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Microsoft Trying to be Smaller in the EU and Bigger in China

01.03.10

The EU finally concluded its antitrust case against Microsoft by allowing customers to select browsers from a variety of 12 options including Google (Chrome), Apple (Safari), Mozilla (Firefox), and Opera. Under the plan “in March Microsoft will issue an update that enables the more than 100 million European users of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 to choose among a variety of browsers available for installation in addition to — or instead of — its Internet Explorer.” Since Microsoft will remain liable for fines it is likely that Internet Explorer’s market share will decline to the benefit of others.

How Can Bing Compete in China?

Microsoft recently announced that it planned to enlarge Bing (its search engine) in China:

"Microsoft is committed to the China market and the search market in China is the most important strategic market for Microsoft," Microsoft told Reuters on Dec. 29. "We specifically set the search technology center in China to get a deeper understanding of what Chinese users need, to be able to deliver the best product to them."

However:

“According to research company Analysys International, as cited by Reuters, Chinese search engine Baidu currently leads the country’s search engine market with 63.9 percent, followed by Google with 31.3 percent. Meanwhile, another research company estimated that Bing (which launched in China in June, and is still technically a beta) occupied less than 1 percent of the Chinese search engine market in the second quarter of 2009.”

So the likelihood of a Bing’s success seems remote any time soon.

Google Still Dominates

Since Google’s search engine continues to grow in the US and China it seems unlikely that Microsoft can make any inroads unless Microsoft changes its business plans. There is an increase in the use of cloud computing for business around the world which makes it debatable if users need new operating systems to replace older systems whether Microsoft, Apple, or Linux. Right now it is hard to tell how Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 7 will fare. If it is not a fabulous success, maybe Microsoft will only get smaller throughout the world.

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