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article imageMicrosoft is now worth the same as Apple

By Tim Sandle     Nov 30, 2018 in Business
A year ago Microsoft was worth just 50 percent of Apple, based on share price. Today the two companies are worth roughly the same, signalling an impressive growth curve from Microsoft. How did this happen?
Microsoft was big, then it became a bit smaller with a slide beginning in 2012. Although the company declined, it remain formidable. However, for most of the cutting edge areas of technology - such as mobile, search, online advertising and cloud computing - Microsoft was behind its rivals.
Today Microsoft is valued around the same price as Apple. At the end of November 2018, Microsoft’s market value reached $850 billion. In terms of how this happened, the New York Times has put forward a short-term and a long-term answer. With the short-term factors, Microsoft appears to have held up better than other technology companies during a recent round of investors selling-off of technology company shares. For example, many Apple investors have been concerned about the slowdown in iPhone sales and firms like Facebook and Google have been in hot-water over data privacy and false news.
The longer-term answer relates more to Microsoft's vision and strategy. The firm has managed to shake off its past to a degree and move beyond being seen as developer of computer operating systems and word processing. An example is with Microsoft's embracing of cloud computing focus on developing technology to business customers. With cloud services, Microsoft is the world number 2, next to Amazon.
As a sign of Microsoft's expansion, the company has won a $480 million contract to supply prototypes for augmented reality systems to the U.S. Army. These simulations will be deployed for combat missions and in training. Over time, the contract will lead to the military purchasing some 100,000 headsets. The stated aim is intended to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy."
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