Microsoft Secrets: How the World's Most Powerful Software Company Creates Technology, Shapes Markets, and Manages People
Simon and Schuster, Dec 4, 1998 - Business & Economics - 512 pages
PREFACE TO THE PAPERBACK EDITION
It gives us great pleasure to write this special preface to the paperback edition of "Microsoft Secrets, " which we originally published in October 1995. The book has been translated into fourteen foreign languages and has been on best-seller lists around the world, in markets ranging from the United States and Japan to Germany, Brazil, and China. The personal computer software industry moves very quickly, and much has happened to Microsoft in the past three years. The strategies and principles discussed in "Microsoft Secrets" still appear to be guiding the company forward.
Since that time, Microsoft has changed most of its product plans and products to make sure that they took advantage of the Internet's enormous capabilities. Microsoft now has 40 percent of the browser market (compared to 60 percent for Netscape). Microsoft also has a strong and growing position in server software based on Windows NT Plans for Microsoft Network did not work out as expected, although Microsoft has remade much of this system into a Web-based service.
Microsoft has made maade their operating systems andapplications software. Microsoft Office had about 90 percent of the desktop applications market and had become a standard in corporations. Windows NT and Microsoft BackOffice (which includes servers and database software) were also growing rapidly in market share. These corporate products had higher profit margins than products sold to individuals and guaranteed that Microsoft's profits would probably grow faster than its revenues.
The most recent serious debate has involved features or products that Microsoft is bundling into new versions of Windows. The browser that comes with Windows 98, for example, is much more tightly integrated into the operating system than in Windows 95. Microsoft also continued to include the browser at no extra charge (which forced Netscape to make its browser available for free also, even to companies that previously had paid for it). The problem: Microsoft has allegedly pressured computer manufacturers not to load competitors' products, such as Netscape's Navigator/Communicator browser. The browser is no longer a revenue source in itself, but it is critical as a "port al" to the Web. Both Netscapeand Microsoft, for example, use their browsers to draw customers to their Web sites, from which point customers can purchase various products and services, such as books, news, and travel reservations. Furthermore, in Windows 98, Microsoft is including the Web TV software "for free" and is encouraging computer manufacturers to include hardware to support this technology. Web TV makes it possible to combine TV advertisements and programming with Internet-based sales.
Not all of Microsoft's initiatives will succeed. The company can misjudge markets, as it did with the Microsoft Network. Microsoft also has more competition in Internet markets than in operating systems or desktop software. But the possibilities are limitless for Internet commerce. And Bill Gates has clearly put Microsoft in a superb position strategically and technically to thrive in this new age of the Internet.
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MICROSOFT SECRETS: How the World's Most Powerful Software Company Creates Technology, Shapes Markets, and Manages PeopleUser Review - Kirkus
Microsoft Corp. bestrides the widening world of PC software like a colossus, and here two technology-oriented academics show how the multinational company's success can provide noteworthy lessons for ... Read full review
Microsoft secrets: how the world's most powerful software company creates technology, shapes markets, and manages peopleUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
With unrestricted access to confidential internal documents and through interviews with key staff members, Cusumano (The Japanese Automobile Industry, LJ 4/1/86) and Selby (Univ. of California-Irvine ... Read full review
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