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Apple Surpasses Microsoft In Market Capitalization 557

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-bigger-and-biggest dept.
je ne sais quoi writes "Today Apple surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization, a metric of the perceived worth of a company. At around 2:30 pm EDT, the total number of Apple shares were worth $227 billion, whereas Microsoft's were worth $226 billion. Both companies' stocks ended the day in the red, and have dropped in value since the Greek crisis began, but Apple's share price has been falling less quickly. Of American companies, only Exxon-Mobil has a higher market cap at this point at $278 billion. According to the article: 'This changing of the guard caps one of the most stunning turnarounds in business history, as Apple had been given up for dead only a decade earlier. But the rapidly rising value attached to Apple by investors also heralds a cultural shift: Consumer tastes have overtaken the needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.'"
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Apple Surpasses Microsoft In Market Capitalization

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  • LOL (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:37PM (#32355150)

    Only the free market could value these two companies so poorly.

  • So close... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:37PM (#32355152) Homepage Journal

    Consumer tastes have overtaken the perceived needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.

    There, fixed that for you. The day of the PHB making decisions based on the novelty of the promo mugs and pens they just received is coming to an end. Thank god.

  • so what? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:37PM (#32355156)
    i guess if it makes the fanbois happy...

    but for most of us we know that this is like comparing boeing with southwest airlines.
  • Re:So close... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Knara (9377) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:40PM (#32355206)

    Consumer tastes have overtaken the perceived needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.

    There, fixed that for you. The day of the PHB making decisions based on the novelty of the promo mugs and pens they just received is coming to an end. Thank god.

    That's pretty funny, and it seems like you actually believe it, too.

  • Bubble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HEbGb (6544) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:42PM (#32355228)

    Looks like an excellent bubble to take advantage of. Sell (or short) Apple, buy Microsoft.

  • Welcome (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:42PM (#32355230)
    I for one welcome our new evil overlords. *fearfully hides behind a veil of anonymity*
  • Re:Growth (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:47PM (#32355268)

    Exactly. What's the actual long-term (very long-term) value of stock when there are no dividends? Zero. You, or the person you sell your stocks to, or the person who buys from them, will lose all that money you made.

    Look at profit margins. Microsoft is still kicking Apple's trash, and gives stockholders good dividends.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:51PM (#32355318)
    ...we're all seriously fucked.
  • P/E Ratio (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HockeyPuck (141947) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:54PM (#32355366)

    Apple's PE ratio is also 2x of MSFT, Walmart, IBM, GE, XOM etc...

  • Give me a break (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:55PM (#32355384)

    This is the biggest pile of horse-shit I've ever seen. All the fanbois should lose their shirts on this one. Apple is a BIT PLAYER that only accounts for a SINGLE-DIGIT percentage of the computer industry. Microsoft is pretty much everything else. Are you fucking kidding me?!?

    It's like saying that the Mom & Pop grocery store on the corner is as large (or larger) than General Electric. Give me a fucking break.

  • Re:Growth (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:56PM (#32355404)
    Microsoft doesnt make anything... not real stuff. You can buy an Apple computer, but not a Microsoft one. Perhaps that has some bearing on the perceived value and owrht of the company - I'm just throwing the idea out there....
  • by beakerMeep (716990) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:58PM (#32355424)
    And don't forget that they're the underdog and can't be investigated for anti-competitive behavior!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @07:58PM (#32355426)

    Exactly. But I don't understand why the Apple hate seems to be across their product line. Most people here are the designated IT support person for their family and friends. Why would I recommend a linux/Windows, or even Apple computer to anyone, when the vast majority of them can surf the web/IM/email with an iPad.

    The unpaid support calls would drop off the chart.

    I know this is a big "if you can't open it up it ain't yours" crowd, but if mom can't open it up, or use it for anything it's not designed to do, I don't get spend my Saturday fixing crap.

    Give Apple credit where credit is due.

  • Re:So close... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:03PM (#32355466)

    Back in my younger, stupider days, I got an MBA. One of my professors once asked me the question, "Have you ever seen a dog eat its own penis?"

    I responded "No", at which point the professor told me that, yes, I had seen a dog eat its own penis. He then explained to me how America's middle management had sold it out and destroyed its economy due to stupid decisions based not on need, but perceived need created solely by marketeers.

    Back then, he was referring to management's decision to ship heavy manufacturing overseas. Today, we see it happening with high technology. But the effect is the same; America the Dog has eaten its own penis, in effect. It has destroyed its ability to reproduce wealth, and as a result it is suffering economically.

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:05PM (#32355494)

    "It was ten years ago today, all my tech stocks blew away,
    they've been going in and out of style, but you're guaranteed to lose a pile"

    apologies to Sir Paul...

    But seriously, folks, this is a bubble price. Like the $656,565 valuation on that crappy three-room clapboard box-house that you almost bought in Fresno three years ago. *I hope that you passed that one by*.

    Bubbles exist in markets. When they burst, the people who believed that the price was a realistic valuation lose most if not all of their money.

    Now is the time to sell your Apple stock. EXXON owns the world's energy supply: Apple owns some coolness. Is Apple the second most valuable company in the world behind Exxon?

    No f***ing way.

    A lot of people lost a lot of money believing in tech stocks ten years ago. Heed their lesson.

  • Re:It's so sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:08PM (#32355520)
    Serious question: Windows had fanboys? I always figured Windows was for people who didn't care (I mean that in the nicest possible way).
  • Re:Growth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maxume (22995) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:08PM (#32355526)

    "Microsoft hasn't really been growing for a decade" is only true in the broader, "hahahahahaha" sense:

    http://www.microsoft.com/msft/download/Yearly%20Income%20Statements.xls [microsoft.com]

    Deciding just how much they grew is sort of a difficult exercise, as both 2000 and 2009 had 'interesting' business events, but the low end argument is that they increased earnings by $5 billion, which is about 50% of their 2000 income. It is also about 80% of Google's earnings (which is an interesting comparison, because Google is widely hailed as a success, whereas people often say that Microsoft hasn't don much).

    It wouldn't be insane to argue that they increased income by $7 billion, a 100% increase over their 1999 earnings, and it wouldn't be shocking to see them back near $18 billion for 2010 (they have already reported $14 billion of income), which is a $9 billion increase over 2000.

    Of course, none of those numbers account for inflation.

    So really, what happened is that Apple grew a whole bunch more.

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:13PM (#32355586)

    when the vast majority of them can surf the web/IM/email with an iPad.

    Yes, because of course web/IM/email are the *ONLY THREE THINGS* done on any PC in an average home... absolutely no-one writes or prints out any documents, plays any 3D accelerated games, uses their home PC to stream movies to a media player, uploads and edits photos from their camera, rip movies and music for convenient storage, etc. etc.

    And *OF COURSE* nobody ever has more than one application running at once on a home PC, laptop or netbook.

    So an iPad is a *PERFECT* replacement for them.

  • Re:P/E Ratio (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:13PM (#32355588)

    Just a note (not everybody knows) that a high PE ratio is generally a bad thing.

    P=Price (per share)
    E=Earnings (per share)

    It means that Apple's price is supported less by it's earnings than it is by what the market believes about the company.

    The market can be fickle.

    P/E ratios during the .com bubble where crazy high

  • Re:So close... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:16PM (#32355626)
    Based on my 11 years working for a large company his statement is hyper-accurate.
  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:16PM (#32355630)

    Only foolish (lowercase f) investors believe market capitalization (or number of shares times share price) is meaningfull as any real metric of the value of a company or it's stock. It can be a valuable indicator of a company that's price is way to high though (usually because of stupid investors).

    Let me give in you an example, it's a test I call the Walmart Test. Walmart does billions in revenue a year and make billions in profit, they are a highly successful business with solid growth in earnings every quarter, reliable profits and has a massive book value (the total value of assets). At the peak of the Dotcom era Cisco had a market capitalization that was the highest on the stock market, close to 500B IIRC. This exceeded the Walmart Market cap by more than 5 times (~76Billion IIRC) and edged GE by several dozen Billion. Even if every dollar of revenue for Cisco was profit and that profit was passed directly to shareholders they weren't even a 1/5th of the earnings per share Walmart was making. In the ideal world all profit from the enterprise passes onto the stockholder, in fact that's the basis of the worth, the promise of future dividends for companies that are reinvesting capital rather than paying a dividend (but that's another lecture all together)

    Because Cisco was valued so much higher than Walmart with significantly less earnings it was apparent that the stock was highly overvalued. Later at the dot-boom correction Cisco lost nearly 90% of their market capitalization (falling to less than 10Billion from 500Billion). That translated into a decline in price of the stock by about 90%. The same can be said for Apple, compared against real (boring) companies making solid profits they are extremely overvalued. Even if Apple were to grow sales 100% a year for 5 years they still couldn't match Microsofts actual profits. If you are looking for a long time short Apple is your game boys and girls. It's going to correct some day and it's going to be a brutal correction.

    This over-valuation is quite common in tech stocks, people invest in companies whose products they like (terrible investment strategy BTW). Stocks of this nature are almost 100% over valued and when they correct due to bad news it's a very vivid correction. Beta on these stocks can be 3-5 because of the casual investor who panics at the bad news, that and the stocks usually have high short percentages that will exacerbate a drop.

    The lesson of this post People is don't invest based on meaningless metrics and in tech stocks with rabid fan-bases that invest in the company. They are almost always over priced, and react much faster to negative news with the potential for much larger declines in the price. Put simply the market cap of Apple should scare you away from investing in it easily.

  • Re:Bubble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:17PM (#32355652) Journal
    And this kind of naive trading is why people lose money. The price/earning ratio is a simple measurement you can use to determine if a company is overvalued. Right now, Apple has a price/earning ratio of 20, which is really kind of low for a company that's been consistently increasing profits by 30% year over year, and has $30 billion in the bank. For comparison, Google has a p/e ratio of 21, and Amazon of 54. Amazon seems high, but because profits have been going up even more consistently than Apple, it is not a company I would bet against.

    You might be more right with Microsoft, since their p/e ratio is at 13, which is what you would expect from a consistent company with few chances at becoming more profitable in the future. If you feel Microsoft has good growth potential, you should invest in them, because their stock will probably go up. Personally I don't feel confident in their growth potential, and see some medium level downside risks (for example, the revenue from Office has dropped in the last few years, but they've managed to keep profits up by raising the price of Windows. But with netbooks, it may be hard to keep the price of Windows high).
  • Can you say TROLL? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xyrus (755017) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:19PM (#32355676) Journal

    This "story" is either an intentional troll or it was posted by someone who has no clue.

    Market capitalization means dick in the overall scheme of things, especially since it can change at the drop of a hat. Changing of the guard? What the hell does market capitalization have to do with that? It might mean something if you had two companies who compete in exactly the same market segments, but Apple and MS only compete in a couple.

    You can't compare Apple to Microsoft unless you specify what market segment your talking about. Going strictly by market capitalization alone is idiotic. You might as well compare Boeing to Walmart and then claim there is a changing of the guard.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:22PM (#32355726)

    You're just being short sighted if you don't consider smart-phones and tablet devices to be computer equipment. It's not even at that level of when your teacher would say 15 years ago "You know your wrist watch has a computer in it!" - no, these things have general purpose input capabilities, general purpose programs and installable 3rd party applications. They're computers. Just because they don't have a keyboard, mouse, and separate monitor that doesn't change.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:24PM (#32355746)

    And... we're still using the borg icon for Microsoft and yet using the actual Apple logo. Maybe we can get some update graphics on the site?

  • All this means (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:26PM (#32355766)

    Is that AAPL is grossly overvalued. Especially when you consider price to earnings and return on equity. Microsoft sells 8 billion more per year than Apple (59 bn vs 51 bn), and keeps a larger percentage of it as profit. Sales growth has also been greater for MSFT than for AAPL. And Microsoft pays a dividend to boot, Apple doesn't.

    But I guess like everything else Apple, it's no surprise that their stock is overpriced as well. Feel free to buy it.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @08:58PM (#32356142)
    Perhaps that's why Apple's now being investigated for anti-trust violations with respect to the ITMS.
  • Re:So close... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:04PM (#32356220)
    Honestly, those perceived needs of business brought tech to 2006. If you think about it, it was worth it. When Apple released the touch devices, consumers basically took over (since that's the source of Apple's success).

    And since 2007, all we have is facebook, twitter, complex mobile devices, always connected lifestyles, and as much Apple fanfare as MS had in 1997--except it's now all about you (iUniverse and stuff-aboutMe. All dictated by consumers... Do you really want this? Cause what you're asking for may not end up being the great panacea you maybe thinking (and with Apple's closed, exploitative thinking...)
  • Re:Growth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:05PM (#32356236)
    You've more or less hit on it. MS has to find new markets in order to grow any larger, they've got something like 90% of the desktop OS market. Even if they were to grow and fill out more or less all of that, you're still talking about probably an 8 or 9% increase. The cost of doing that would almost certainly outweigh any actual revenue growth. Things like Zune, Bing and XBox are ways in which they're trying to grow into new markets. But at heart MS has always been a software company.

    Whereas Apple has pretty much always been a hardware company that sells software on the side. These days there's an awful lot of hardware left to invent and sell, hence why Apple is growing. But it's hardly a matter of them beating MS in any meaningful way. Apple still hasn't made much in the way of inroads into MS' domain of office and OS. And it could be a long time if they ever manage it.
  • Re:It's so sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:09PM (#32356254)
    Honestly, Windows 7 is pretty nice, I think that the developer tools, from a get it done perspective are some of the best available. Beyond this, I don't see much real benefit to windows over other systems in this day and age (beyond the compatibility, and massive software base). Most of the applications I use daily outside of work have non-windows alternatives, and for those left, there's always Citrix or Terminal Services. I think a lot of the management tools are easier to use as well. I actually see better use of windows in large corporate networks than smaller ones, and most home users not playing newer (resource hungry) games.

    So, aside from the huge number of available applications, compatibility with older versions of applications, more polished system management tools for enterprise deployments, better support for newer hardware, for gaming, and the best security record in OSes for the past couple years, I couldn't possibly see why someone who's informed would choose windows.
  • Re:LOL (Score:1, Insightful)

    by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:11PM (#32356272) Homepage

    My thoughts exactly, came in here to post:
    "Time to buy some Microsoft stock then"

    Surely Apple make money of their (not trolling here even though it may look like that) over-priced hardware, and also got some software titles beyond OS X. But Microsoft isn't all about Windows either and their market influence and brand-knowledge / weight on the market should still weight higher, or at least so I'd assume.

    The phone and tablet business I see as fast growing markets where one product or company may be great one year just to slack 2-3 years later. Sure market value may reflect the current status but yeah.. One great phone right now don't make it the best phones forever.

    And the greatest phones would had been HTCs anyway ;D

    Their computers are just like any other computers. So nothing special with them except the price ..

    Make me wonder what the value is of Apples non-OS X software business though, compared to Microsoft. Anyone got any values? How many products have each? How much do they sell for and how big are the profits?

    Office may have lost some of its perceived value compared to the free options but it's still what's used and sold so I doubt it have affected sales much.

  • by oztiks (921504) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:12PM (#32356280)

    Apple tries it on but they simply don't carry the industry clout that say MS had/has, but the same tactics are shown on a more micro perspective. Granted all IT vendors pull the same crap. Its only when MS does it the ground shakes.

    Not to me. Apple hasn't actually actively tried to destroy other companies yet.

    Adobe? Amazon? Google (indirectly)?

    And they haven't held back the industry for years (ie6, windows, office).

    Because they haven't been a position too, but if they were with the product range they have/had, they would of held it back more. Limiting technologies to simplify them to be easy-to-use is primarily what Apple does. This simplicity has a weltering weakness, simple means less flexible.

    They don't have such an important tie in (music is movable now, iphone apps aren't so important).

    No, but they'd like to, iPad's marks an attempt at print media world. Using connections to Murdoch to help sell it.

    They are still not dominant where it counts (desktop/laptops).

    They are one brand among many, this wont change any time soon.

    Apple haven't used dirty tactics to get what they want (threatening PC manufactures who included more than one OS).

    No, they create FUD instead. http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/ [apple.com]. Their price gouging stint on Amazon is another.

    Apple haven't done any of the abuses that Microsoft was convicted and let off for.

    Microsoft got ass raped by the EU, but if you think about the SUSE incident or the Netscape battles, Apple does just as bad or is doing just as bad to Adobe at present.

    Apple are big on the consumer side, not on the business side (mores the shame).

    Because they simplify and limit things too much, their attempts at introducing things into the business world have been a failure because of the lack of versatility. Not to say Microsoft is the most flexible (I'm a Linux person) but it's considerably better.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:15PM (#32356332) Homepage Journal

    ...and?

    And..."That's it then".

    Game, set and match.

    All Windows users are expected to start turning in their computers at 0800 tomorrow. And while you're waiting for your assigned Apple content delivery device to be delivered, here's a little song for you by the great Ray Davies:

    Dedicated Follower of Fashion

    They seek him here, they seek him there,
    His clothes are loud, but never square.
    It will make or break him so he's got to buy the best,
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

    And when he does his little rounds,
    'Round the boutiques of London Town,
    Eagerly pursuing all the latest fads and trends,
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

    Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
    He thinks he is a flower to be looked at,
    And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight,
    He feels a dedicated follower of fashion.

    Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
    There's one thing that he loves and that is flattery.
    One week he's in polka-dots, the next week he is in stripes.
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

    They seek him here, they seek him there,
    In Regent Street and Leicester Square.
    Everywhere the Carnabetian army marches on,
    Each one an dedicated follower of fashion.

    Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
    His world is built 'round discoteques and parties.
    This pleasure-seeking individual always looks his best
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

    Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
    He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly.
    In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be,
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.
    He's a dedicated follower of fashion.
    He's a dedicated follower of fashion.

  • Re:Growth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by victorhooi (830021) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:34PM (#32356554)

    heya,

    Hmm, even for me, I have to say that's a bit cynical, mate...seriously....

    It's also a completely ludicrous idea. Firstly, it'll take what, 20-30 years before African is up to American levels of consumption. If even then. And over those 20-30 years, you've have ploughed in more money than you could ever hope to possibly claim back.

    Yeah, I don't have any more love for Bill Gates than the next man, in terms of shonky business practices and dodgy make-money schemes, but if you read what's been said, and watch the interviews, I think he's fairly genuine with the foundation. Whatever you want to believe his reasons - rich man's guilt, true altruisim, whatever - the end result is he's doing a lot of good.

    Cheers,
    Victor

  • Re:It's so sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:55PM (#32356800)
    There are no Windows fanboys, but there are people who hate OS X and Linux more.
  • Re:so what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <.nomadicworld. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:56PM (#32356816) Homepage
    i guess if it makes the fanbois happy...

    No, because then they're not as elite anymore because Apple is all mainstream. An analogy:

    It's like when that band is followed by shaggy-haired, goateed art school graduates in faux homeless clothing, but then the band becomes popular and all the shaggy-haired goateed art school graduates in faux homeless clothing get mad because they "sold out."

    Only instead of a band it's Apple.

    And instead of shaggy-haired, goateed art school graduates in faux homeless clothing, it's...well it's still shaggy-haired, goateed art school graduates in faux homeless clothing, don't really need to analogize that part.
  • by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:59PM (#32356856)

    And that's really the point.

    When it comes down to it, I use outlook(email, calendering) MS Office,( word processing but I prefer Open Office personally) a PDF viewer,and the front end for our database server.(runs over SSH).

    If apple were to fix the stupid document handling(itunes is not a file manager media syncs' work ok but documents?) I could easily fit an ipad into my work flow.

  • Re:Give me a break (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @10:00PM (#32356866) Homepage

    At least Microsoft can program an OS, unlike Apple who had to get Unix, since there old OS sucked worse than Win3.0

    Ability to code an OS may be nice to brag about, but your customers can't care less. They appreciate only results, and if you build your product from best components users like that.

    There are thousands of computer manufacturers in the world and only ten or so OS kernel manufacturers (if you count all Linux flavors as one.) Years ago it was common for a manufacturer to build their own OS (and I worked for one such company) but eventually they saw the light and migrated to a supported commercial RTOS, just because it was so much better, and cheaper too.

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @10:04PM (#32356906) Journal

    I'm wondering if Microsoft has simply plateaued. Yes, they'll sell lots of the flagship products, but I suspect for the most part these are people buying new computers and/or upgrading Windows or Office installs. There's a point at which growth is going to stall out, which is why Microsoft has burned considerable amounts of money trying to branch out, and burned money they have. How much money have they blown on the Xbox, on the rebranding of MSN every four or five years, on Zune?

    I'm no fan of Apple, but where Microsoft seems at times like a crazed octopus just wildly flinging out its arms trying to hit on the next BIG THING, Apple has taken a much more disciplined approach, and for the most part over the last decade has simply kicked ass. Jobs has steered the company in an extremely profitable direction, translating Apple's hardware expertise into product niches that exploded. There was a time when Gates was that good at reading the market, but Ballmer is just a mean-spirited one-dimensional bean counter (to be fair, even Gates screwed up plenty, nearly missing the growing importance of the Internet, but Microsoft had the sheer dominance to push out a horrible OS with the worst TCP/IP layer in history and sell it). Jobs is a monopolistic megolomaniacal whackjob, but he goes got a good market compass.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @10:24PM (#32357056) Homepage

    That blindered view of the world is fine so long as you don't have
    anything like DVDs or home movies or old DIVX files or really
    interesting h264 files lying around.

    Much like iTunes, it does well if you start out with it and don't
    try to deal with any legacy data. Deviate in the slighted from
    Apple's assumption that you will stay inside of their walled
    garden and things deteriate quite rapidly. iTunes loses it's
    mind dealing with shell scripts and rock ridge translation
    tables.

    Apples are fine if you are willing to be led around by Apple
    by the nose and start over from scratch.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @10:34PM (#32357128)
    Personally, I think this is amazing. Apple was a HAS BEEN thought to be headed soon for liquidation, like 99% of all computer companies founded over the last 30 years. Michael Dell said they should just give up. And now their market cap is higher than Microsoft. What could be bigger news in the computer industry?
  • Re:Bubble (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oakgrove (845019) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @10:38PM (#32357172)

    Apple sells to yuppies, hipsters and wanabe cool middle-aged moms.

    You think this description encapsulates the millions upon millions of iPhone and iPod buyers out there? I find that very hard to believe. As a matter of fact, of the people I know right off hand that are owners of these devices including a couple of Macs for good measure, none of them fit your description.

  • by Bad Mamba Jamba (941082) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @10:40PM (#32357198)
    ...am I the only one who perceives a very subtle shift in MS being the good guy and Apple becoming the bad?

    Not that I'd argue MS has done anything different than they always have, just seen a lot more press on Apple and rather dubious strong-arm moves. For example

    http://www.sevensidedcube.net/business/2010/apple-investigated-for-abuse-of-power-in-the-online-music-market/ [sevensidedcube.net]

  • Horserace (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:02PM (#32357364)

    So we have the latest news on the competition between a nefarious closed-source near monopoly on the one hand, and a nefarious closed-source and closed-platform wannabe monopoly on the other hand.

    As Henry Kissinger said during the Iran-Iraq war, "Too bad they can't both lose."

  • Re:It's so sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:08PM (#32357396)
    What?! I don't know what Slashdot you've been reading all these years but the worst trolls on this entire site are the Windows nutters. They make the Linux and Apple fans look like amateurs. Go through the posting histories of some of the more notorious ones like Westlake, Soppsa, D'Aldredge, HarryPorter. The insane zealotry would be enough to make RMS shed a tear. As a matter of fact, I had to just give up on the site for about 6 months during the run up to the Zune HD. The absurd levels of fanboy zealotry was just embarrassing. You couldn't read one story that actually had anything resembling objective opinions of it. It was really ridiculous. And when Windows 7 was in the news, oh my god, it was sickening. I come here in the hopes of getting some honest on the ground tech insight and maybe some entertaining water cooler style banter from professionals in the field. But between the MS zealots, the Mac cult and the rest, I've actually found Digg to be a better source. And don't get me started on Engadget and Techcrunch. Pure MS fanboy circle jerk.
  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:34PM (#32357588) Journal
    Last year, Exxon made about 2.5 times the profit of Apple, and had about 8 times the revenue. They also pay a nice dividend on their stock. How Apple is valued so close to Exxon really is a mystery. You need energy to live; mp3 players and iPhones? Not so much.
  • by walshy007 (906710) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:47PM (#32357670)

    You're just being short sighted if you don't consider smart-phones and tablet devices to be computer equipment.

    Before the iphone, nobody would have considered a non-user-programmable phone a smart-phone, same thing with pda's, tablets etc

    no, these things have general purpose input capabilities, general purpose programs and installable 3rd party applications

    Without jailbreaking? or requiring cash for the apple development kit and abiding by their rules? apple has set back general purpose computing more than any other company, what they are great at, is making 'appliances'.

  • by Stu Charlton (1311) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @11:49PM (#32357682) Homepage

    I watch Movies and TV shows all the time on my iPad, it's a great portable media player for the bedroom, kitchen, or on a plane.... at home with basically any format using AirVideo, or over an internet connection via Netflix, or (of course) iTunes. While flying Virgin America recently I could basically use the airplane's WiFi and watch any Netflix show I wanted instead of the crappy in-flight options.

    The recent update of Netflix also added support for the video out cable.

    It's a pretty good portable media player. A laptop is more versatile, but it's much bigger and heavier.

     

  • by Tweezer (83980) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @12:21AM (#32357874)

    Do we now prefer Microsoft to Apple now? Last I knew Slashdot likes the underdog.

  • To transitory. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cenobyte40k (831687) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @12:25AM (#32357910)
    Call me when that market share is based on something a little less transitory. Ipads are going to end up being a bust for all the same reasons all other tablets are a bust. The iphone will continue to make money and do well, but it's market over dominance is coming to an end with Android and the like. Once the novelty of these devices wanes and the 'hippness' of Apple beings to fall people will realize they are overpriced and under perform. Apple has done great before, and they always fail in the follow up.
  • Re:So close... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @02:37AM (#32358598) Homepage

    Perhaps eatings its own offspring might suffice?

    I think the farming metaphor would be "eating the seed corn". (I'm not sure if it's quite the same metaphor, but it at least has the advantage of not being horrifying to think about)

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @02:45AM (#32358642) Homepage

    I work with a company that would dissolve themselves and the CEO would commit seppeku before we consider OSX.

    Er, why? I've used Linux for development, and I've used MacOS/X for development, and there really isn't that much difference between the two. (Granted, we're using Qt for our program's underlying API; is it Cocoa in particular that you dislike?)

  • Re:It's so sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @02:49AM (#32358672) Homepage

    Serious question: Windows had fanboys? I always figured Windows was for people who didn't care (I mean that in the nicest possible way).

    Strangely enough, yes. They were people who had grown up knowing only MS-DOS, and therefore thought that Windows 95 was alien future technology. They'd heard of Macs but never used one, and of course they had no idea what an Amiga was.

  • Re:Watch out (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <[jcr] [at] [mac.com]> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @02:56AM (#32358738) Journal

    Avoiding a product because you don't like one of the millions of people who've bought it? Who the hell modded that "insightful"?

    -jcr

  • by xQx (5744) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @03:10AM (#32358820)
    So your counter-argument is that you expect apple's future earnings to grow from $5.7B to a number that exceeds IBM's current $13.4B in the next few years?

    While I agree with your point that P:E is a lagging indicator that does not accurately reflect the future growth of the company, some may argue that past earnings are a pretty good predictor of future earnings....

    (Hell, if hedge funds_really_ agreed with the statement that 'past performance is no indication of future returns' they would identify their most useless employee and promote him(/her), and their highest performing salesperson and fire them... because odds are they'll both trend towards mean performance.)
  • Re:It's so sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 16K Ram Pack (690082) <tim.almond @ g mail.com> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:47AM (#32359860) Homepage

    That's not fanboyism. That's liking Windows because it's the best tool for you. That's a rational way to look at products; does the product meet my requirements in terms of features, aesthetics, service etc.

    Fanboyism is more about associating yourself with Apple. So if Apple produce a dud product, or Steve Jobs does a complete u-turn on how apps should be delivered, you don't say "hang on, didn't he say that web apps were the best way to do things?", you either just ignore it or come up with a ridiculous defence of Apple.

    And most Apple users aren't Fanboys. I've got 2 friends who just prefer OSX. They'll tell me about things on their Mac if I ask, or they'll write about something new that they like on their Mac, but they'll also point out things they don't like and don't harp on at Windows users about how they should get a Mac.

  • Re:It's so sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by intheshelter (906917) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:39AM (#32362012)

    So, aside from . . .

    "the huge number of available applications" - OS X has that too

    "compatibility with older versions of applications" - OS X has that too

    "more polished system management tools for enterprise deployments" - I would tend to agree if you're only looking at it from a Windows enterprise environment. If you are looking at a Mac centric enterprise environment then OS X obviously has more polished system management tools.

    "better support for newer hardware" - true, but then again this is an obvious apples to oranges comparison because OS X is not intended to be installed on commodity hardware, but rather on a Mac. I could just as easily say that OS X has better support for Mac minis and be just as true and as misleading.

    "for gaming" - Don't game much, but from all I've heard there are a wider variety of titles on Windows. But is this the fault of OS X not being able to play games or just a lower number of third party developers are making games for the Mac?

    "the best security record in OSes for the past couple years" - you mean aside from the viruses, zero day exploits, etc., right? This last point is utter bullshit on your part. Win 7 may be better than XP, but it is still swiss cheese in comparison to the ZERO viruses affecting the Mac

    "I couldn't possibly see why someone who's informed would choose windows." - Apparently this last point is the only one we agree on. Why WOULD anyone choose Windows?

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