abdos world

Friday, March 31, 2006

Microsoft's New Features

Microsoft as we all now is one of the most successful corporations that were ever created. With billions and billions of dollars, it’s still leading its way through the top. Microsoft continues to be a role model to most of today’s existing corporations. However its control of the software market was a major issue that lawyers were making a job out of attacking the corporation monopoly ; nevertheless, Microsoft was and still to be the strongest survivor of all times. We should ask ourselves then: What makes Microsoft that special and that strong to lead all of the computer business industry.

If we take a look at the humongous resources that Microsoft holds as a major reason for its success. We should start with the most important one. Its owner and the man behind all this success , the one who created this corporation and made his fortune to be the richest human being of all times. (Bill gates) who dropped out of college just to start his own corporation (Microsoft). Gates along with thousands of employees who were chosen carefully represent the most important resources that Microsoft holds (human resources). Gates brilliant ideas and skilled leadership made the rest of resources weather financial, physical or organizational all available to lead the company through its success.

If we apply Barney study into the article in hand we could find that: organizational capital as Barney explains is an attribute of single individuals which in this case is Gates and his workers. Physical resources on the other hand represent company’s physical technology which is highly effective in Microsoft. There’s absolutely no need to clarify Microsoft’s financial resources, its just enough to say that its revenue during the year exceeded 41 billion dollars.

The article talks about a new feature that Microsoft is planning to launch which is( as the article suggests) “The integrated search is provided through the addition of a beta feature to the consumer-centric MSN Search Toolbar launched in May, which IT departments are expected to download to corporate machines. The beta feature enables users to consolidate search results inside their Office Outlook clients. According to Microsoft, the toolbar enables users to switch between desktop, web or intranet searches”

Applying the VRIO analysis to our article we could find that Microsoft resources are Valuable. Because when answering Do firm’s recourses and capabilities enable the firm to respond to environmental threats or opportunities? the answer with no doubt is yes because the feature that Microsoft is providing adds more value to Microsoft because it gives it a cost advantage due to the simple approach that users could follow.

Moreover this feature is rare or actually it does not exist because Microsoft was the first to create it in order to differentiate itself from its rivals. In addition, this feature is not difficult to imitate. It would however take other corporations some time to imitate it due to the lack of resources Microsoft has.

Finally, when it comes to the question of organization we could simply say that Microsoft is fully organized to exploit the full competitive potential of its resources and capabilities using their long experience which is led by the most important resource Gates.

As a result of the analysis we recognize that Microsoft has a temporary competitive advantage because its resources are valuable , rare , not too difficult to imitate and well organized.

Link : http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2005/11/16/microsoft_google_search/

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Shell and Nigeria

Shell is considered to be one of the leaders in the field of oil industry; however, they were accused of many unethical acts in the 1990’s and continue to be a main target for human rights organizations and activists.

Shell began exploring oil in Nigeria since the 1930’s until they discovered it in the 1950’s. The Royal Dutch/Shell Group then participated in a joint venture with Nigerian Government and two other private firms. The best type of oil discovered in Nigeria was coming from a place called Ogoniland which used to be the place where a very famous ethnic group called Saro-Wiwa ethnic group is living. The problem was that this land used to be the one of the nation’s poorest places. So they were asking for funds from the government to develop their land. However, Shell was criticized for spending less to no effort in deciding how development funds of its community should be spent

Baron’s concepts of Non-market issues could be highly applied into this case. The issue here is that these very poor people were looking for a payback for allowing Shell and the government dig into their lands generating millions of dollars. They were asking for no more than 10 percent of revenues to develop their poor land.

Another issue was that Oil exploration as Saro-Wiwa states “ has turned Ongoni into a waste land: lands, streams, and creeks are totally and continually polluted; the atmosphere has been poisoned, charged with hydrocarbon vapors, methane, carbon monoxide….the results of such unchecked environmental pollution and degradation include the complete destruction of the ecosystem.

In addition, Interest here represents in large Shell who were socially irresponsible for their acts that cause pollution and made a lot of Ongoni’s leave their homes. Ogoni activists such as Saro-Wiwa who was born and raised in Ogoniland were also attacking Shell unethical acts.

Moreover, there are a lot of Institutions that are involved into this case such as: The Nigerian Government itself which had a big impact in this issue because it was a main shareholder in Nigerian Shell. Some of other organizations were: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) which could also be considered as an interest group.

Finally the information here were clearly represented by Saro-Wiwa’s speech which he clarified most of the issued being held against Shell. However Shell disputed these charges arguing that it has acquired a land for operations comprised only of .3 percent of Niger Delta.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Link: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/011/900risbm.asp?pg=1

Dubai World, A state owned company, has the best growing record in the UAE. This huge corporation proposed a deal with major United States ports in order to be able to manage these ports; however, this deal was not approved by United States policy makers, so they decided that they should cut off the deal even if Dubai World Corporation has every legal right to own these ports.

This dilemma that has arisen from United States policy makers is clearly a non-market issue if we look at it from Baron’s perspective. The issue created several public and political controversies because U.S policy makers think that this deal will make it easier for Al-Qaeda to launch future attacks.

Dan Darling, however; argues that the UAE is far from being supportive to this terrorist group. As a matter of fact they were threatened by Al-Qaeda which gave them several demands and if the UAE won’t response they will launch attacks and bomb many important locations in UAE but UAE officials never responded to their demand. More and more they captured one of their senior leaders, Abdulrahim AL-Nashiri “the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing” not to mention the severe threat from AL-Qaeda that UAE should stand against US and should never cooperate with them. All of these three defenses are enough to prove that the UAE has no connection what so ever with Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

Dubai World Corporation, US Ports, US policymakers, and the UAE Government all represent the interest group as Baron States in his study “Interests include those who have an economic stake in an issue” Dubai World being the one with the highest interest because they want to manage these ports. US policy makers hold a political issue on the deal because they are afraid that this deal might yield awful consequences. Finally UAE Government who own the Dubai World Corporation. We can then classify both governments and the media as institutions who are involved in this issue as well.

Finally, defending themselves, UAE has proven that the information that US government holds about UAE are largely incorrect as a matter of fact AL-Qaeda now think of UAE as one of their enemies. US Government has generalized what two Emaraties who were involved in the 9/11 attacks to make the whole UAE a nation of terrorism.