Microsoft is arguably the most influential IT company ever, controlling standards in both the corporate and domestic computer marketplace. With their share of the desktop PC software market and a substantial proportion of the server business, Microsoft is now dictating many of the standards on which today’s information systems are built, and has achieved an unprecedented level of recognition among business management.
Microsoft is following a long-term strategy to dominate four interconnected core markets (the enterprise, the Internet, electronic commerce, and information appliances), and looks set to exert a major influence on every aspect of IT over the next few years. How large enterprises react to these developments will affect their business strategy into the next millennium. Despite the rapid acceptance of Microsoft technology within the enterprise, there are real concerns about the direction the company will take in the future.
The company clearly faces stiff competition on several fronts within the business-critical environment. In addition, legal issues and software delays, together with the technical shortcomings of some of Microsoft’s key offerings, have raised doubts about the company’s long-term success. Sony the Japanese consumer electronics giant has been at the cutting edge of new technological developments since the company’s founding by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka in 1946. Sony is one of the most respected companies world-wide.
Its ability to innovate new markets and constant drive for self-improvement earned Sony world-wide sales of $36 billion in 1995. Sony manufactures video equipment, televisions, audio equipment, but is not just a leader in the world of electronics. Its acquisition of CBS Records in 1988 and Columbia Pictures Entertainment in 1989 have raised its profile as an entertainment company, backed by the recent launch of its own games console, the Sony Playstation. Unsurprisingly, the Sony name enjoys world-wide recognition, and has recently been measured as the world’s second largest brand name.
Vision and Planning Since 1975, Microsoft Corporations mission has been to create software for the personal computer that betters the lifestyle and workmanship of people in the workplace, at school, and at home. It has done so by providing products for client/server environments, business and consumer productivity applications, interactive media programs, and Internet platform and development tools. However, market trends have led the company to begin to seek new ventures and design changes to their company development.
This year alone, Microsoft has spent its reengineering phases for a gaming console that could compete in the video game industry, a step forward towards breaking the main idea that Microsoft is a company only involved with the software industry. Sony on the other hand, was established as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Corporation in May 1946. (The company name was changed to Sony Corporation in January 1958). Sony pursues a policy of continuous improvement, known in Japanese as ‘kaizen. ‘ Its considerable investment in research and development bears witness to this. Sony’s history is dramatic and unique.
This is not the story of quick riches but of extraordinary vision, effort and business genius. The firm, previously known as Tokyo Telecommunications, began life in a small corner room on the third floor of the burned out, blackened and nearly empty department store several weeks after the Japanese surrender. In the first year sales were merely $6,944 and it employed 35 people. The company has been a continual innovator in personal electronics since its 1946 founding, introducing the first home-video camera and personal stereo, and with Philips Electronics, inventing the compact disc. Business Solutions
Microsoft is very well known by its trademark name, a name that has become a household and business terminology name for just about everything that is remotely computer software based. Worldwide, many products and services are identified by the Microsoft name. Microsoft offers a broad array of products that demonstrates the exciting possibilities that are enabled by software, such as: access to information, ideas, entertainment, software-development tools, and connections between people and places. Microsoft software has become an integral part of the way people work, live, learn, and communicate today.
In pat with their vision and goals the company strives to organize a lot of their software with the dedication of producing high-quality products built on the belief that it will be an empowering tool that helps people improve their lives. However, Sony is also introduced as a household name thanks to high-impact products such as Walkmans and PlayStations, Sony makes more than just televisions, stereos, VCRs, and other home entertainment staples. The Tokyo-based electronics giant also manufactures semiconductors, laptop computers, cellular phones, LCDs, and batteries.
The Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, Aiwa, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, and the Columbia and Epic record labels are also part of the Sony Empire, along with businesses in the finance and insurance fields. The company does 30 percent of its business in the United States. Overall the conglomerate has 1,080 subsidiaries worldwide. The empire appears intent on cutting back a bit, though. Sony has announced that it will reduce the number of its employees by 10 percent and close 15 of its 70 plants by 2003 in an effort to streamline its electronic businesses.