market.

Google: Google's degree of internationalization:

III – 6 Google's degree of internationalization:

Google has the following figures for the repartition of his offices around the world:

Northern America: 23

Europe: 22

Asia/Pacific: 15

Latin America: 3

Middle East: 5


From those figures we could calculate the “International workforce ratio”: ((offices in the world-offices in the USA)/Total number of offices)*100= (48/68)*100= 70%.

However I think a more interesting ratio can be calculated. In fact a company can have a very high degree of internationalization but dividing his efforts in an unequal way.

For me we should take in account the degree of internationalization with the market itself. You can be very internationalized but being bad internationalized because you are in some places where the market is not.


Number of offices

% of offices

Perfect offices number

Perfect % of offices

World Internet users







South America






Central America






North America






Middle East





























As we can see here we have the repartition of Google's offices around the world and the % of Internet users around the world. The perfect offices number show how these offices should have been allocated.

In total: 1+3+11+1+5+14+1=36 offices could have been allocated better.

1+3+24=27 offices are lacking.

Google has then 41 offices which are well internationalized it equals to 68-27=41; 41/68= 60%.

A such rate signifies that Google is covering more than half of the planet and it is doing it in the more or less the right way...60% is strangely correlated to Google market shares around the world, is that a coincidence?

As a comparison his main competitor Yahoo has the following situation:


Number of offices

% of offices

Perfect offices number

Perfect % of offices

World Internet users







South America






Central America






North America






Middle East





























As we can see Yahoo allocated his workforce quite differently from Google. Yahoo focused on Asia whereas Google put most of his effort in North America.

This example has been chosen to show that it is a good thing to be internationalized but it is better if you are intelligently internationalized. If you put your effort in some countries where the market does not exist(this is the case for Australia) you will get nothing.

Google: Types of internationalization

III – 5 Types of internationalization

The type of internationalization which stroke me the most in Google behavior is the partnerships, acquiring is also recurrent but more on a national level in order to extend their range of services that they will then translate in different languages in order to export it abroad.
As an example they made a partnership with China Mobile to provide mobile and Internet search services in China in 2007.
In October 2001 they made a partnership with Universo Online in order to become the largest search engine in Latin America.
They open as well several R&D centers. The first one sat up in Japan in December 2004.

Google: Russia and ex-soviet countries

III – 4.4 Russia and ex-soviet countries :

Here it is just a personal feeling I have. Regarding the map I made on page 6 I would say that ex-soviet countries are still supporting a Russian search engine because accepting an American one as a standard will be accepting the supremacy of Americans in this sector.

In order to conclude that part I would say that there is in some countries an informal boycott but actually it is link to the nationality of the product and not its conception. For example Mac Donald's was boycotted in France and in other countries because as qualified as an unhealthy food.

Google: China

III – 4.3 China:

Services which manage information and data through Internet in China as considered as national security. I would not then consider Google as a pure victim of anti-globalization trend in China. There is not a formal boycott of using Google but more an informal one... the Chinese mentality being “if you are a good Chinese you should use Chinese products and services by helping in that way your country”.

Google: Middle East

III – 4.2 Middle East:

I thought I would have discovered that Muslims countries will make a common block against Google the American search service but it is not the case. Middle East countries have opted either for Google or Yahoo as main search engine(both Americans).

Google: Latin America

III – 4.1 Latin America:

I would have thought that Latin America would have create his own methodology but actually it seems that Google is making the unanimity there since it made a partnership with Universo Online(UOL) in 2001.

Google: Anti-globalisation trends

III – 4 Anti-globalisation trends

This is a very interesting point. Is Google victim of anti-globalization activities? Does it have to use another name in order to extend his power? Even if Google is worldwide known it is also hided under different names. For example when you use the search engine of AOL it is in fact the one of Google, and this in a very huge number of other websites.
Regarding the trademark Google it has for the moment a very good image. I mean for Europe Google does not seem as the “bad American” that we have to boycott in order to protect our market. So the answer to the question should be no, even if there are some elements which could let us think the opposite when we are analyzing other markets.

Google: Specific cultures and localized market requirements

III – 3 Specific cultures and localized market requirements

Google's home page is available in an incredible number of languages. All of these pages have the same pattern except for only three of them: Japan, South Korea and China.
Google has always been thought for a clean and light interface(no images, no flash animations, HTML simplified version available for low connection bandwidth).
However it does not fit at all with the Asian culture which is(for example) recognizing a quality website to the number of animations on it. A good website for them has firstly to be attractive whereas the Western culture tend to think that a website has to be useful before all and then easy to read.
People think too much and this is a bad habit they took, that Internet made the world flat among cultures and countries, this is not true even on the Internet Culture, countries habits have serious consequences.

Google is available until now available in 104 languages and dialects with a customized home page for 138 countries. In those 138 countries only three of them differ.

Google Argentina has exactly the same interface as hundreds of others countries Google home pages

As you can see a second block as been added. This block looking very similar to his competitor in this country: “Yahoo Japan”

Google China looks like his Korean fellow but without the block above. Animations are however still here.

Here for Google Korea two blocks have been added. The most relevant one is the one below. By passing the mouse on one of the color point an animation came out.

It is quite incredible to see and to discover that a service such as Google(only one page)which has to modify his interface in order to fit at best some specific markets.

Google: Local restrictions

III – 2 Local restrictions

The best example I can take is the one of Google in China. The Chinese government can have a total control on results(Chinese Government did it, is doing it right now and will for sure continue for the next years). They are then able to retrieve and filter some information on specific requests. The service at the end is therefore not the same. Whereas it is not the case on
So has to fit with the Chinese government rules whatever the Google's culture is. It is then Google which have to adapt and not the opposite.

Google: Local resources

III - Local modifications

III – 1 Local resources

Google's teams are always composed of several nationalities as shown for their office in Ireland Official Google Blog: Dublin go bragh it however request local personnel in order to fit the best to the culture. When doing partnerships Google has as well no choice than using the local people used in the other company. Google hires only high skills people(speaking at least 3 languages is needed).

Google: From Geocentrism to Regionalism: How Google gets rank first?

II – 2 From Geocentrism to Regionalism: How Google gets rank first? and it will be for sure a surprise for you is not the most visited search engine on the web, it is in fact according to Alexa web.

Here is the ranking of the 50 most visited websites in the world for 2008 filtered with the keywords Yahoo and Google:















As we can see is not the first one it is in fact and is taking the next position ranked in the list.

What makes in fact Google being the first search engine in the world is the accumulation of his domain names and the translation of his home pages in almost all the languages of the world.

This is in fact a very young and simple strategy that Google adapted here. One year and a half after his creation Google was already available in 13 languages.

Why at that time his competitors did not do the same?(Actually only Yahoo survived to the Google's wave during the last decade). Mainly because his main world competitor: Yahoo has an interface which is too heavy to translate and need dedicated people(such as local

people) to make the updates. Restricted it Yahoo to a mere webpage as Google do Yahoo would have changed all his policy.

Google did in fact what no other search engines did: gathering minorities.

Nowadays Google customized his interface for more than 138 countries. The only countries which are not included yet and which are for the biggest one:

Bhoutan, Birmania, Surinam, Burkina Faso, Yemen, Togo, Cameroon, Chyprus, Sierra Leone, Syria, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Gabon.

Google's service is customized for almost all the world(including islands and countries such as Groenland which has around 50,000 inhabitants).

Google is going far further than touching each country individually it goes as well within regions, as an example it is providing a customized interface to several regions in France:

Here France has been divided especially for five regions:

- Bretagne:

- Corse:

- Langue d'oc:

- Catalogne:

- Pays Basques:

We can ask us the question: is it really important to divide so deeply a specific country?

Taking in account that such minorities(Bretagne and Corse) are very proud to be what they are, good chances that they will move from .com to .com/intl/br/ or .com/intl/co/ in order to have a recognition(for example France government is not recognizing those five regions for political reasons). Now we should ask us what they will chose between Google which care of them and provide them a dedicated interface and Yahoo which provide them only the national one(when it has it)?

I unfortunately do not have the Internet traffic for those regions but I evaluate this strategy(recognizing minorities) as a very interesting one. Very hard to do for other sectors but for this one I have high presumptions that it works very well.

As we all know it is very hard to be a pure Geocentric company and local modifications are often needed in order to enter in a specific market: Google is not an exception to this rule.

Google: Classification of an International company by qualitative features(EPRG)

II – 1 Classification of an International company by qualitative features(EPRG)

I would qualify Google as a Geocentric company(the same service for all the world). There are however some slight modifications made to their service which could make think that Google is acting as well as a Regiocentric company, at least on some marketing aspects.

The reason which drove me to this conclusion is that Google managers are recruited from all over the world and the power is centralized in the United States. As said in Google's presentation they opened in 2003 in Dublin a location for regional operations outside the U.S. It has been designed to serve Google customers across multiple time zones and languages spanning Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Taking in account that Europe has a very strong addiction to Google I may think that Google has in fact two center of decisions(one for America and one for the rest of the world)

However Google has a so huge amount of offices in the United States which make me think that the final decision are taking in the United States which include a hierarchy among those centers of decisions.

Google: Google's position in the world nowadays as a search engine

I – 3 Google's position in the world nowadays as a search engine

In order to introduce better Google's strategy abroad we should have a close look at Google's situation today.

I made a map by analyzing results coming from Alexa Web (data center of the most visited websites in the world country by country).

The concept of this map is the following I put in evidence by one different color the leading search engine in each country. As I wrote previously Google is the most used search engine in the world with around 60% of the world requests. We could think then quickly that Google is used in majority by all countries around the world. I however have strong beliefs that the use of Search engines is not link to rationality(better technology is winning) but in fact is driven by cultures.

On the following map the regions in white mean no data from these countries:

As we can see there are not many search engines in the world. Moreover three of them are in a very fragile situation: Microsoft, Seznam and two last ones will probably not passed the next year, an auction is currently made on Seznam and some web marketing research companies already showed that has been doubled by Google).

As you can see Google has almost an entire control on the Americas(we saw previously that Google made a very intelligent partnership with the Latin America leader) except on the Caribbean area(too many small countries, too isolated. According to World Stats this area does not represent a lot of users.

Africa is what I will qualified of the continent of flip-flop regions. Internet is not very developed in each of these countries it is then hard to attribute a search engine leader. In fact only Nigeria seems to be a problem for Google in Africa.

In Middle East I would say that the same problem which occurs with Iran.

And then what I think is the most interesting part is the Asian Wall which is composed of several different competitors and reasons why they are better implemented: better competitor's strategy(Yahoo), national security(Baidu in China), boycott of American services? ( in Russia and ex-sovietik regions), foreigner search engine do not fit with Korean way of searching the information(Naver in South Korea).

Even if Internet and technology made easier the exportation of products and services abroad it does not mean that it can be automatically made.

In order to be world used Google will have far more to do than being the best service for search engines.

Google: Google international expansion

I – 2 Google international expansion

In January 1996 a 24 year-old PhD student called Larry Page studying at the University of Stanford was looking for a theme for his thesis.
Encouraged by his supervisor he studied the following topic “exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web“ working in collaboration with another student called Sergey Brin.
To make it simple, it is from this work and collaboration which will came up “Google Inc”(officially created in September the 7th 1998).
Two months later Google is already included in the Top 100 of world websites of PC magazine( a reference in the United States for computers).
Even if Google is formerly a web based application in English it is a worldwide service available on the Internet for all. As his creator(Larry Page) said "Google's search engine has always had strong global appeal,".
Here is a non exhaustive list of Google abroad activities.
Year 1999: first non engineer employee hired.
Year 2000: Google provides an interface in several languages: French, German, Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Year 2001: Google is now available in 26 languages and open his first international office, in Tokyo. A partnership with Universo Online (UOL)(the largest online service and Internet provider in Latin America) makes Google the major search service for millions of Latin Americans
Google first international office is sat up in Tokyo in 2001.
Year 2002: Google is available in 72 languages, partnership with AOL and first office in Australia in Sidney.
Year 2003: several national acquisitions to extend Google services which at the end extend as well the world services abroad of Google, for example the blog services “Blogger”. Dublin became the first location for Google's regional operations outside the U.S.
Year 2004: more than 100 Google domain names are available. Google opens new engineering offices in Bangalore and Hyderabad in India. R&D center opened in Tokyo.
Year 2005: the famous Google Maps application is release for Europe. New R&D center opens this time in China. First offices in Mexico and Argentina.
Year 2006: several other acquisitions to extend their services with for each of them translation in several languages.
Year 2007: Partnership with China Mobile, the world's largest mobile Telecommunication carrier, to provide mobile and Internet search services in China. Sign partnerships to give free access to Google Apps for Education to 70,000 university students in Kenya and Rwanda.
Year 2008: Series of acquisitions and translations of other Google services.

As we just saw in ten years Google developed a lot of International marketing structures from simple representation offices to R&D centers to complex partnerships. I did not mentioned it but Google acquired several companies(more than 50). The purpose of these acquisitions was to extend their range of services which are then translated in order to be internationally exportable. I however did not find until now an acquisition of another search engine. Google seems to prefer the partnership(the company keep her brand but use Google, the best example is AOL).

Google: Google nowadays

I - Company Introduction

Google Inc has recently celebrated his ten-year birthday(September the 7th 2008). What a great opportunity to study how a simple research project became one of the world biggest growing company in all time!

I – 1 Google nowadays

Google is the most used search engine engine in the world with more than 60% of the world requests made on search engines.

Google is also a company providing a large range of services(exactly 149), his more recent ones(the web browser: Chrome) make it now compete with firms such as Microsoft.

Some example of Google services: mails, blogs, videos hosting, companies ads, maps, pictures hosting, websites analytics...

During the last 4 semesters Google generated nearly 20 billions dollars of revenue with a net profit of 4,85 billions. As a comparison for the same period Microsoft(created 33 years ago) got 60 billions dollars and a net profit of 17,6 billions.

The value of Google is nowadays estimated to 142 billions of dollars. In the High-Tech sector only three companies have a better quotation: Microsoft, IBM (created 97 years ago) and Apple (32 years ago).

Google is physically present in 33 countries around the world with 68 offices.

To understand how this company could have been so successful internationally let's study his internationalization steps during the last decade.

Google: Table of contents

Table of contents

I - Company introduction
I – 1 Google nowadays
I – 2 Google international expansion
I – 3 Google's position in the world nowadays as a search engine
II – International Marketing
II – 1 Classification of an International company by qualitative features(EPRG)
II – 2 From Geocentrism to Regionalism: How Google gets rank first?
III – Local modifications
III – 1 Local resources
III – 2 Local restrictions
III – 3 Specific cultures and localized market requirements
III – 4 Anti-globalisation trends
III – 4.1 Latin America
III – 4.2 Middle East
III – 4.3 China
III – 4.4 Russia and ex-soviet countries
III – 5 Types of internationalization
III – 6 Google's degree of internationalization
III – 7 The overall motivation of internationalization
III – 8 Drivers of internationalization
IV – Conclusion
V – Sources

Google: Topic introduction


« Select a company/ an industrial area and describe/ evaluate their international marketing context and concepts ».

jeudi 20 novembre 2008

Microsoft: Sources

VI - Sources

Microsoft: Glossary

V - Glossary

Operating System: An operating system (commonly abbreviated OS and O/S) is the software component of a computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the limited resources of the computer.

Microsoft Suite Office: Microsoft Office is a set of interrelated desktop applications, servers and services, collectively referred to as an office suite, for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. The most famous applications it contains are: Excel, Word, Access and PowerPoint.

Netbook: A netbook is a small to medium sized, light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient laptop, generally optimized for internet based services such as web browsing and e-mailing.

Microsoft: Conclusion: Suggestions for future developments

IV- Conclusion: Suggestions for future developments

Regarding Microsoft Windows:

It is hard to say something because Windows is the world leader regarding this product. They however made some mistakes regarding the launch of the netbooks. They taught that it was not a profitable market which actually is right but it should not be Microsoft priority. They should better think about their image and market shares rather than profits. Since some years Mac OS and Linux distributions are getting more and more market shares. Mac OS does not seem to jeopardize Windows because they do not play on the same market. However with the netbook market(low cost computers) gave a great opportunity for Linux to be known. I do not think that customers are ready to switch from Windows to Linux, on a short term period Linux has no chance, but the thing is if Linux came to be more and more known then people will be curious and then Microsoft could lost more market shares.
The recent example of the Eee PC.
Equipping Linux on a computer costs about $5, compared with $40 to $50 for XP and about $100 for Vista, according to estimates by Jenny Lai, a Taipei-based analyst at CLSA Ltd.'
according to

Regarding Live Search:

Here I find that the distribution channels are perfect, actually Microsoft has the reputation to be very good tactician. I however really think that it is time now for them to care about quality and image. They are for me by using their lock in strategy focusing too much more on dependence profiting of their monopolistic position and they have to be very careful about it. Because once a customer feels cheated if you let him one opportunity to escape he will took it.
And this reverse situation could happen far faster than we think because Google is coming on Microsoft market with a far more better image on customer's point of view.

In order to conclude I would like to use two sentences that one told me one day about Microsoft:
“Bill Gates was not the best computer programmer but a genius of marketing.”
“I do not think that a company such as Microsoft can think one day to close”
Those two sentences that I got from my elder brother and from an employee at my last internship company(both computer programmers) are the reflect of nowadays Microsoft's situation.
All here is about distribution channels. Microsoft is leader and will stay the leader during a long time because it has a monopole on this distribution and because it can afford ways that others cannot.
I however think that Microsoft should start to think about his image for a long term strategy.

Microsoft: Weaknesses and Strengths of Live Search distribution

III – 1.2.1 Weaknesses and Strengths of Live Search distribution

Not giving the choice to people can increase their unsatisfaction. Let's imagine that they are forced to use Live Search and that they discover that the results coming from one of his competitor is better then they will really have the feeling that Microsoft is cheating them by not giving them the possibility to change. So Microsoft has to provide an equal or a better technology in order to handle this problem. It can jeopardize his image and moreover provide general unsatisfaction.

Microsoft has a definitely strong advantage on some distribution channels: it can afford very large investments so strategical partnerships, it has a wide range of well known software and applications.
He can go above unavoidable barriers that its competitors cannot overcome such as nationalism like in Russia or China. Here it is his channel of his own products that it will use. You can avoid Google but you cannot avoid Microsoft.

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.

Microsoft: Strengths and weaknesses of grouped distribution

III – Strengths and weaknesses of grouped distribution

This distribution channel burst for Microsoft last year because of the introduction of low cost new products such as netbooks and mobile devices(such as some cell phones which require an OS in order to work) which brought new competitors. The problem of these new products for Microsoft is that it makes cross the telecommunication software providers with the software computer providers. The most recent serious competitor Microsoft has to face with on the mobile market is Google which comes into the market with his Operating System called Android. Google speaks about getting a market share of 4% on cell phones with this technology in the US market before the end of year 2008.
Another weakness for Microsoft is the introduction of these low cost products(netbooks) which based their marketing policy on low cost(less than 300€). If Microsoft wants to enter in this market it has to cut his price of Operating System if not the price of the netbook comes to be the same as the first prices laptop.
Microsoft is looking too much about profit. Recently it lost a very huge market share in Africa regarding the one laptop per child project which consists in selling computers to African children at the cost of 100$. Microsoft did not see the interest to go for this market so his competitor Linux took it. So sometimes you have to go for market shares rather than profit.
The major weakness of Microsoft Windows is that the way it is distributing himself is totally illegal. In English it is called “Bundled Sale” and consist in selling in an all pack including only one price, several products without giving the possibility to sell them separately. The legislation forbid the “bundled sale” is most of the countries with however some different interpretations of the word product and a laxity regarding the application of the law. In France several consumers went to court in order to complain and won the process. Each computer or laptop sold in the world with Microsoft windows includes in fact two products. The normal price of any laptop in the market is in fact from 150€ to 210€ below. So Microsoft is then theoretically under the risk of an incredible process for illegal distributions and partnerships.

Microsoft is currently almost unmovable regarding the distribution of his operating system through computers.
The last example in mind is the market of netbooks.
Those computers came out in 2007 and was a total new market based on low cost. Microsoft thought that this market was not profitable and did not get into it and let his main competitor Linux entered in the market.
However it seems that people were sending back most of the netbook after seeing that Linux did not fit with their requirements
finally Windows is taking back more and more the market shares that it was losing at the beginning on this market.
So I would say that one of their main strength is that they are almost unmovable because people are so dependent some customers even do not know that a computer cannot be sold without Windows.
A computer is very often sold with Microsoft Windows even in countries such as China. As an example you can give a check at Fujitsu website in China, even if everything is written in Chinese the name of Windows Vista appear in the characteristics of the computer. This information has been confirmed by local Chinese people that I know who told me that they never saw a computer sold without an Operating System. They even thought that it was a gift...and actually they are not the only ones. So Microsoft is losing profit regarding the individual pieces of Windows sold in China but actually has “real market shares” because on his main distribution channel everyone is buying it at the price fixed by Microsoft.
Even if a hypothetical trial can make Microsoft goes bankruptcy can we imagine the consequences that it will have on all Microsoft users(90% of the world computers and all companies are based on computers data process), a such scenario is economically unthinkable.

Microsoft: Included with the purchase of the hardware

III – 1.1.2 Included with the purchase of the hardware

The most distribution channel used 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 of the partnerships you made with the hardware manufacturer.
For example the final product can be sold through: supermarket, special stores, online, partnership with public institutions such as schools etc...
It may surprise you but the way Microsoft is distributing his Operating System is totally illegal because in fact when you buy a computer it is always sold with Microsoft Windows included in the price. The distributor is hardly ever giving you the possibility to opt for a different Operating Systems. The only way to do so is to build your own computer, to go to court or to find very specific computers.
We could think that this distribution is fair because there is no alternative for the consumer but what about:
if you want to go for Linux rather than Windows, why should you pay 179€ more for a software that you do not want and/or that you do not need, Linux being free that is a chance but in some cases it is not so you are paying for two Operating Systems;
if you already paid an Operating System, the classic example is when you have another computer that you do not use anymore, you could easily uninstall your software from one to install it in the new one;
if you receive the software from a donation or if you only want the hardware for any kind of reason;

As you can see the way Microsoft is distributing his product is very special and should be analyzed very well in order to understand how Microsoft can be nowadays so profitable.

I mentioned previously a very interesting distribution channel that I would like to emphasize, the one of government and public administration such as schools.
This is a very strategical way of distribution. People have two ways to be familiar with the operating system: or they buy/use the computer or the product within their own circle(family, friends)or they are familiar to the computer/product outside their own circle(companies, schools...).
In the first case they have more or less the choice they want but in the other case it is more or less imposed by the company or institution.
As I said this is a very strategical approach because the strength of the operating system is the dependence it is going to provide on the long run. More particularly if you have been raised with this technology. For example when Microsoft has a partnership with a school and sell 500 computers with Microsoft Windows on it, it is not only 500 licenses that it is selling but the number of students who will use those computers and so raised with this technology who will buy Microsoft products and be dependent of them. The more people use the technology the more they get addicted and the least they are going to be ready to try another one.

Microsoft: Strengths and weaknesses of individual distribution

III – Strengths and weaknesses of individual distribution

As I said previously 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.
The best example we can find on the Internet is the one of the introduction of Windows Vista in China.
Two weeks after his introduction in China only 244 copies have been sold whereas Microsoft spent millions and millions of dollars in advertisement.
The reasons of this small amount of those copies sold are in fact two:
- The first one is the price of the software. Microsoft sold it initially to 201$ but then discounted until 66$ and this for two reasons: Chinese people cannot afford a such price and in Chinese culture Chinese people are ready to pay a high price for the hardware but not for the software(notion of service is different);
- The second one is the Chinese copy culture, a recurrent economic problem.
In most of the streets you can find a copy of the operating system.

As Microsoft's chairman says “let them pirate software developed by Microsoft -that increases the overall number of Microsoft software users and some of them may eventually convert into paying customers.”
It is even profitable to Microsoft in one way because “Indeed, in China's back alleys, Linux often costs more than Windows because it requires more disks.” so Piracy is in one hand giving less profit to Microsoft Windows but on the other hand is making rid off one of his main competitor.

Microsoft: Individual distribution

III – 1.1.1 Individual distribution

I do not have the exact figures regarding how much does the individual distribution of Microsoft Windows is regarding to the one including with the selling of the software. But taking in account that the change of an operating system is driven by the obsolescence of the hardware and that the operating system has always been sold with the computer, then there are good chances that individual selling are representing only a small piece of the whole cake.
Regarding this individual distribution it can be divided into three parts:
You can buy the product at any stores which is distributing the Operating System(specialized stores, supermarket...). Contrarily to Apple with the Apple stores Microsoft does not have his own physical outlet;
You can buy it online. For information Microsoft online personal stores just opened, it seems that it is the way Microsoft prefer instead of providing physical stores
You can receive it as a donation, this is the case for Microsoft in Africa for example;

Microsoft: Distribution channels for Microsoft Windows

III – 1.1 Distribution channels for Microsoft Windows

The Operating System Microsoft Windows can be sold in two different ways:
Included 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.

Microsoft: Microsoft Live Search: Search engine

II – 1.3 Microsoft Live Search: Search engine

Before November 2004 Microsoft was dependent on other companies technologies regarding their search engine. But after this period Microsoft developed his own product by itself.
Live search is an online web search engine available at . It is a service which is in direct competition with other big search and worldwide well known engines such as Google(created in 1998), Yahoo(created in 1994) and Baidu(created in 2000).
Microsoft Live Search is the fourth most used search engine in the world after Google, Yahoo and Baidu.
What makes this search engine very interesting to study is that it is definitely not following his competitors for its distribution channels. Which actually is quite amazing because Microsoft has for reputation to be a follower regarding innovations on technology(except for the operating system).

Microsoft: Microsoft Windows: Operating System

II – 1.2 Microsoft Windows: Operating System

Microsoft Windows is the famous Operating System(cf. Glossary) which made the success of Microsoft.

This product is dominating the market of computers(desktop and laptops) with an incredible 90% of market shares(2008).

Economist are speaking about a monopole of the market. This situation is moreover enforced by the fact that his two main competitors are not really playing on the same market: Mac OS(from Apple) seems to be focus on a niche and Linux(specialized in Web Server Operating System) is more targeting advanced users.

In order to understand better this monopole we have also to take into consideration that most of the computers sold in the world are sold with Microsoft Windows. In customers mind it is even sometimes unthinkable(unfortunately for its competitors) that a computer cannot be sold without Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft: Microsoft Corporation

II – 1.1 Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft has been created in April the 4th 1975 by Bill GATES and Paul ALLEN. It is nowadays a multinational computer technology corporation which develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices.
Its best selling products are:
- Microsoft Windows(Operating System);
- Microsoft Suite Office;
Microsoft is also present on the hardware market with some accessories for computers such as mice and keyboards as well as in the video game market since 2001 with the Xbox.

In 2008 Microsoft counts 89,809 employees over the world located in 105 different countries.
The famous Bill GATES has been the CEO of the company from his creation until 2000 when he decided to take some distance by taking the position of chairman. The current CEO of Microsoft is Steve BALLMER.

As we can imagine Microsoft has a wide range of products and services. In order to make this presentation as focused as possible on the topic I decided to choose two products provided by this company:
One is the famous Operating System: Microsoft Windows, all versions included: Windows 2000, XP, Vista... as well as editions for example: Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Ultimate...
and the other one is the Microsoft web search engine: Live Search.

I chose Microsoft Windows in order to have a product which fits well the requirement for the examination of the Distribution Policies course and Live Search because I needed to continue my research regarding the world of search engines for my final master thesis.

Microsoft: Introduction

I - Introduction

Who never heard about Microsoft? The successful company which started by the work made by a young student called Bill GATES who in some decades became the richest man in the world.

Microsoft is like we want it or not a part of our life. Nowadays it is almost impossible to live without technology. Behind it there is a terminal or more commonly called a computer which is in 90-95% of the cases running by Microsoft products.

It could seems at the first sight that studying the distribution channels of such a company is a work without an end but actually it is not.

The reason is that Microsoft makes most of its benefits through only two products: the Operating System Microsoft Windows and the Microsoft Suite Office.

Studying the distribution channels of such software within the distribution policy course at the University of Kassel is a great opportunity to discover the position of a company which has a monopole on a market. It shows the rare case when a company can affords ways of distribution that other competitors do not have or cannot use in order to keep leader's position and to keep it for a very long time.

I chose as well to introduce another product: the Microsoft's search engine “Live Search” which help me for my personal research on my master thesis and also to show distribution channels of new products which are nowadays very fashionable: the free web applications.

Microsoft: Table of contents

Table of contents

I – Introduction

II - 1.1 Microsoft corporation

II – 1.2 Microsoft Windows: Operating System

II – 1.3 Microsoft Live Search: Search engine

III – 1.1 Distribution channel for Microsoft Windows

III – 1.1.1 Individual distribution

III – Strengths and weaknesses

III – 1.1.2 Included with the purchase of the hardware

III – Strengths and weaknesses

III – 1.2 Distribution channel for Live Search

III – 1.2.1 Strong points/Weak points

IV - Conclusion: future development

V – Glossary

VI – Sources

Microsoft: Topic of the report


Topic: Select a company/ an industrial area, describe/evaluate strengths and weaknesses of their distribution approach and make suggestions for their future development

Mes rapports en ligne

Salut à tous,

Bon je viens de me rendre compte que j'aurais plus un intérêt à mettre mes rapports en ligne plutôt qu'en libre téléchargement car je n'ai pas l'impression que niveau indexation se soit tip top.
Le seul soucis c'est que c'est en langue anglaise.
Au programme je devrais être capable de mettre en ligne 4 rapports.
-Un sur la comparaison entre les logiciels libres et les logiciels payants;
-Un sur l'internationalisation de Google;
-Un sur la distribution des applications Microsoft Windows et Live Search;
-Un sur la distribution des produits MAC(ce rapport en revanche me sera apporté par un collègue de classe qui travaille sur le sujet);

Malheureusement ces rapports sont en anglais.
Je vais essayer en revanche de fournir une navigation facile.

mardi 18 novembre 2008

La fin de Yahoo?

Aucune idée si vous suivez actuellement l'actualité mais ça sent pas très bon du côté de chez Yahoo: changement de PDG, réduction de 10% de son personnel et une action en chute sont des signes qui ne trompent pas.
Que dire d'autre?
Et bien honnêtement après avoir étudié Baidu, Microsoft et Google je dirai sans avoir étudié Yahoo en détail que si il y a un des 4 qui est plus sur un siège éjectable que les autres ... c'est bien Yahoo.
En effet Microsoft et Google font de vous des dépendants de leurs produits. En revanche en ce qui concerne Yahoo...j'ai personnellement redirigé mon adresse Yahoo direction Google il y a un an et honnêtement à part les articles de foot sur la ligue 1 et parfois l'utilisation du moteur pour faire des recherches je ne me sens pas vraiment dépendant de ses services.
Je vois en revanche mal comment Yahoo pourrait quitter le ciel japonais et celui de la zone asiatique sud est mais son avenir dans nos pays est pour moi très très incertaine.
Ce qui est marrant c'est que Microsoft tout comme Google ont refusé le partenariat avec Yahoo... que cela cache t il?
Yahoo a t il pensé à un partenariat avec Baidu...ce serait assez terrible vous ne pensez pas? L'Ouest contre l'Est, c'est pourtant honnêtement à l'heure actuelle la solution la plus viable que je vois pour donner à Yahoo le coup de fouet dont il aurait besoin pour revenir en plein milieu de la scène... affaire à suivre

dimanche 16 novembre 2008

Quel moteur de recherches utilise Skype?

Et croyez moi c'est une bonne question car la dernière fois j'ai lancé une recherche pour trouver un contact et il me manquait la première lettre du mot composé de 12 lettres.
Et bien figurez vous que Skype a été incapable de me trouver le contact en question.
Ce qui me laisse à penser plusieurs choses:
- Ou Skype utilise sa propre technologie, ce qui est assez grave car incapable de reconnaitre les caractères "?" et "*" servant à faire des recherches poussées;
- Ou Skype est allié à un moteur de recherches qui ne tient pas la distance et dans ce cas il serait temps d'en changer;
Dans tous les cas la question reste en suspens.