Apple Tops Microsoft in Market Value

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It’s official: Apple is king of the technology world. Apple’s market value surpassed Microsoft yesterday, which means Apple is now the biggest technology company in the world by that measure.

Microsoft’s (Stock Quote: MSFT) stock prices declined yesterday, while Apple’s (Stock Quote: AAPL) improved, allowing the company to vault past Microsoft. As TheStreet.com reports, Apple’s market value cap is now $222 billion while Microsoft’s is $220.6 billion. Apple is now the second biggest company in the world by market value behind Exxon Mobil (Stock Quote: XOM).

No, this doesn’t mean that there will be a ceremony where Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer takes off his crown and hands it to Steve Jobs, but it is further evidence that Apple’s star continues to rise while Microsoft is on a long, slow decline from its dominance in the 90s.

Of course, Microsoft still has reasons to be confident. More than 90% of the world’s computers currently run on Microsoft’s operating system, and the company still makes more money than Apple, earning $1 billion more in revenue in the last reported quarter than its competitor.

However, Apple’s triumph is the result of more than trading on the stock floor. “Since the introduction of the iPod, Apple has captured mindshare in ways Microsoft only dreams of," Dan Nosowitz wrote in Fast Company. "Microsoft is an amorphous blob of a corporation, with a capital C - they make essential products, certainly, but without brand loyalty or public goodwill. Apple, through unbelievably astute marketing and the power of one Steve Jobs, has won all of those fights.”

Microsoft’s products will likely continue to run in the background on our computers for a long time, but Apple’s products are the ones people line up for and flaunt in public. Apple has sold more than 250 million iPods, 85 million iPhones and more than 1 million iPads.

The question now is whether people will start to view Apple as the big corporation and Microsoft as the underdog.

Check out MainStreet’s roundup of Apple’s biggest blunders.

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