Microsoft Global Giant Gets Local

DQI Bureau
New Update


year was surely one of mixed fortunes for Microsoft India. While the company

held firmly to its dominant position as a software vendor of choice, the

dwindling fortunes of its parent in the US ruffled its position in the country.

It added many big names to its clientele and signed agreements with several

state governments–Gujarat and Karnataka. Yet, a few compelling factors raised

doubts about the future of the company in the new economy. The reasons were both

national as well as international. The most painful was that Windows, the de

facto desktop operating system and the source of Microsoft’s monopoly, was

beginning to seem less likely to remain the dominant software in computing.

As the internet took center stage, myriad computing devices were being enabled

to tap into it. And these did not necessarily need Windows.



  • Go local through vernacular versions of SW
  • Train partners to service customers
  • Make Windows more internet-oriented.


  • Agreements with Gujarat and Karnataka

  • Launched Windows 2000 operating system
  • Brought out licensing policy for SMEs.

Windows 2000–the beefed up version of

NT and one of the biggest launches of the company in recent years–too failed

to perk up sentiments. Though the response was by no way dismal, with the

  • START-UP YEAR: 1990
  • PRODUCTS And SERVICES: NT and 2000 servers,

    2000 Professional operating system, Office 97 suite, SQL Server 7.0,

    games, educational software, hardware, peripherals, consulting

    services, technical support
  • RETAIL OUTLETS: 55 (and 1,000 system builder

  • EMPLOYEES: 160
  • ADDRESS: The Great Eastern Center, 70, Nehru


    New Delhi 110 019
  • TEL: 629 4600-14
  • FAX: 629 2650


company getting full support from all

its major partners, it was marked by confusion and caution. Added to this was

the migraine caused by the ongoing battle with the Department of Justice in the

US. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered the parent company to be split into

two. Under Jackson’s order, one of the two ‘baby Microsofts’ would own and

market the Windows operating system. The other would handle all other software,

such as the Office suite and the Internet Explorer browser. The company has

asked for a stay against the order while it appeals.

The sheer familiarity of the PC

interface saw Microsoft put an ever-growing icing on top: office productivity

suites, NT server software, SQL Server databases and Exchange email servers. So

much so that the company increasingly worked its way up from the homes to the

medium-sized users to large enterprises in the Indian market. The company also

revamped its licensing policy to make it simpler for the SME segment.

While Windows caused Microsoft

concerns, the company’s other products did well too. In the database market,

it consolidated its position. Though Oracle continues to be numero uno in that

space, SQL Server 7.0 made major inroads. With the launch of SQL 2000, the

company hopes to further consolidate its position. In the suites space too, the

company continued to cruise comfortably at the top position. ‘Go local’

seemed to be Microsoft’s tune in 1999, with the launch of the Hindi version of

Office 2000 suite.

Microsoft did not sell any products on

its own. It also did not service or support its products directly except for

large accounts. What it did instead was train partners and enhance their support

skills so that they could meet customers’ requirements. This ensured that both

Microsoft and its partners grew by leveraging each other’s strengths.

The company’s new focus is to get

Windows branded software into as many places on the internet as possible. Now

the company is looking to put up a new face–one that looks at the web, at all

the data and software on PCs, and at the servers that run corporate networks.

That would mean taking Windows to not just inside machines of all kinds that are

connected to the internet, but into connections between them as well. DQ