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Apple is no longer the most valuable public company




(Newser)

Microsoft's big bet on cloud computing is paying off as it has outperformed Apple as the world's most valuable publicly traded company. The software maker's prospects looked grim a few years ago, as licenses for the company's Windows system fell with a sharp decline in personal computer sales. But under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has found stability by focusing on software and services over the Internet or the cloud with long-term business contracts. Apple has been the most prosperous company in the world since claiming Exxon Mobil's top spot this decade. Microsoft briefly outperformed Apple a couple of times this week, but closed at $ 847 billion with a market value of $ 851

billion until Friday. Microsoft had not been in the lead since the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000.

Microsoft became again a big part of the competitor, as the share of Apple in November has fallen by nearly 20%, while Microsoft had not done so the rest of the stock market. The success reflects the constant focus on business customers in recent years. Windows today is a dwindling part of Microsoft's business. While continuing to drive consumer-facing companies like Bing Search and Xbox Gaming, the company has prioritized business-oriented services such as the Office email suite and other workstation software, as well as newer additions such as LinkedIn and Skype. However, the biggest growth is in the cloud, especially on the cloud platform called Azure. Meanwhile, cloud computing accounts for more than a quarter of Microsoft's revenue, and Microsoft is competing with Amazon as the leading provider of such services. (Co-founder Paul Allen died recently.)

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