Last week saw Microsoft shocking the tech industry by nearly beating Apple to the title of being the world’s most valuable company. This came after Microsoft’s shares shot up by over 4% to end at a record-breaking $323.17. For a time it looked like Microsoft would leapfrog Apple’s market capitalization of $2.461 trillion, but by the end of trading Microsoft fell just short with a $2.426 trillion market cap.
The battle between Apple and Microsoft is one of the good versus evil narratives that has illuminated the tech world in the past couple of decades. As such, Microsoft’s impressive financial figures have provided a real boost for the slightly less glamorous tech brand.
The good news for Microsoft was matched by a 0.3% dip in the value Apple shares, although there is every chance that Apple could make up for lost ground by the next quarterly report. Much of this will depend on how Apple battles with the supply chain issues to meet demand for its recently released iPhone.
It comes after Microsoft released respectable quarterly growth figures that received a big boost thanks to the well-received Azure cloud computing platform. Azure has been a key component in how Microsoft’s cloud-based services have catered to the extra demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Plus the brand seems to be coping relatively well with the supply chain issues that could affect the roll-out of the next generation of Xbox consoles ahead of the festive season.
All of which has been part of a successful fightback from Microsoft that saw its stock value rise by 45% in 2021, compared to just 12% for Apple. In addition to this, Microsoft is predicting a successful end to the year due to continuing uptake of its cloud computing services. While Apple’s revenues were up by 31% at the end of September, there’s every chance that Microsoft could soon overtake Apple to become the most valuable company for the first time since the middle of 2020.
Unpicking the endless battle between Apple and Microsoft
Microsoft and Apple have long been perceived to be mortal enemies in the tech domain. For many, Apple is simply seen as being anti-Microsoft and both companies come with philosophical baggage and an army of devotees. For a time it was all about the perceived differences in approach between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and while the influence of those figures have dimmed, the great divide between Apple and Microsoft remains.
As such there have been fierce battles between those who maintain that Apple products are more user-friendly and reliable than Microsoft Windows, while in the opposing corner Microsoft fans believe that their favorite firm’s products are not only cheaper, but more customizable too.
Things came to a head in ugly court battle in the 1990s, and while the Apple vs Microsoft wars may have cooled recently, it seems the rivalry between the two tech titans is just as intense as it ever was.