10 Things Microsoft Must Do to Succeed on the Web
News Analysis: Microsoft is best known for its software, but as more and more companies and consumers move to the Web to be productive, Microsoft must be prepared to meet them. To do so, Microsoft must develop a comprehensive Web strategy.Microsoft isn't the kind of company that most folks would associate with the Internet. The software giant has been offering operating systems, browsers and office-productivity suites for years. These products are the foundation stones of its operation and the main reason why it generates billions of dollars in revenue each quarter. For its part, Microsoft has stayed true to its software roots.
The company has time and again said that it believes Windows and Office are central to its operation, and that won't be changing anytime soon. To some extent, Microsoft is right to follow that strategy. The software market is still strong for the company. But soon enough, that will change.
Stick with Bing
is one of the most important aspects of Microsoft's Web strategy. The
company's search tool has been gaining market share over the past year. It has
caused Google to re-evaluate its own plans and come up with a new search design
that looks awfully similar to Bing's. Going forward, Microsoft must keep the
pressure on with Bing. Its search engine is striking a chord with Web users and
its many other related services work extremely well. If Bing succeeds,
Microsoft will succeed on the Web.
3. Evaluate Google's strategyIt's important at this juncture for Microsoft to see what Google is really planning to do on the Internet. As much as Ballmer and Company don't want to hear it, Google is the leader on the Web. And that won't be changing anytime soon. Realizing that, Microsoft must be a step ahead of Google in every space. The only way to know if it's ahead is to evaluate what Google's Web strategy really is. Admittedly, it won't be easy, since Google typically keeps ideas close to the vest. But Microsoft must try. If it lets Google innovate beyond its own plans, it will spell trouble for the software giant's online chances. 4. Start acquiring companies Microsoft needs to start acquiring companies. With billions of dollars in its coffers, there is no excuse for why Microsoft hasn't been acquiring Web companies as often as possible. The reality is, Microsoft doesn't understand the Web nearly as well as Google. But there are several Web firms that do get it. And they could be a valuable addition to Microsoft's Web efforts. Exactly what companies Microsoft should acquire is up to the company. But bolstering its search and Web services with feature-packed sites would be a good first step.