Microsoft Case Study

1362 Words 6 Pages
Register to read the introduction… Gates licensed MS-DOS to IBM, which it had acquired from a local computer manufacturer. The story of how Microsoft acquired the original system (QDOS) has inspired much folklore, which often portrays Gates pouncing on a trivial mistake by Digital Research and stealing that company's lead in microcomputer operating systems. It is frequently cited by those who accuse Gates of unethical business practices. In reality, IBM did approach Digital Research for a version of CP/M for its upcoming IBM PC, and spoke to Gary Kildall's wife Dorothy. IBM representatives wanted Dorothy to sign their standard non-disclosure agreement, which Dorothy considered overly burdensome. IBM then returned to talk to Microsoft. He obtained rights to a cloned design of CP/M, QDOS, from Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer products, licensed it to IBM, and MSDOS/IBMDOS was born. Later, IBM discovered that Gates' operating system could have infringement problems with CP/M, contacted Kildall, and in exchange for a promise not to sue, made an agreement that CP/M would be sold along with IBMDOS when the IBM PC was released. The price set by IBM for CP/M was $250 and for MSDOS/IBMDOS it was $40. Obviously, MSDOS/IBMDOS outsold CP/M many times over, eventually becoming the standard. By marketing MS-DOS aggressively to manufacturers of IBM-PC clones, Microsoft gained unprecedented visibility in the microcomputer industry, even rivalling IBM.

During the following years, Gates used his company's growing resources to displace competitors such as WordPerfect, and Lotus 1-2-3, among many others. It is alleged (although never explained in detail) that Gates instructed Microsoft programmers to include special code in one of the MS-DOS versions to make Lotus 1-2-3 produce errors, making it appear to the users as if Lotus's software was the
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The operating system was marketed in connection with a new hardware design, the PS/2, that was proprietary and secret to IBM. As the project progressed, Gates oversaw continuing friction with IBM over the system's design, hardware support, and user interface. Ultimately he came to believe that IBM wanted to marginalize Microsoft from having any input in OS/2's development. On May 16, 1991 Gates announced to Microsoft employees that the OS/2 partnership was over and Microsoft would henceforth focus its platform efforts on Windows and the NT kernel. In the ensuing years OS/2 fell to the side and Windows became the favored PC platform.

Some years later, Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser displaced Netscape's Navigator, in a turn of events that many attributed to Microsoft's inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows at no extra charge. An opposing view is that the inclusion in Windows was less important in Internet Explorer's adoption than Microsoft's improvement of the browser's features to a level comparable with

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