Microsoft is a household name throughout the US for its undisputed position in the market for desktop and operating system software. Its founder, Bill Gates is a legend himself and is often quoted for the way he built the company from a start-up to its present status as a software behemoth.Microsoft offers many different products and services as part of its portfolio of offerings and these range from the hugely popular Windows operating systems to the Web services like MSN and Hotmail. Microsoft’s vision is to “put a computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software”. This vision that was originally envisaged when Microsoft was in its infancy is close to being fulfilled.
The gamut of products that Microsoft offers is integrative right from the Windows operating systems that it provides to the software that runs on top of it. Thus, it simultaneously makes the Operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of products that run on top of the OS. Among the services that Microsoft offers, there are web-based applications like MSN, and Windows Live range of services that it offers. These are pure-play web-based offerings aimed at the web-based applications market.
The OS software comes in many versions ranging from the now outdated Windows 2000 to Microsoft Vista and XP. This is the bread and butter product for Microsoft earning substantial revenues for itself in the process.
The BCG Matrix is based on the PLC method and determines the importance of each product in the portfolio according to the two dimensions of market share and market growth (Value-Based Management, 2008). Thus the classification of the BCG Matrix is one of Stars (High Growth, High Market Share), Cash Cows (Low Growth, High Market Share), Dogs (Low Growth, Low Market Share), Question marks (High growth, Low Market Share).
Stars: The products in this category are the Operating system software that Microsoft sells as part of its portfolio. It is not uncommon to bundle the OS software along with the sale of each new PC to potential users. . .