Apple and Microsoft
John R. Fleming
Dr. Abbas Imam
November 1, 2013
Apple vs. Microsoft Corporate Culture In the world of computers these two companies slug it out daily over their market share of the business world(Blodget, 2012, p. 1). While the arguments remain over which system is the best and can lead to very interesting discussions if this question is asked("Reasons Why Facebook Stock Price Could Crash After Earnings Report," 2013, p. 1). Each company has its own unique spin on how their devices work, look, and more importantly cost. The corporate cultures of these tow giants are vastly different from each other(Martin, 2012, p. 1). Their individual cultures vary from obsessive to downright strange in their practice(Zaky, 2010, p. 1). With the need for new and improved technologies and something better and faster than the last, this can and has been a challenge for both of these companies to achieve as they do battle in this electronic age. Having the ability to “one up” the other has been the driving force for these two computer companies strategies and has ended with varying degrees of success.
Apple Corporate Structure Anything Apple produces has a certain degree of product expectation that comes with a new product. It is expected to “wow the world” when it is unveiled and cause a disruption over how well it actually is and how well it is received. The corporate mindset has from its beginning been a very secretive one “Apple is so secretive that it makes us all wonder what it must be like to work on the inside” (Edwards, 2013, p. 1). In fact the company goes to great lengths to ensure no public leaks are made concerning any new product before it is unveiled to the public. The use of this process has not always been popular within the rank in file at Apple. The practice of keeping each component of a system compartmentalized and drawing it all together at the end of the products manufacturing, is huge part of their corporate culture that ensures no one group knows the entire story. This helps to remove the possibility of leaks as well as ensure the secretive nature remains firmly in place. While creativity is desirable within the company the direction it takes and the decisions come directly from the top down “Apple also is a brutal and unforgiving place, where accountability is strictly enforced, decisions are swift, and communication is articulated clearly from the top” (Lashinsky, 2011, para. 3). Little if any movement of ideas comes from the bottom workers in Apple. While it is possible the effects of this kind of culture can appear to stagnate the use of creative ideas their bottom line appears to revolve around results. To put it in a simple way, be as creative as you would like, but you better produce something amazing.
Microsoft Corporate Culture The culture within Microsoft is vastly different from their competitors(Travlos, 2013, p. 1). While both rely on creative ideas from their workers Microsoft has decided to focus their efforts on tried and true technologies from their history and simply alter them to perform better. Little desire is currently being made into advancing products to compete with their competitors. While Apple has all but cornered the market with the popular tablet computers, Microsoft does not feel any interest in attempting to produce their own. The culture appears soundly set in perfecting the already produced systems within the company “Microsoft relied mostly on pumping out Old Faithful’s such as Windows, Office, and servers for its financial performance” (Eichenwald, 2012, para. 6). This of course has not always been a successful decision as many Microsoft users tire of the constant changes needed to run their computer programs. Microsoft seems oblivious to the desires from their customers who had always counted on their products for the majority of their lives. Microsoft had the market cornered early in