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They focus on their customers in two ways -- they listen and respond, and they persuade (Gates, 1997). Microsoft spends a lot of time and money on fathoming customer needs, interests, reactions -- and they respond accordingly (Postrel, 1997). Their feedback loop keeps them constantly informed, at every level from customer to worker, about how the company is doing. This is an aware company. Microsoft also reinvents its business structure frequently, to enhance its ability to meet the changing needs of the marketplace (Cortese, France, Garland, Hamm & Mendel, 1998).

A very large segment of Microsoft business is done through partners. When they say it is a strategic marketing tool, it's because it's their key strategy in reaching into and dominating the marketplace. The company uses the term "coop-etition...[which]allows both parties to go to higher evels of reality about what businesses they're really in. Competitors' charges not withstanding, Microsoft competes against other companies' products -- not against other companies, in what may be a new kind of economic maturity"(Postrel, 1997

Organizational change is a reality of the modern world, and that reality is not likely to change anytime soon (Johnson & Scholes, 1996). If anything, organizations can expect to face the need for even more change in the future, at an ever-faster pace. Organizations have to deal with new technology, and with upgrades for existing technology ((Postrel, 1997).

They have to cope with reorganizations, process improvement initiatives, and mergers and acquisitions. So, with all that change going on, how are organizations managing to cope?

The reality is that relatively few of the organizations that institute changeĀ·or are forced into itĀ·realize the benefits they had hoped for, and, in fact, end up worse off than they were before (Johnson & Scholes, 1996). In an attempt to help prospective software companies become Microsoft partners, the c...

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