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Case study 5.1: Microsoft – increasing or diminishing returns?

In some industries, securing the adoption of an industry standard that is favourable to one’s own product is an enormous advantage. It can involve marketing efforts that grow more productive the larger the product’s market share. Microsoft’s Windows is an excellent example.2 The more customers adopt Windows, the more applications are introduced by independent software developers, and the more applications that are introduced the greater the chance for further adoptions. With other products the market can quickly exhibit diminishing returns to promotional expenditure, as it becomes saturated. However, with the adoption of new industry standards, or a new technology, increasing returns can persist.3 Microsoft is therefore willing to spend huge amounts on promotion and marketing to gain this advantage and dominate the industry. Many would claim that this is a restrictive practice, and that this has justified the recent anti-trust suit against the company. The competitive aspects of this situation will be examined in Chapter 12, but at this point there is another side to the situation regarding returns that should be considered. Microsoft introduced Office 2000, a program that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, to general retail customers in December 1999. It represented a considerable advance over the previous package, Office 97, by allowing much more interaction with the Internet. It also allows easier collaborative work for firms using an intranet. Thus many larger firms have been willing to buy upgrades and pay the price of around $230.

However, there is limited scope for users to take advantage of these improvements. Office 97 was already so full of features that most customers could not begin to exhaust its possibilities. It has been estimated that with Word 97 even adventurous users were unlikely to use more than a quarter of all its capabilities. In this respect Microsoft is a victim of the law of diminishing returns.4 Smaller businesses and home users may not be too impressed with the further capabilities of Office 2000. Given the enormous costs of developing upgrades to the package, the question is where does Microsoft go from here. It is speculated that the next version, Office 2003, may incorporate a speech-recognition program, making keyboard and mouse redundant. At the moment such programs require a considerable investment in time and effort from the user to train the computer to interpret their commands accurately, as well as the considerable investment by the software producer in developing the package.

1 Is it possible for a firm to experience both increasing and diminishing returns at the same time?

2 What other firms, in other industries, might be in similar situations to Microsoft, and in what respects?

3 What is the nature of the fixed factor that is causing the law of diminishing returns in Microsoft’s case?

4 Are there any ways in which Microsoft can reduce the undesirable effects of the law of diminishing returns?

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question archive Case study: Microsoft – increasing or diminishing returns? In some industries, securing the adoption of an industry standard that is favourable to one’s own product is an enormous advantage

Case study: Microsoft – increasing or diminishing returns? In some industries, securing the adoption of an industry standard that is favourable to one’s own product is an enormous advantage

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Case study: Microsoft – increasing or diminishing returns? In some industries, securing the adoption of an industry standard that is favourable to one’s own product is an enormous advantage. It can involve marketing efforts that grow more productive the larger the product’s market share. Microsoft’s Windows is an excellent example. The more customers adopt Windows, the more applications are introduced by independent software developers, and the more applications that are introduced the greater the chance for further adoptions. With other products the market can quickly exhibit diminishing returns to promotional expenditure, as it becomes saturated. However, with the adoption of new industry standards, or a new technology, increasing returns can persist. Microsoft is therefore willing to spend huge amounts on promotion and marketing to gain this advantage and dominate the industry. Many would claim that this is a restrictive practice, and that this has justified the recent anti-trust suit against the company. Microsoft introduced Office 2000, a program that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, to general retail customers in December 1999. It represented a considerable advance over the previous package, Office 97, by allowing much more interaction with the Internet. It also allows easier collaborative work for firms using an intranet. Thus many larger firms have been willing to buy upgrades and pay the price of around $230. However, there is limited scope for users to take advantage of these improvements. Office 97 was already so full of features that most customers could not begin to exhaust its possibilities. It has been estimated that with Word 97 even adventurous users were unlikely to use more than a quarter of all its capabilities. In this respect Microsoft is a victim of the law of diminishing returns. Smaller businesses and home users may not be too impressed with the further capabilities of Office 2000. Given the enormous costs of developing upgrades to the package, the question is where does Microsoft go from here. It is speculated that the next version, Office 2003, may incorporate a speech-recognition program, making keyboard and mouse redundant. At the moment such programs require a considerable investment in time and effort from the user to train the computer to interpret their commands accurately, as well as the considerable investment by the software producer in developing the package. Questions a. Is it possible for a firm to experience both increasing and diminishing returns at the same time? b. What other firms, in other industries, might be in similar situations to Microsoft, and in what respects? c. What is the nature of the fixed factor that is causing the law of diminishing returns in Microsoft’s case? d. Are there any ways in which Microsoft can reduce the undesirable effects of the law of diminishing returns?

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In: Economics

Case study: Microsoft – increasing or diminishing returns? In some industries, securing the adoption of an...

Case study: Microsoft – increasing or diminishing returns? In some industries, securing the adoption of an industry standard that is favourable to one’s own product is an enormous advantage. It can involve marketing efforts that grow more productive the larger the product’s market share. Microsoft’s Windows is an excellent example. The more customers adopt Windows, the more applications are introduced by independent software developers, and the more applications that are introduced the greater the chance for further adoptions. With other products the market can quickly exhibit diminishing returns to promotional expenditure, as it becomes saturated. However, with the adoption of new industry standards, or a new technology, increasing returns can persist. Microsoft is therefore willing to spend huge amounts on promotion and marketing to gain this advantage and dominate the industry. Many would claim that this is a restrictive practice, and that this has justified the recent anti-trust suit against the company. Microsoft introduced Office 2000, a program that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, to general retail customers in December 1999. It represented a considerable advance over the previous package, Office 97, by allowing much more interaction with the Internet. It also allows easier collaborative work for firms using an intranet. Thus many larger firms have been willing to buy upgrades and pay the price of around $230. However, there is limited scope for users to take advantage of these improvements. Office 97 was already so full of features that most customers could not begin to exhaust its possibilities. It has been estimated that with Word 97 even adventurous users were unlikely to use more than a quarter of all its capabilities. In this respect Microsoft is a victim of the law of diminishing returns. Smaller businesses and home users may not be too impressed with the further capabilities of Office 2000. Given the enormous costs of developing upgrades to the package, the question is where does Microsoft go from here. It is speculated that the next version, Office 2003, may incorporate a speech-recognition program, making keyboard and mouse redundant. At the moment such programs require a considerable investment in time and effort from the user to train the computer to interpret their commands accurately, as well as the considerable investment by the software producer in developing the package. Questions a. Is it possible for a firm to experience both increasing and diminishing returns at the same time? b. What other firms, in other industries, might be in similar situations to Microsoft, and in what respects? c. What is the nature of the fixed factor that is causing the law of diminishing returns in Microsoft’s case? d. Are there any ways in which Microsoft can reduce the undesirable effects of the law of diminishing returns?

Expert Solution

a)The firm experiences both economies of large scale and diseconomies of large scale as it expands its scale of operation.In the beginnning the economies are more than the diseconomies and the firm can overcome the diseconomies.So the firm experiences increasing returns to scale.But as the firm continues to expand its scale of operations the negative effects or diseconomies are more than the economies of higher scale.The firm cannot get over this diseconomies.So diminishing returns set in.So the firm cannot experience increasing and diminishing returns at the same time.This is applicable to the growth of individual firms over  a period of time.

b)Industry which might be in similar situation like Microsoft may be computer industry.The computer industry like Microsoft, spend a large amount in developing technology and also in upgrading the quality of their product even though the quality of the last product produced maybe well developed.

c)Law of diminishing return states that marginal product of variable input will decrease in the short run as more of the input is used in production all other inputs remaining constant.We know that total product increases but at a decreasing rate after the first stage of production.Marginal product which is the change in total product as a result of change in input falls as the quantity of input increases.

d)The undesirable effects of diminishing returns can be reduced by Microsoft by adopting the economies of large scale production. By employing more inputs like labor and using more raw materials , the firm can increase output within the plant.Using more variable factor like labor will help Microsoft to upgrade their windows or MS office .They can also upgrade their marketing and promotional skills which in turn will lead to greater sales.

microsoft increasing or diminishing returns case study solution

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    Questions 1 Is it possible for a firm to experience both increasing and diminishing returns at the same time? 2 What other firms, in other industries, might be in similar situations to Microsoft, and in what respects? 3 What is the nature of the fixed factor that is causing the law of diminishing returns in Microsoft's case?

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    of 1 Case study 5: Microsoft - increasing or diminishing returns? In some industries, securing the adoption of an industry standard that is favorable to one's own product is an enormous advantage. It can involve marketing efforts that grow more productive the larger the product's market share. Microsoft's Windows is an excellent example.2

  4. Case Study 5.1: Microsoft

    Questions 1 Is it possible for a firm to experience both increasing and diminishing returns at the same time? 2 What other firms, in other industries, might be in similar situations to Microsoft, and in what respects? 3 What is the nature of the fixed factor that is causing the law of diminishing returns in Microsoft's case?

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    Question: Case study: Microsoft - increasing or diminishing returns? In some industries, securing the adoption of an industry standard that is favourable to one's own product is an enormous advantage. It can involve marketing efforts that grow more productive the larger the product's market share. Microsoft's Windows is an excellent example.

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    Doc Preview MBA 004 Case Study 5.1: Microsoft - increasing or diminishing returns? I. INTRODUCTION/ BACKGROUND Microsoft Corporation, abbreviated as MS, is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

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    Questions 1 Is it possible for a firm to experience both increasing and diminishing returns at the same time? 2 What other firms, in other industries, might be in similar situations to Microsoft, and in what respects? 3 What is the nature of the fixed factor that is causing the law of diminishing returns in Microsoft's case?

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    Question Answered Asked by thanyatep.k Case study 5.1: Microsoft - increasing or diminishing returns? In some industries, securing the adoption of an industry standard that is favourable to one's own product is an enormous advantage. It can involve marketing efforts that grow more productive the larger the product's market share.

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    a. Is it possible for a firm to experience both increasing and diminishing returns at the same time? b. What other firms, in other industries, might be in similar situations to Microsoft, and in what respects? c. What is the nature of the fixed factor that is causing the law of diminishing returns in Microsoft's case? d.

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    NAME: NELSON C. ILAO Course: PG-MBA Student No.: 20190018095 Subject: Managerial Economics Date: 28 August - 03 Sept 2019 Assignment 2 - Case Study: Microsoft - Increasing or Diminishing Returns? I. Introduction / Background Microsoft still feeling great at the age of 44 since its birth in 1975.

  19. Please refer to the Microsoft case study of diminishing returns:

    Questions 1 Is it possible for a firm to experience both increasing and diminishing returns at the same time? 2 What other firms, in other industries, might be in similar situations to Microsoft, and in what respects? 3 What is the nature of the fixed factor that is causing the law of diminishing returns in Microsoft's case?

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    Expert-verified. 1. Microsoft faces increasing and diminishing returns to scale at the same time, because it is a monopoly and it is able to function if on one hand it is losing money in the short run and on the other it is earning super normal profits. Because of th …. View the full answer.

  21. Solved PRODUCTION AND COST ANALYSIS Microsoft

    a) In the event Microsoft faces diminishing in returns explain how it could avoid it happens in the future. (15 marks) b) Analyze the fixed costs and variable costs for Microsoft's case. (15 marks) c) Based on the characteristics in market structure analyze how Microsoft can maintain returns of scale in long run.