Microsoft has overtaken Apple in market cap value for the first time in eight years. Microsoft briefly reached a market cap value of $812.93 billion today, followed by Apple at a market cap of $812.60 billion. It made Microsoft the world’s most valuable company, even if it was only a temporary title. Microsoft and Apple are now trading back and forth for the title.
Apple first passed Microsoft back in 2010, with The New York Times describing the moment as “the end of an era and the beginning of the next one.” While Apple’s stock has seen phenomenal growth over the past five years, culminating in a $1 trillion valuation earlier this year, investors are concerned about iPhone sales which still make up nearly 60 percent of Apple’s entire revenue. Apple has warned it may miss Wall Street estimates during the holiday quarter, and the forecast sent the stock price down. Recent reports suggest Apple has resumed iPhone X production due to weak XS sales. Apple will no longer reveal how many iPhones, iPads, and Macs it sells, making it harder for analysts to calculate exactly how well iPhone sales are going in the future.
Microsoft’s stock has also been performing well in recent years, helped by a boost in confidence from the company appointing Satya Nadella as CEO in February 2014. Nadella has refocused Microsoft on the cloud, and the software giant has made big gains against Amazon, its primary rival. Microsoft passed Google earlier this year in market cap value, and also passed Amazon last month. Microsoft has a surprisingly diverse business compared to other tech giants. Windows, Xbox, and Surface combined makes up just 36 percent of Microsoft’s entire revenue, compared to 86 percent of Google’s revenue coming from ads.
Microsoft failed spectacularly in the mobile era with its Windows Phone efforts, but the company has shown it’s resilient. Microsoft is now focused on cross-platform technologies, the cloud, artificial intelligence, and is aiming to secure the future of quantum computing and mixed reality computing. All of these efforts will face intense competition from Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other companies, so expect to see a lot of market cap position trading in the years ahead.