Wednesday, May 26, 2010

AAPL > MSFT


Today, Apple's market cap exceeded that of Microsoft for the first time ever ($222 billion vs. $219 billion). It's not the way I would have liked—Apple's stock has held up better than Microsoft's in the recent selloff—but it is nevertheless a milestone of sorts. Apple achieved this victory over its long-time competitor by relentlessly innovating for the past 10 years: OS X (plus 5 upgrades), iPods, MacBook laptops, iMacs, Mac mini, Apple TV, iWork, iPhones, and most recently the iPad. Microsoft, meanwhile, has managed to achieve little more than one major upgrade to its operating system (Windows 7) after one failed upgrade (Vista).

Like so many others, I anxiously await the next Apple innovation.

12 comments:

John said...

Not long ago CNBC.com had a link to someone's top 10 commencement addresses of ALL TIME. One of them was Steve Jobs giving the Stanford University 2005 commencement speech. It had nearly 2 MILLION views and I am not surprised. It takes a lot to tear me up but Steve did it. I sent the link to my entire family. Many of you may have seen it but if you have not, I recommend it.

Just sayin'

John said...

I found it. Go to cnbc.com
At the top of the home page there is a 'news' heading that gives you a dropdown menu when you put the cursor on it. Click on 'slideshows'. The top 10 graduation speeches are in the slideshow grouping.

Scott Grannis said...

Here is the text of the speech, which I agree is outstanding:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/32026085/Jobs-Stanford-Speech

Benjamin said...

Even as a washed-up newsman, I still can't stop editing: Scott Grannis, you are eager, but not "anxious," to see Apple's new offerings.

That is, unless you work for Microsoft.

Odd, how quickly Microsoft has become a has-been. Remember when IBM was king?

What is the future of Apple w/o Jobs?

Public Library said...

Ironically, Apple is taking the same tactic of controlling both hardware and software that led to its demise against MSFT.

The predator this time, GOOG. GOOG is giving the Android operating system to handset makers so they can innovate on the hardware front.

While it may not be a zero sum game as before, the result could prove eerily similar.

Apple is already losing developers in the ecosystem because of the arcane rules and disregard for open standards (think Flash).

You might be calling a top on this one...

Scott Grannis said...

Public: I think you misunderstand several things. Flash, for example, is not "open standard," it is proprietary to Adobe. It is also not very efficient, and the technologically more advanced (and open standard) HTML5 is already rapidly supplanting Flash. Apple may be controlling the hardware and the operating system software, but it is not controlling the part of iPhones and iPads that is most likely the most important: the ecosystem and the 100s of thousands of apps that are being written for them.

As for the vaunted Microsoft strategy, it hasn't been working to anyone's advantage for about a decade. Apple's market share has been rising steadily, at Microsoft's expense. Dell is only a shadow of its former self.

I don't believe that Android phones represent a serious challenge to the iPhone. Every Android phone is different, while every iPhone is the same. How can Android build a reputation if there is no single phone to carry the brand banner? The Android OS is the only thing that distinguishes it, but it is not demonstrably better than the iPhone OS. Giving away the OS for free is not going to make much of a difference in price. The main distinguishing characteristics of smartphones will be the apps and ecosystem they offer and their ability to perform reliably and nimbly.

Scott Grannis said...

Benjamin: everyone, including me, needs a good editor, as you point out.

Public Library said...

I completely disagree. If you have your ear to the railroad tracks one would clearly hear the roar of the oncoming train.

The GOOG OS is making serious headway, the app store is accelerating, and the ability of developers and handset makers to innovate + gain traction continues to grow.

Flash is proprietary but it is a widely used standard that APPL refuses to support at the detriment of end-users. We are forced to view the world as APPL would have us see it regardless of our wishes. Sound familiar?

The web is open, so we should see it as it is, not as others want us to see it.

I've read some very interesting posts about how "web standards" have actually killed innovation. This is coming from the thought leaders on the subject. Waiting around for committees to decide/develop standards is hardly a winning strategy.

You should understand that as clearly as you do government intervention into markets.

By the time H5 becomes a standard, small shops will have innovated beyond it. That is the beauty of the web. People make standards, they do not wait for them to arrive.

APPL is playing a dangerous game...again

Scott Grannis said...

Public: we will have to agree to disagree.

d said...

I think the web is going back to its basics. people want information, and they want it fast. they dont like waiting for things to load. slow down their system, and clog their memory. what I want from a device is to check my email, check my news, check my bank statement, and check my stock quotes. all pretty basic stuff if you ask me. as soon as that iphone hits verizon, ill be camping out in front of the store to make sure to be one of the first to get it. how many flash websites do you visit on a regular basis? i guarantee you not many, and i think the world is slooowly starting to realize this. if anyone is cornering themselves, its most likely
Adobe. But i wouldnt be surprised if there are anti-trust suits against Apple in the future.......

Scott Grannis said...

There is reportedly a huge shift already underway, wherein websites that are serving Flash-based content are also now offering HTML5-based content. Apple's market share is too big to ignore. Adobe is going to be the big loser in this battle.

joe said...

As someone who develop's software for a living, Apple's policies may irritate me, but that is what my customers want...iPhone and iPad applications ASAP. So just as I use Microsoft tools, I use Apple tools to provide what my users want.