Standards Battles and Design Dominance: Microsoft Case Study

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QUESTION 1: what factors led to Microsoft’s emergence as the dominant personal computer operating system provider? Is Microsoft’s dominance due to luck, skill or some combination of both? Microsoft’s emergence as a software superpower was due to the unfolding of a unique set of circumstance and a combination of luck and skill. Since the early ‘80s, Microsoft’s has a good share of the market of personal computers operating systems but the rise of this company has been widely caused by an IBM’s wrong evaluation. In those years IBM was the world’s largest computer producer, but its managers decided to not invest money into development of personal computer technology because they thought that this sector would never been profitable, but only a niche market. When IBM’s managers realized that the market was growing very fast and the company was in danger to lose its leadership, they decided to base their personal computer on Intel microprocessor and Gary Kildall’s operating system, named CP/M, instead of developing their own. Kildall decided to not sign with IBM and their choice fell back on Bill Gates that bought an operating system based on CP/M and made it compatible with IBM’s machines, creating Microsoft DOS. Every IBM’s PC used this program, so MS DOS had a huge installed base, and the other companies who wanted to stay in the market could only develop a compatible software, also a lot of applications and complementary goods were developed for this platform and it generated a “virtuous circle” that made Microsoft the world’s fastest-growing software company. To be more functional for users and to fight against Apple, Microsoft decided to create a new graphical interface, named Windows and with that reached the leadership on personal computer operating system market and a large market share in many other software market such as word processor and presentation programs, influencing software and hardware industries thank also to its capabilities of encouraging...
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