Microsoft Case Study

Individual Assignment
In 2009, Microsoft unveiled a re-launch of its search engine under the brand “Bing”. Bing incorporated a number of convenient and innovative features. Bing met with praise from technology observers in the press, and Microsoft’s search market share reportedly rose slightly after the launch. However, Google continues to dominate the search market and few industry analysts expect Bing to take substantial market share from Google immediately. Given the skyrocketing cost of developing and maintaining search engine, many Microsoft shareholders doubt whether the company should stay in the market.
Suppose you are a business consultant. You are hired by Satya Nadella, the new CEO of Microsoft, to write a 3-page and double-spaced consulting report. Mr. Nadella asks you to provide recommendations on the question: “Should Microsoft stay in the search market? Why?”
1. Both the theory of first mover and the theory of multipoint competition are highly relevant to the analysis. Please read the following two articles as required in the syllabus as well as the case before writing your assignment:
a. Lieberman, M. B., & Montgomery, D. B. (1988). First-Mover Advantages. Strategic Management Journal, 9: 41-58. (read page 41-49 only)
b. Chen, M. J. 1996. Competitor analysis and inter firm rivalry: toward a theoretical integration. Academy of Management Review, 21(1): 100-134. (read page 100-118 only, focus on figure 1)
c. The case of “Microsoft’s Search” provides the fundamentals of the search engine market.
2. For a recent update of Microsoft in online search market, see
a. “Microsoft Stung by Web Woes”, The Wall Street Journal July 3, 2012.
b. “Microsoft Hits Back as Google Muscles In”, The Wall Street Journal July 16, 2012
3. You are encouraged, but not required, to search and read additional relevant news reports on this matter.
Grading Criteria:
Your response to the question will be evaluated on the basis of:
Professionalism (Form & Critical Thinking)
Breadth and Depth of Knowledge on the Topic
 Both the pros and the cons of the suggestion (i.e., stay or not stay in the online search market) are mentioned and compared (i.e., Do the pros outweigh the cons, or vice versa?).
Theoretical Foundations of the Suggestion
 Your arguments should be guided by theories we learned in the classes and the theories are closely related to the case (No need to repeat the detail of the theory due to the page limit).
Relevant & Credible Evidence
 Arguments are supported with enough & strong pieces of evidence which are closely connected to the arguments.

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