How to kill your competition

Here’s the situation. You are the market leader, and have 90% market share. Your competitor has around 5%. You need to kill this guy and make sure he doesn’t grow. What options do you have?

1. Buy the competitor.

2. Give away your product for free, making sure everyone uses it, thus killing the competition.

3. ‘Co-operate’ with the competition.

Now, any sane manager would select the first option, and in some special cases, the second one. But only the smartest, most cunning corporation could select the third option and still go unnoticed.

I am talking about the new agreement between Microsoft (MSFT) and Mozilla Corp, the organization distributing Mozilla Firefox.

Mozilla has agreed to let Microsoft use this logo

The logo is usually seen on Firefox’s address bar to indicate that a website has an RSS feed associated with it. By acquiring the right to use this logo, Microsoft is ostensibly bringing itself closer to its customers and establishing standards.

To me, the real reason seems to be a long term plan to crush Firefox. Think about it. We already know that IE7 is going to have tabs and inbuilt popup blocking. These are the two major features that usually bring newbies to Firefox. Using icons from Firefox (and possibly making IE natively skinnable in Vista) will simply make IE and Firefox look identical to each other, thus killing the differentiation that attracts people to alternative browsers initially. Yes, the solid codebase and awesome features like extensions make Firefox a keeper. But at first glance, if there is no difference, people will not make the switch to Firefox.

A clever move on Microsoft’s part. As a marketing company, M$ understands that the package is as important as the stuff inside. And as for Mozilla Corp, this is what John Lilly, Mozilla’s VP – business development, had to say,

“It was a pretty easy call to say, ‘This is better for users.’ “

Rock on Mozilla! Firefox vaazhga!

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5 Responses to How to kill your competition

  1. Badri says:

    Where there is Windows, there is IE…look what Bill gates has to say…

    “Well, people get confused about browsers. You can have as many browsers as you want on your PC, just like you can have tons of music players and things like that. As RSS has gotten more sophisticated and value-added search capabilities have come along, this thing is really maturing.

    So when people say Firefox is being downloaded onto people’s systems, that’s true, but IE is also on those systems. Firefox is new, and people are trying it out. There’s a certain percentage of people who do that–it’s very easy to download”

    But Gates is ignoring the point that people are adding Firefox to systems that already have IE in order to avoid using IE.

    Future is for FIREFOX!

  2. oh common guys! we should appreciate MS at some point of time… we say
    LINUX is better than MS
    GOOGLE is more innovative than MS
    Firefox better than IE
    its all known fact… but on the other hand these people are only good in one respective stuff like linux for OS… (no i am not talking about horizontals or verticals here) its just that, we have been blaming MS too much, and still choose a pirated copy of MS.
    lets cheer up these guys for competing in all the above n more sectors. Thats no child play…

  3. hmm I agree with all three of you … HW, Badri and Fever … Microsoft is giving tough competition … and tough competition is producing better products like Firefox … better companies like Google … better OS like Linux, Solaris … Lets Cheer Microsoft … Lets cheer Firefox

    I’ve been using firefox for a long time … Its way ahead of IE … I don’t think even IE7 will be able to match the performance and simplicity of firefox … Firefox will live

  4. […] The first public beta of IE7 is out for testing. Am unable to install it on my home computer for piracy reasons , but the image below confirms my worst fears (refer this post) […]

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