Microsoft has surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable company with a lead of more than $1billion.
The computing company briefly claimed the top spot on Monday, before consolidating its position on Tuesday when its shares rose 0.6 per cent, pushing the company’s market value to $828.1 billion (£648.6 bn) at the close.
Apple’s value is now $826,8 billion (£646.70 bn), down almost $2 billion (1,564,4 bn) since Monday amid concern about iPhone unit sales and disappointing forecasts.
The recent stock market dip has taken its toll on all technology companies including the FAANG companies Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet’s Google and Netflix.
Apple stocks have gone down 23 per cent since October while Microsoft’s are down by a relatively modest 6.3 per cent.
Apple shares have dropped sharply over the past few weeks after the firm’s November earnings announcements, when it reported strong profits but disappointing sales.
According to Bloomberg, investors have punished consumer based companies like Amazon and Apple more than companies that cater to businesses, like Microsoft.
Microsoft started to fall behind Apple more than a decade ago as computing shifted from desktop machines to mobile devices like iPhones.
The company tried to regain its footing by releasing its own phones and taking over Nokia’s handset business.
But the rise of cloud computing changed Microsoft’s fortunes about five years ago.
The company invested heavily in data centers and other infrastructure to run applications and store data for corporate customers.
It offered subscription services on other devices like Apple and stopped making smartphone hardware while improving quality on PC’s and tablets.
Now second behind Amazon Web Services in the cloud, this eliminates worries from investors about declining consumer spending on devices and increased regulation of digital advertising businesses like Facebook and Google.
The Nasdaq has fallen more than 12 per cent since the end of September, with high-flying tech names experiencing big drops.
Just last month, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet were also ahead of Microsoft in market capitalisation.
WHAT FEATURES ARE INCLUDED IN THE NEW MICROSOFT OFFICE 365?
Microsoft has started to roll-out a new design to its Outlook and Word apps.
It includes a simplified user interface, and redesigned icons.
New Toolbar: Microsoft has reduced the three-lines of shortcuts previously on-display in the toolbar at the top of Outlook and Word down to a single row.
Updated Icons: The remaining icons have been redesigned from the ground-up to better scale to different display sizes. Microsoft has also increased the contrast to make the icons clearer to those with low visibility.
AI Search: Starting with Outlook, Microsoft will bring an AI-powered search bar to its Office 365 productivity apps. The intelligent search bar will try to anticipate users’ query as soon as they hover over the bar.
Reversible: All of the user interface tweaks rolling out today can be reversed. Microsoft has promised users the option to revert to the previous design with a click.
The latest updates to Outlook arrive less than a month after Microsoft pushed-out a slew of new features to the email client to help it better compete with the likes of Gmail.
Bill Reminders: Outlook automatically trawls your emails and adds any due dates for bill payments included in your messages to the calendar.
Better Location Support: The updated app leverages Bing to populate your appointments with additional information about the venue.
Syncing: Outlook for iOS will now sync any unfinished draft emails between your iPhone, Android smartphone or tablet, and PC devices.
RSVP: Outlook now shows users the complete list of responses from people who have RSVP’d to an event – not only their own.
Better Time Zone Management: Microsoft says it has improved time zone support so that users can now add calendar entries which start in one time zone, but ends in another