Apple has now become the most valuable technology company in the world, after end-of-day trading brought the company's market cap to $22.1 billion. Microsoft ended the day at $219.2 billion. This is the first time that Apple has ended a day with a higher market capitalization than Microsoft, a highly symbolic event that shows the divergent directions in which the two companies are heading.
With the iPhone and iPad, Apple has skyrocketed over the past few years. Its Q2 2010 profit was up 49% over last year and revenue will only go up as customers continue to clamor for the iPad.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is fledgling in the new decade. For the first year since its launch, the Xbox 360 is losing market share, and the company's mobile phone division is in dire need of restructuring.
So it looks like Apple is becoming the new establishment, while Microsoft is the one that needs to rethink the market now. Or is the opposite the case? Microsoft is still the world's largest software maker, but consumers continue to look elsewhere for Internet browsers, mobile platforms, and even operating systems. Microsoft is becoming more of a dinosaur.
After all, when's the last time that people lined up around the corner for a new Microsoft gadget? That would be in 2006 for the launch of the Xbox 360. But four years without a killer piece of tech is an eternity.
In a Bloomberg story, First Empire Asset Management CEO Michael Obuhowski said, "With their relentless pursuit of technological and design innovations -- driven largely by Steve Jobs -- Apple has become the dominant technology company of this decade."