The demand for Microsoft products (technological products) is dependent on the economy. This means that because the status of economic indicators cannot be ascertained, so is the demand for Microsoft products. As an implication, Microsoft can be significantly affected by events such as war, energy crisis and even politics. Also included in this economic uncertainty is the instability of foreign currencies. In theory, the demand for Microsoft products would increase with the increase in value of foreign currencies against the dollar.
In formulating a strategic plan for Microsoft, the general idea is to focus on improving on areas in which the company is weak, eliminating threats, exploiting the opportunities and continuing, or better yet improving their strengths. Technological innovation, improved engineering, human resources development, increased commitment to delivering high-quality products and customer service are the key strategies in ensuring Microsoft’s competitive advantage.
The company must continue to become the most advanced compared to its competitors, not allowing anyone to gain the advantage or even decrease the gap in market shares and status, extending the efforts especially in areas like wireless market and internet applications. This can be done by continuing the development of upgrades most especially to the advancement of the products’ functionality and security. Development of new products, specific for the wireless market and internet applications are necessary to improve the company’s status in this sector against its competitors.
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The introduction of Microsoft-specific formats in the wireless market and internet applications will increase the need for the Microsoft products. Likewise, the company should continue the development of their marketing strategies in order to ensure wide distribution of their products. Similarly in Home Entertainment and Gaming, there should be development of more games catering to the wants and needs of the targets, in this case, the youth. The company must invest in feasibility studies to ensure that success of a product to be developed for such targets.
In the case of the demand’s seasonality, there should be an attempt to flex the prices depending on the demands of the products. As with the economic principle, during the holiday season when sales are high, the prices should be relatively higher compared to the prices during ordinary days; or the prices should be relatively cheaper during ordinary days compared to the prices during holiday season. To keep up with the booming rate of distribution of Linux, the company should attempt to develop their own sets of freeware.
If such case would not be possible without harming the company’s current status, the company should at least ensure that their product is significantly more advanced over the others or try to reduce the selling price of their products. In any case, the main objective should be to decrease the customers’ PERCEIVED price. To eliminate the company’s dependency on hardware manufacturers, the company should invest in developing their own hardware.
In this case, they would not only become independent but also gain the advantage against hardware companies who are trying to develop similar softwares. The company must invest in research and development to discover other possible markets and explore new possibilities. For example, the increasing demand for time ensures the need for more programs that will speed up actions and processes. The development of such programs will not only hasten actions but also promote independence among people, another thing that is very high in demand.
In addition, the company should make more strategic partnerships against huge companies. A wider market should be anticipated with the advancement of previously underdeveloped countries. Again, studies must be done to realize the needs and potential of these markets. Piracy can be prevented through stricter controls over the products’ copyrights. References Cohen, Adam. (1999). “Microsoft Enjoys Monopoly Power…” Retreved 20 August, 2006, from Time Magazine Website: http://www. time.
com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,992551,00. html. CNN. (2004). Microsoft Hit by Record EU fine. …” Retreved 20 August, 2006, from CNN Website: http://www. cnn. com/2004/BUSINESS/03/24/microsoft. eu/index. html Company Profile. (2006). Retrieved 20 August, 2006, from Microsoft Website: http://www. microsoft. com/asia/careers/mslife/company_profile. mspx. Microsoft Annual Report (2005). Retrieved 20 August, 2006, from Microsoft Website: www. microsoft. com/msft/ar05/staticversion/10k_sl_eng. html.