BUS402 WK3 Discussion Forum 1

Company Selected: Microsoft

Prior to beginning this discussion, review section 7.4 Contingency Planning in your textbook. Strategic plans are focused on current and future company goals, therefore changes in the environment must be detected and monitored. Changes in the environment that impinge on the company’s strategic plan are known as external triggers and triggers are paired with plans to successfully deal with them. These paired actions are known as contingency plans. What qualities make a future issue a “trigger”?

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As an example, consider you are on the strategic planning team for a soft drink company. A merger of two major competitors next year would constitute a future trigger. For this discussion, consider the Environmental Scan and SWOT analysis you conducted in Week 2. Formulate a trigger/contingency pair in the form of a three-part sentence similar to the example in the textbook. Examine it in terms of the three guidelines that good contingency plans should follow.

Post a summary of your selected company and risks that you perceive based on your prior Environmental Scan and SWOT analysis. State the three-sentence trigger/contingency pair and justify your choice of contingency plan using information from the week’s readings and/or other scholarly or credible resources, using the

Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)

table for guidance.

Required Resources


Abraham, S. (2012).

Strategic management for organizations

. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

  • Chapter 6: Creating Strategic-Alternative Bundles
  • Chapter 7: Choosing the Best Strategy/Support


Moore, K. (2011).

Porter or Mintzberg: Whose view of strategy is the most relevant today? (Links to an external site.)

Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/karlmoore/2011/03/28/porter-or-mintzberg-whose-view-of-strategy-is-the-most-relevant-today/

  • This article compares two points of view to consider which may be the most relevant today and will assist you in your Porter’s Five Forces discussion forum this week.
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Brea P. Sylvester

BUS402: Strategic Management & Business Policy

Professor Fred Fening

19 January 2019

Brea Sylvester

Brea Sylvester

Brea Sylvester


Microsoft History

Microsoft is a technology-based company that began in its operations in the 1990s. It

started by a little known entrepreneur back then known as Bill Gates. The young man had

embarked on a mission to tell people in America to be part of the computer revolution that was

happening then. He managed to convince people to buy easy to use and pocket-friendly PCs or

personal computers. He also managed to convince them that it would only run on Microsoft built

software and that it would need to be upgraded periodically. It is through Microsoft and his

technological innovation that he became one of the richest men in the world. This was primarily

facilitated by the technological improvements of the last two decades, starting with the internet

boom in the 1990s. The internet was greatly improved by pioneering companies like AOL, which

has been primarily facilitated by Microsoft’s success since almost 10million copies of their latest

software Windows 3.0. This may not mean much in layman’s terms, but it meant an equal

number in PC sales for the company.

In relation to actual economics, however, Microsoft has been able to make a significant

contribution to solving the unemployment problem. It has been able to employ 144,000 people in

Microsoft working in full-time positions across the world. Sixty percent of these employees are

in the United States. The technology company had a revenue standing at around 126 billion U.S

dollars in the year 2019. The company’s employees have been increasing since when the

company was founded. In reference to other areas of impact, Microsoft has devoted itself to

philanthropic work through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Microsoft SWOT Analysis

Brea P. Sylvester

BUS402: Strategic Management & Business Policy

Professor Fred Fening

19 January 2019

Brea Sylvester

Brea Sylvester


Microsoft SWOT Analysis


A SWOT analysis is a breakdown of a firm’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in

a nutshell. It is an essential tool to deciphering the state of a firm at any one point and is usually

looked at in line with the firm’s ability to satisfy consumers, the market reach it had gained since

it was established, and the level of competition in the market. A firm has to reach this vital

process in order to develop or explain the basis it is doing business. Such information is

especially helpful to staff, top management, shareholders, and government and is thus requested

from time to time in different capacities and formats. For Microsoft, which is a company that

sells computer and software-based products, the SWOT analysis has been particularly helpful in

helping the company attain early market domination and has since faced fierce competition from

companies such as Apple, Facebook, and other Asian based tech companies like Samsung and



Specific Areas That Need Change

Some of the fundamental questions that can be asked with regards to a Microsoft SWOT

analysis include What resources are readily available to the firm? How far is its market reach?

What elements give it a sustainable competitive advantage over the rest of the firms doing the


same business in the market? Can the brand last another 100 years in the market? (Arimoto,

Barbosa & Barroca, 2015). What are its weakest elements of production? The answers to these

questions with regards to Microsoft are clustered into two major groups, with the strengths and

weaknesses representing the major internal issues of the analysis and the opportunities and

threats representing the external.

The weaknesses include lack of enough software upgrades on products, lack of enough

software security features in some cases, and a general laxity aftermarket dominance. These

weaknesses have hugely cost the company, which had enjoyed market control for a long time

(Sun & Schmidt, 2018). The losses have been in the form of stiff competition from tech and

software giant companies like Apple, which have capitalized on unique and highly efficient

products. Despite their steep price, they have substantial market followings in Europe, North

America, and some parts of Asia.

As regards the strengths, the company has had global market dominance. Most levels of tech

production greatly catapulted its status, making it the fifth most valuable company in the world.

Its headquarters are also located in one of the most convenient spots for doing business in

America, Washington D.C. (Schmitz, Mahapatra & Nerur, 2018). The city is the home of the

world’s most important trading routes and hosts the White House. The company also as a

strength has also accumulated a net worth of $61 billion and its owner, Bill Gates has been the

face of the richest men in the world in the last two decades for the most part. It indicates that the

company is making highly demanded products, which is a huge plus for its brand outlook. The

table below summarizes all.


Despite the decline in success for the company, the global smartphone and search engine

business is highly lucrative due to the immense growth in technology in recent times. I would,

therefore, recommend it as an avenue for growth for the company any day (Arimoto et al., 2015).

It was also a necessary step of the company to take since it was established as a brand that is

involved with computers and software, a necessity of sorts in modern times. Its track record also

speaks volumes about market dominance in the early stages of the computer and internet


-Early market dominance.

-Headquarters at Washington D.C

-Huge liquidity

-Bankable reputation


-The AI global market dominance

-The attainment of the $1 trillion value

-Diverse tech production including cloud

hosting and gaming.


-Low market dominance currently

-Failure to upgrade software


-Stiff Competition

-Lobbying against the use of AI software


-Creation of viruses for software


revolution, and this is a massive advantage since it means that they do not need to reintroduce

themselves to their consumers.

The importance of a marketing strategy in the international job market of any kind is crucial for

the success of the business. Different types of technology, on the other hand, have looked into

elements of compatibility and efficiency of service, easing the burden of doing business through

marketing and increasing profits (Sun & Schmidt, 2018). This is the concept behind the creation

of agile


Formula 1 is one such company in Canada that merges the best of new-age

software technology and medicine, capitalizing on the fact that almost every doctor must have a

smartphone device at all times and may need to give a medical opinion of an emergency. It is an

app that is commonly called ‘Instagram for Doctors.’ This fact has not only helped improve the

quality of service offered by the health care system but also increases company profit. Microsoft,

on the other hand, failed to understand what the current market needed in terms of service

delivery despite being an early market leader.

New Strategies and Interventions

The company has since refocused its energy into more diverse technology and research. In

2014 it unveiled a new CEO named Satya Nadella, who did away with the standard strategy of

the software market (Schmitz et al., 2018). The company has since decided to venture into the

artificial intelligence market, seeking ways to integrate artificial intelligence software in all its

products. It is also trying to be one of the first companies to hit the $1 trillion value as a result of

this investment. The company has also invested in the gaming sector, seeking to tap into the

gaming culture that is driven by technology. Microsoft was one of the first companies to venture


into the smartphone and search engine business, coming up with a search engine product named

Bing. Still, unfortunately, due to minimal improvement in the engine from 2004 to 2008, it fell

out with the market. It was quickly replaced by another software engine product named Firefox

as a result. Chrome is currently the most favored in the market; however, in recent times.

Its brand placement is also more focused on the long term goals as opposed to the short term.

Brands matter to consumers because they help consumers make quick decisions on which

products to consume. This helps the consumer save time and money looking for and trying out

new brands in the market. The idea of branding breeds familiarity between the product and the

consumer (Arimoto et al., 2015).They also help with arranging financial statements and offering

legal methods for peculiar features of the product. This helps protect the creative rights of the

brand and provides a legitimate title for the producer. At the end of the day, a brand is how a

product resides in the consumer’s mind. It involves making the consumer aware of what the

product is and what benefits it can offer to them with regards to meeting their specific needs.

This is referred to as giving a label and meaning to the brand, which is the opportunity that

Microsoft has in the new fields of tech production it is venturing in.

The commodity is a product that is hard to differentiate from others in the market place.

Throughout history, a number of brands have been grown and have resonated well with

consumers worldwide (Sun & Schmidt, 2018). The key to their success, in most cases, was able

to convince the consumer that these brands offered more benefits to the consumer. These brands,

some of which included pineapples under the brand name Dole, salt under the brand name

Morton, chickens under the brand name Perdue. These products are seemingly ordinary, but


under their respective brand names, they have managed to convince the consumer that they

somehow offer more benefits to the consumer through branding. This is one of the greatest

strengths that Microsoft as a company has. It managed to convince PC buyers that their

computers could only run on Microsoft

Trending Performance

The company has grown more than 200 percent since the introduction of the new CEO. It

indicates that diversity in tech production is healthy and brings more profit. The concept of

SWOT analysis, therefore, helps a firm in many ways, including understanding how to overcome

everyday challenges (Schmitz et al., 2018). As regards the opportunities available for the

company, the gaming and artificial intelligence industry are only just beginning and has a very

bright future ahead. The internet, for example, was a small invention by a British scientist that

has taken over the world by storm due to the many opportunities it bears.

The threats, which should be closely monitored, include a limit by activist groups to the use of

artificial intelligence on products. This is due to the fear that one day a self-sustaining and

replicating robot may be created that is so ‘smart’ that it will eventually take over the world

(Arimoto et al., 2015). This impending fear with artificial intelligence makes lobbyists and

activists groups stand against the development of agile software and artificial intelligence.

Another threat that had been seen as a result of Microsoft products is the act of hacking or the

creation of viruses to the software. Hacking refers to infiltrating another person’s account with

uncouth motives by bypassing the security features that have been installed on computer



The answer lies in effective leadership and management and the creation of virtual data and

software security features. I also realized that effective communication is a vital managerial tool

in teamwork since it hugely improves the efficiency of service delivery with regards to the

SWOT analysis. It also helps increase productivity in the firm. I would recommend some of the

methods that would be used to ensure effective communication and coordination should include

open-door policies in the management level of the firm (Sun & Schmidt, 2018). This might

consist of using suggestion boxes for members, team building events, and reward motivators for

high performing staff.


In conclusion, the best solution for this company is to continue to have useful team leadership

that oversees all elements of group cohesion and interaction. This would ensure positive aspects

of cohesiveness are maintained, and conflicts disappear. Some of the methods that the leadership

can do this are by introducing reward systems for jobs well done and punishing those who

engage in any misconduct that may portray the team in a negative light. Good leadership, such as

what Microsoft has since the new CEO joined the company, is also vital for the success of the

long term goals. As a leader at work, for example, I would go out of my way to ensure that I lead

in being an exemplary employee. Junior employees would follow suit in a bid to imitate or

impress me, so that would be a big boost for the company in terms of how people see it.



Arimoto, M. M., Barbosa, E. F., & Barroca, L. (2015, October). An agile learning design method

for open educational resources. In 2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) (pp. 1-9).


Schmitz, K., Mahapatra, R., & Nerur, S. (2018). User engagement in the era of hybrid agile

methodology. IEEE Software.

Sun, W., & Schmidt, C. (2018). Control mechanisms and agile methodology use: Data from the

industry. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 58(3), 234-243.

thanks for your submission. Prior to introducing the SWOT analysis, your audience needs some background information about the company. Your work lacks a description of the company’s history.  Your assessment of the financial performance and condition of the organization is brief and does not include any of the concepts covered in class or include any scholarly sources.  You provided a good analysis evaluation of the external environment and the organization’s opportunities and threats. However, you are missing details about the internal aspect of the company and its strengths and weaknesses. A thorough evaluation of the results of the SWOT analysis requires an investigation of all four component.  Good work, you demonstrate your ability and skills to measure performance and recognize trends. However, you may want to analyze some performance indicators even more closely as there are some performance trends you may want to consider and look at more closely.  You used the required number of scholarly sources to support ideas. All sources on the reference page are used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.


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