. Net: Interpreting the new Microsoft Internet Strategy (next)

Source: Internet
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Internet | microsoft | strategy. Net: Read the new Microsoft Internet Strategy (next) (Seal Dragon Pavilion Collection, strongly recommended!) )

MSN Network Services

MSN has been a real headache for Microsoft until the overall strategy of. NET emerged. Since the launch of Windows 95 in 1995, MSN has been very successful in information content construction, but its position in the overall strategy within Microsoft and its own development strategy has been wavering. From the number of registered users of online services, MSN can not compare with AOL, and as a pure Web services portal is difficult to ensure profitability. But since Microsoft used. Net of the idea of the software/services into a concept, MSN really has a new role. It will not only combine Microsoft all the technical essence, become Microsoft. NET test-bed, it will also really integrate all the business models of Microsoft, and eventually become the user to subscribe to Microsoft software, information and business Services Center.

MSN already has a group of world's top information service sites, including MSNBC, CarPoint, HomeAdvisor, Expedia, Hotmail, Moneycentral,bcentral, MSN Community, GameZone , Slate, etc. have been among the top of similar service websites. Even looking at the individual business value of each site is far more than a few. COM company. But Microsoft's goal is not so simple, Microsoft to pass. NET to fully integrate these services, so that users can use the only authenticated way passport cross access to a variety of services.

· Hotmail is the global free Web e-mail site that MSN acquired and is now able to support most international languages and already has 70 million registered users.
· The Microsoft Messenger Service is a personal Instant messaging service that competes with AOL AIM, ICQ, and Yahoo Pager. Microsoft's Messenger service has become the world's most popular instant messaging service tool, according to a recent media matrix survey, despite its late start on this block of services and its backwardness in the US market.
bcentral is the largest number of registered SME ASP site, it not only provides a small business day-to-day management of a variety of applications, but also through flexible advertising forms to help enterprises improve marketing capabilities.
· The Expedia site is currently the most popular tourist site, it can provide tourism services from beginning to start, from booking flights, rooms, car rental, all the time to travel consumption, readily available. Some tourist sites in the country also mimic Expedia.
· Homeadvisor is currently the largest housing intermediary trading and mortgage services in North America site.
· CarPoint is the largest car sales site
· GameZone is the most popular online gaming site
· MSNBC and Slate, respectively, are the news sites and political commentary sites that Microsoft has cooperated with NBC and prominent political critic Kinsley, and Microsoft has a plan to control the media and public opinion.
· MoneyCentral is a dedicated service center for investment/financial management, a site that provides financial and analytical tools that fully demonstrate Microsoft's strengths as a technology company. Not only did these tools win prizes, but they really helped large numbers of investors raise their chances of profiting.

There is also a core user authentication service on MSN Passport, which is also Microsoft. NET's core services. Passport will establish a large digital authentication system based on the scale of every user in the world, which includes not only the identity of the user, credit card information (called Passport wallet), but also the user's personalized files for different services. Users can check in a passport to access a variety of services, or click once to pay for shopping, than today to visit different sites and remember different username and password is more convenient. But as the experience is convenient, the identity and personal characteristics of each user in the future will be managed and controlled by the Passport service.

The MSN website is about to play the role of. NET service platform, so it is very important to develop deep service at present. "Unlike other pure Web services companies, MSN is backed by a company with a deep purse," says David Smith, a Gartner analyst. Indeed, MSN's own network services, is still a "big money", but in Microsoft's entire game, MSN position is so important that Microsoft does not care whether these services can be as the board of Directors of other companies to achieve profitability in the short term.

The future of MSN, in addition to continue to strengthen the various services of their own depth, but also comprehensive integration. In the next two years, MSN will also try to provide software services, so that users can "rent" software on the network, with the help of the browser or download registration activation to expand the scope of software products. A secretive project is being developed inside Microsoft, the product code-named "NetDoc" will provide an integrated Office efficiency Toolkit on MSN, allowing users to log in using a variety of functions such as word,excel, email, and store documents on the Web. Services that users use for these functions can be charged in a comprehensive manner based on the number of times they are used or rented space, but do not have to pay a large amount of money as the Office software is purchased.

MSN will also and Microsoft's next generation of a variety of operating systems are integrated, users through a variety of terminals the most accessible is the MSN Globalization Services. The butterfly logo of MSN will appear in more and more user interface, let you can't stop.

Enterprise Application Server Products

The first company to launch the Microsoft with. NET label products are actually Microsoft's BackOffice series. The products used to construct enterprise-class applications are not right. NET's core technology has too much support, but in the whole. NET business model is not a simple function. Microsoft is constantly upgrading the technical content of BackOffice, enabling them to adapt to the requirements of mission-critical computing at the enterprise level. Microsoft hopes to improve BackOffice's position in large enterprise computing by providing more and more availability (availability), and become the core component of various services for the future network. Exchange, SQL Server 2000, and the upcoming SharePoint Enterprise Knowledge Management and collaboration platform will be the main driving force for Microsoft's internal business.

Office is Microsoft's Golden Hen, which now accounts for 46% of Microsoft's total sales and 50% of its earnings, and will still play the role of Microsoft's profit center in the next few years. In addition to adding more features to the product line, Microsoft will also make the sales model for these products. NET's "Software as a service" business model approaches. The upcoming office XP will attempt to "activate" the software, allowing users to use Microsoft's Web site or phone support to get the activation code to work, and not install the same product on multiple computers. The aim of Microsoft's move is to familiarize users with the idea of subscribing to a product, and then Office will provide a "leasing model" within 1-2 years, allowing users to rent their products in accordance with annual payments. The Office software, which would have been sold at 400 dollars, would allow users to pay 100 dollars/year for the use. Microsoft can help users save money in the name, but also by controlling the random copy of the product to expand the number of truly paid customers, and eventually achieve the real increase in revenue. According to statistics, Microsoft's products are currently pirated users 5 times times higher than legitimate users, if the copyright control technology to work, can be at least half of them into Microsoft's legitimate users. Microsoft's sales performance will be greatly improved.

Microsoft's Development Tools series will also be in. NET plays an important role, because. NET has made a significant change to the foundation of Microsoft software Technology, and Microsoft's development tools will be reborn and fully supported. NET's Web service development. Microsoft's recently launched Visual Studio.NET beta software has aroused great interest among developers around the world. Although visual stuido.net in development mode, the programming environment for development tools, and language changes are much more than previous versions, advanced developers are unusually excited about a computing model that can access global resources. Microsoft's MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) has also been active in supporting the transformation of traditional developers into new ideas and tools. To be aware, one of the major reasons for the success of Microsoft's operating system is the push of the API today. NET provides the next generation of network APIs that will have a significant impact on the overall business success of. Net.

Other Products

In addition, Microsoft has also tried to develop new products in nearly 100 + projects. These products will support Microsoft's new strategy from different sides, or seek new ideas for Microsoft and make necessary innovations.

For example, Microsoft's media service, Windows Media, has surpassed real to become the most market-share product. The latest version of Windows Media 7 technology contains the results of all of Microsoft's past multimedia video and audio, and Microsoft has proudly demonstrated to the public that audio technology is more than one times higher than MP3 compression. In addition, Windows Media 7 has added a digital rights management mechanism that is critical to digital media services, allowing digital media content providers to confidently publish their work on the web. This version of the product before the launch has been with a number of digital media Services Enterprises signed a cooperation agreement, as they provide network digital media on demand and subscribe to the preferred technology. Microsoft also extends these products to small-screen devices, allowing individual users to enjoy multimedia anytime and anywhere.

Microsoft is also developing technology and products related to E-books. The Microsoft Reader Reader, launched in 2000, was a surprise to Adobe, who pioneered the E-book market. Because Microsoft's readers can not only package book documents, but also support Microsoft's long-term development of a high-resolution font technology ClearType. The ClearType technology supports a liquid crystal display, dividing a LCD pixel into three sub pixels. In this way, the application of ClearType can display the page with the resolution of several times of the existing LCD screen, even close to the effect of the paper printing, and bring the pleasing effect to the people who read it. Microsoft's ambitious development of e-book-related technologies, such as digital rights control, is bound to be expected to occupy a place in future digital publishing.

In addition, Microsoft in the education software, enterprise Management application software and other fields will also have more products to launch. In the competitive landscape changes, these areas of products may become Microsoft's new breakthrough.

Products that will be eliminated

In the history of Microsoft, a lot of products have been eliminated. They have all made a significant contribution to Microsoft, or helped Microsoft get its benefits, or try to help Microsoft innovate in the marketplace. With Microsoft. NET's full spread, Window95, Windows98, Windows NT and so will also gradually become history. Yet as people look back today at Microsoft's first success with MS-DOS, the effects and exploits of these products are indelible.

Also worth mentioning is Microsoft's Windows ME. The home operating system, launched in the millennium occasion, did not have the same warm response as Windows 95 in the market. In fact, Microsoft just wants to test the market's consumer attitudes and needs before Windows XP. In the United States, this test of transition products is even more important. In particular, around Apple and other companies "colorful" new products, some of the pressure exists, Microsoft must have said, will not let consumers disappointed or diverted sight. Windows me is purely a marketing product and does not even have a legal status in Microsoft's operating system. It's not yet known how much Microsoft has made on Windows Me, but it certainly has achieved its goal, at least for Microsoft to get the most recent consumer feedback on buying behavior and the interface to the operation.

Management Elite

"If we take away the best 20 people in our company, then I tell you, Microsoft will become an insignificant company."

--1992 years, Bill Gates

Over the past year, a number of senior managers have left Microsoft. They used the experience of Microsoft and accumulated wealth to start their own life for the rest of the business, or retire to retirement. But Bill Gates does not seem to be affected too much, he is confident to hand over the company to the intimate old Comrade-in-arms Ballmer, and spend most of his time to conceive a new digital empire dream. In fact, Bill had said many years ago, "in this day and age, if I have not retired by the age of 50, then Microsoft's future is at stake." It is no surprise that the most loyal and reliable Ballmer has become a successor of course.

There is also an unexpected second successor is Beruzzo, Rick Beruzzo is SGI Company's chief executive, but after many times with Microsoft for high-end graphics workstation market failure, as a friend of Bill, Beruzzo resolutely joined Microsoft in 1999, the common pursuit of Microsoft's new century grand vision. Sure enough, Beruzzo not disappoint Bill's trust, not only in a short period of time to the Microsoft in a tepid state of MSN developed into the world's largest network service provider, independent users over 200 million, but also really help Microsoft to enter into the future service-featured business model of the determination. Microsoft's. NET strategy, will have the shadow of MSN everywhere. "Airborne" Beruzzo has thus successfully laid its place in Microsoft. In the past, Beruzzo's personal professional experience is not very promising, perhaps Microsoft can really play his advantage.

After years of entrepreneurship, Microsoft has created the world's largest software kingdom, and its most important asset is a steady stream of senior talent. These talents not only created Microsoft's brilliance around Bill Gates, they also laid down the position and identity of individuals in the industry. Like only in Microsoft years of Paul Allen not only from Microsoft, but also in the venture capital industry has spawned many new enterprises, become one of the industry vane. Nessen Milword, who was Microsoft's chief technology officer, gained widespread recognition for his successful creation and leadership of Microsoft's Research institute and his work with Bill on the road to the future. Nathan left Microsoft in 1999 and started his personal investment career.

Despite the experience. Microsoft's top management has changed a lot since COM changed, but Microsoft is still one of the most attractive companies. Cliff Reeves, a marketing specialist recently dug up by Microsoft from IBM, is responsible for marketing the Windows 2000 Server market, and his work will replace the existing head of Jim Ewel. Jim can be seen as a scapegoat for Microsoft's weak Windows 2000 sales, but which company's employees are not? Microsoft's veteran, former COO Bob Herod, also announced a recent retirement, giving way to the popular Beruzzo, which is another symbol of Microsoft's new strategy and new team in the new century. Bob claims he left the job because of his age, but people close to Microsoft believe that part of the reason for Bob's departure may also be due to the recent repeated attacks on Microsoft's Web site and the inadvertent internal management of the site's DNS services.

Among the many senior talent, Bill Gates is still the soul of Microsoft, his dedication and adherence to become the driving force of Microsoft, Bill about. NET's vision will lead the company to create a new miracle. When you go to see Bill's own personal site, you will see how he understands the constant innovation.

Competition for new rules of the game

"If you're playing the game of catching, you don't know who the scapegoat is for 20 minutes, then you're the scapegoat." ”

--Warren Buffett, US investor

Microsoft's vision also reflects the voice of all information companies, which means that it does herald a major trend in the development of the future information industry. This trend has brought new rules of the game and the game, in the new digital economy characterized by "service", who can occupy more terminals, who can control service access and quality of service (QoS), who can occupy the main position of service platform, who can make some key rules of the game, You will eventually get a real leadership position and get the most out of commercial profits. Because of this, Microsoft and a number of vendors race each other, each show their skills, and strive to become such a leader.

In software and technology, sun and Oracle are naturally Microsoft's biggest rivals. Since the launch of Microsoft. NET strategy, companies such as Sun and Oracle are showing no weakness. After Microsoft launched. NET six months later, Sun announced a concept called one (Open Net environment) to confront Microsoft's strategy in public. Oracle, for its dynamic Web service concept, is competing with Microsoft. The technical orientations of these concepts are similar, but from the perspective of the feasibility of implementation is not the same.

Sun has been a major provider of high-end Web services in the past few years by proposing the concept of "Internet is the computer" and the Java language. Java is a very good development language and has the characteristics of running across platforms. After several entanglements with Sun's legitimate use of Java, Microsoft has quietly developed a new programming language to replace Java, C # (SHARP). C # will appear in Microsoft's Next Generation development tool, Visual Studio.NET, as the key language for developing platform-independent web service. Microsoft also lost no chance to launch a tool that would attract Java developers to the. NET platform and C #, allowing Java developers to use the. NET Platform as an updated development platform. Those who are still hesitating will be immediately attracted to these tools, add more functionality to the application of the. Net platform, and take the initiative to grovel. NET "under the pomegranate Skirt".

In the attitude toward Oracle, Microsoft has changed its attitude of fierce confrontation, actively and Orcale to launch a new platform, but Microsoft still does not rule out any can divide some enterprise data application from Oracle opportunity. In addition to actively developing enterprise-class high-end application platform, Microsoft is also through mergers or strategic cooperation and other means to invade Oracle and other companies in the application market. December 2000 acquisition of Great Plains Software company, into the application market of medium-sized small enterprises. Great Plains provides software for capital control, distribution, enterprise reporting, Project liquidation, E-commerce, human resources and payroll payments, manufacturing, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support functions. The acquisition of Great Plains will enable Microsoft to gain points in the business application software market for small and medium-sized companies. NET policy to provide support. February 2001 again with Plum Tree and other companies to reach strategic cooperation, enter the enterprise's portal application market.

In terms of Web services, Microsoft's rivals are AOL and Yahoo. Although AOL is a step ahead of Microsoft in Web services and has a leading position in the US market. But Microsoft has many years of international experience, all products and services can be launched in dozens of languages, in the international market competition will be better than AOL. This advantage will, in turn, function in the U.S. local market, coupled with Microsoft's ability to penetrate the client, it may eventually form the world with AOL pattern. Of course, AOL's merger with Time Warner could take a long time in terms of content, but it has also forced Microsoft to look for strategic partnerships, even mergers or acquisitions, with traditional media competing with Time Warner. Public opinion, the merger of AOL and Time Warner may be the starting point of success, may also be difficult to swallow the beginning. In any case, it is a good time for Microsoft to go beyond. Microsoft can use it. NET contains software technology to obtain the best integration solution, and AOL may be difficult to form a linkage overall strategy because of its technical disadvantage. Yahoo may end up getting a chance to survive in the two companies.


Compared with all the competitors, Microsoft has a step ahead of the new strategy, and there are more important funds to make the opponents shudder. Microsoft currently has more than 20 billion of dollars in cash in the bank, with the exception of short-term investment, basically no debt. Microsoft's market capitalisation remains among the top players in the IT business, and it can be said that there is nothing to worry about, other than its rivals ' worries about the economy's overall trajectory.

Microsoft has a branch or subsidiary in around 60 countries and regions, with more than 16,000 research and development staff around the world's nearly 40,000 employees, and Microsoft employs an average age of 34.2 years. These resources are unmatched by other companies, compared to other companies or in the economic strength, or in the technical strength, or in international experience, there are some shortcomings, and Microsoft's competition will inevitably be more brutal. Of course, with Microsoft. NET strategy, these competitors will inevitably sacrifice new antitrust charges in order to protect themselves.

But it is because the future competition will certainly change, Microsoft's competitors and partners will be constantly changing. Perhaps one day, today's competitors will naturally come together to become like-minded collaborators, and who can guarantee that they will not eventually become a person? In a way, some of the Giants represented by Microsoft will "control" the world's digital lifeline, which must be carefully treated and observed. NET's real reason.

The story just started.

Just as the author wrote this article, the US stock market is experiencing the heaviest blow of the past few years, and the fear of the recession is also threatening the high-tech industry. Cisco, Intel Corporation, Oracle, and so on, have seen unprecedented revenue alerts and layoffs. Once brilliant Yahoo company is "The house leaks overnight rain", not only the income is much lower than expected, but also appeared a succession of management turmoil. Microsoft also lowered revenue and profit forecasts during the downturn, but Microsoft's share price did not change much. On the March 10 Newsweek interview Bill Gates, the first comprehensive talk about. Net, philanthropy and competitors. Bill used the phrase "the world has calmed down a bit, but it's gone too far" to describe how people are treating the high-tech industry, and insists that Microsoft's investment in research and development will not shrink, and that bill has shown confidence in the face of AOL and Time Warner, a Microsoft company that has no weakness. This conversation, let people see the real internal strength of Microsoft.

At the same time, Microsoft is moving in a step-by-step, all-round way. NET of each stage goal:

March 12, 2001, Microsoft and Ebay.com announced cooperation, sharing the technical interface between the two sides and the business community, to promote. NET in E-commerce applications. Under the framework of cooperation, the two sides will strengthen cooperation in many areas, and ebay will support Microsoft's. NET core platform and other services such as Windows 2000 Server and Microsoft Passport Services As for Microsoft, it will integrate ebay's Internet auction technology into carpoint.com, WebTV, Small Business center bcentral, and other MSN services.

March 14, 2001, Microsoft quietly acquired a network calendar service provider webappoint.com, making it a key application of. NET services.

March 19, 2001, Bill Gates will announce its "Hailstorm" products, the new integrated service system contains the upgraded version of Microsoft "Instant Messaging" Microsoft Messenger,hotmail and Passport Services, truly implemented. NET overall architecture of the lowest service system. The future of user registration, certification, payment and personalized services will be greatly facilitated.

Hailstorm, working with ebay, and buying webappoint.com only show the tiny corners of Microsoft's ambitions, and Microsoft is crafting a new "digital service Empire" with an ambitious and open stance. While the outside world is still puzzled by public opinion, such as Microsoft lawsuit, Linux threat, Windows 2000 "Bug", Microsoft has started to run a strong motor and embarked on a journey of risk and brilliance. One day, when people's lives are inseparable from Microsoft, is it to worry about or enjoy it? Only hundreds of millions of users have experienced and commented on it.

Finally, we make some suggestions for people who are "afraid of Microsoft", "Jealous of Microsoft", "imitate Microsoft" and "Learn Microsoft". The basic feature of Business society is free competition and free cooperation, Microsoft can not make all the rules of the game, it will never eliminate all competitors, it is impossible to give up cooperation. If your company is trying to compete with Microsoft, you should think seriously about competing with one of its products or with it. NET strategic competition, but also want to think about whether there is enough follow-up support, or another way to see if you can work with Microsoft.

Microsoft's grand strategy is daunting, but more importantly, these new strategies and ideas will spur the industry to innovate and be sure to maintain a dynamic balance. Even if Bill Gates is more and more wealthy, the ultimate beneficiary will be humanity itself.

Related resources:

Microsoft Company website: http://www.microsoft.com/
Microsoft. NET information Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/net
Microsoft China Company website: Http://www.microsoft.com/china
Msdn. NET Development website: http://msdn.microsoft.com/net
China XML Alliance: http://www.xml.org.cn/
Bill Gates personal site: http://www.microsoft.com/billgates/

About the Author:

Mao Xianhui: Graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University, United States ACM member, China XML Alliance expert Group leader. He is currently the chief executive officer of the Tangram software company (Software). Committed to the study of XML and human-computer interaction technology, and promote the easy-side companies in. NET platform to develop distributed electronic education software technology. Prior to joining the company, he worked as a software architect in the Intel Architecture Lab. Author publishes a number of computer technology books, but also often published in the IT Industry column commentary.

Chen Zhihong: Graduated from the National University of Singapore. In Pricewaterhouse,sony and other companies as auditors, systems engineers and other work, is currently working in HP Company. In recent years, it has focused on business models and financial issues of IT companies.

Note: Microsoft, Windows,. Net, BackOffice, Office, etc. are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.


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