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A Strategic Situational Analysis of the Microsoft Corporation

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Environmental factors such as scarce natural resources, conservation of ecosystems through recycling and reduced use of paper are promoting the concept of paperless age. These trends have a beneficial impact on the IT industry, which is replacing paper modes of communication and data processing & storage with electronic means. Natural disasters as the Asian Tsunami and the series of hurricanes in the US can also impact upon the organization adversely. Social & Cultural factors consist of changing demographics, patterns of employment, lifestyles, and attitudes. More and more people are becoming technology savvy and the new generations are highly computer literate.

A higher percentage of women across the world are employed, increasing the consumer base for computer products. The concept of home computers is well accepted. The aging population of the world may hold adverse effects for the industry in the time to come, as the number of people working will be drastically reduced up to 35% of the population while over 50% will be retired. Technological developments include wide-scale use of personal computers, the rapid growth of Internet usage and integration of information technology to drive key processes of organizations.

IT solutions as Decision Support Systems, Data Mining, and Warehousing, IT Aided Customer Relationship Management programs, Computer Aided Designing and Production Facilities, Transaction Processing Systems and host of other IT integrated business processes are increasingly used as leverage of competitive advantage. The convergence of multi media options of audio, video and data is providing powerful usage options, further expanding product potential. Legal factors impinging upon companies as Microsoft can be seen in the Anti Trust laws, regulation of mergers and acquisitions monopolistic market practices.

The legislature is also impacting upon the company in the form of renewed focus on copyright and intellectual property laws striking hard against software piracy activities.

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