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Elements of Microsoft's Marketing Strategy

Marketing Spotlight - Microsoft

Microsoft was founded in 1975, when Bill Gates left Harvard at age 19 to work with high school friend Paul Allen on a version of the BASIC programming language. After moving the company from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Seattle in 1979, Gates and Allen began writing operating system software. What happened to the company since its founding is a well-known and often-told story. Key strategies that enabled Microsoft to achieve such remarkable growth in the competition-laden computer industry include product innovation, brand extension, heavy advertising, competitive toughness, and product expansion.
In 2005, Microsoft shook up the marketplace - and the marketing industry - again with its non-traditional launch for the Xbox 360. Read Microsoft's Xbox 360 spin (http://news.com.com/Commentary+Microsofts+Xbox+360+spin/2030-1069_3-5706144.html) and address the following questions:

1. What are the key elements of Microsoft's marketing strategy for the XBox 360?
2. What are the similarities and differences compared to past product roll outs within Microsoft and compared to the rest of the industry?
3. Could Microsoft be considered one of the best and worst examples of marketing success in America during the 1980s and 1990s? Discuss.
4. Do any of the Microsoft strategies contradict future issues that Microsoft and other technology-oriented firms should prepare to deal with in coming years?

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Please see response attached (also below). I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

1. What are the key elements of Microsoft's marketing strategy for the Xbox 360?

Microsoft had beaten its game console rivals to the starting line with a preview of its new Xbox. The software giant unveiled the Xbox 360 during a pretaped MTV broadcast on Thursday night, edging out Sony and Nintendo to become the first to reveal details of a new console. The most anticipated feature among the Xbox 360's specifications is its high-definition picture display. Pricing for the device hasn't been announced yet, but executives have said the console will be shipped in Asia, Europe and North America by the holiday season. Microsoft timed the announcement to hit before the start of a major gaming industry trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, set to take place in Los Angeles next week. The move pre-empts launches from rivals Sony and Nintendo, which plan to demonstrate their own systems at E3.
The new systems are expected to revitalize the gaming industry, which typically sees an upgrade cycle in consoles about every five years. Microsoft is slightly ahead of that schedule, likely because it's eager to get leverage from the games foothold it got with its first Xbox, launched in 2001, and to get a jump on its competitors.
(see http://news.com.com/Xbox+360+preview+gets+jump+on+rivals/2100-1043_3-5705436.html?tag=nl)

Four specific strategies are listed on the website provided above:

Microsoft's Xbox marketing strategy is:

? A key building block in the overall Microsoft brand strategy. In revealing and promoting its new console through nontraditional means with multiple partners and six months before shipment, Microsoft stands to create goodwill with demanding gaming consumers and beyond. With a gamers-first approach that will create positive ...

Solution Summary

This solution looks at the key elements of Microsoft's marketing strategy for the XBox 360; the similarities and differences compared to past product roll outs within Microsoft and compared to the rest of the industry; whether or not Microsoft could be considered one of the best and worst examples of marketing success in America during the 1980s and 1990s and; if any of the Microsoft strategies contradict future issues that Microsoft and other technology-oriented firms should prepare to deal with in coming years. Links for further research are included.

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