updated 03:20 pm EDT, Wed May 26, 2010
Apple achieves symbolic financial win over MS
Apple passed a symbolic milestone today as its market cap passed Microsoft's for the first time. Beginning in the morning, the total value of Apple's shares was higher, reaching $225.7 billion at 3PM Wednesday afternoon where Microsoft had dropped to $223.4 billion. The two companies' share prices have headed in opposite directions since the year began, with Apple growing more than 17 percent while Microsoft's has dropped by an almost identical ratio.
The change of positions has come mostly through Apple's launch for and early success with the iPad as well as its continued overall financial health. It was helped by multiple record quarters as well as rapid strides in the smartphone field.
Microsoft has been financially healthy after a slowdown in revenue in 2009 but has received little support from investors uncertain about its prospects. Office, server apps and Windows are still its main successes, but it has failed to get significant share in web searches or MP3 players, and it has seen a large part of Windows Mobile's market share erode in the face of Android and the iPhone.