Business Strategy And Competitive Advantage

The new web service's business strategy centered on "connecting information, people, systems, and devices through software" by providing a comprehensive and consistent programming model for programming developers (Cusumano 7). Derived from the business strategy, the business model also was centered around getting the .NET Framework to be used by as many programming developers as possible. The power of the Network Effect would be very influential for .NETs success; the more programmers that used the web service, the more valuable it became to the market. There were two overriding benefits for programming developers that differentiated Microsoft's .NET from its competitors, giving it a competitive advantage.

  1. Developers in other programming languages are able to use it
  2. Incorporates Non-.NET components by integrating XML and SOAP into their messaging scheme.

Michael Porters eight principles of competitive advantage describes ways in which a company can focus on product and system implementation in order to gain competitive edge in a market (Kroenke 44).

  • Not only did Microsoft create a new service with the .NET Framework, but it also differentiated its product from others. Sun’s Java (Microsoft’s primary competitor) was able to eliminate the platform barrier developers experienced when trying to create an application compatible across multiple platforms. The weakness to Sun’s product is that although the platform barrier is gone, developers could only use Java to work on the J2EE framework (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition). For clarification, web developers deal with both a language Framework and a programming language.
  • Realizing the limited language weakness, .NET enables the developers to use the language of their choice to create a .Net application. The Common Language Specification (CLS) integrates code from multiple programming languages such as C#, Visual Basic .NET, j#, (a java clone), and Managed C++. With this feature, developers can write a .NET application in multiple programming languages (Microsoft .NET development p. 43).
  • Microsoft’s .Net also gained competitive advantage by making the adoption of .NET easy and pain-free. Microsoft understood that every company has existing code in which they have invested lots of time and energy; thus, implementing a new software framework seems intimidating and daunting. With this in mind, .NET’s Interoperability design feature enables it to interact with any existing applications.
  • In addition to making the migration less intimidating, the .NET Framework locks customers and buyers in with its straightforward and easy-to-use tools that dramatically increase productivity. Using the various Configuration, Deployment, Debugging, Security, and other General Tools creates a quicker, easier way to manage the development of software. All in all, the web service locks in companies as they experience increased efficiency and productivity in their business processes.
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