The last time Microsoft was more valuable than Apple, the Zune was still taking on the iPod (AAPL, MSFT)
- Microsoft briefly surpassed Apple as the most valuable US company on Monday.
- The last time Microsoft was worth more than Apple was in 2010.
- The technology industry has changed a lot since then.
Microsoft dethroned Apple as the most valuable US company during trading on Monday.
For the time being, Microsoft’s market capitalization is about $812 billion. Apple’s is slightly less.
The largely symbolic milestone came less than two months after Apple’s market cap reached a peak above $1.12 trillion, significantly above Microsoft’s peak of $887 billion. Apple was even the first US company with a $1 trillion valuation. But since then, Apple’s stock has gotten whacked based on fears of slowing iPhone demand, seemingly confirmed by the company when it said on November 1 that it would no longer disclose iPhone unit sales.
The last time that Microsoft was more valuable than Apple was back in 2010 — eons ago in the fast-moving technology market.
On the day that Apple overtook Microsoft back then, Apple was worth only about $222 billion in terms of total market capitalization — compared to Microsoft’s $219 billion. (Before that, the last time the two companies switched places was in 1989.)
In fact, just a quick recap of what products were on the market back then will make you realize it was an entirely different era:
Microsoft was still selling the Zune — it wouldn’t be discontinued until 2011.
The Zune was a portable music player that was supposed to compete with Apple’s iPod. It came with 32GB of built-in storage.
It was launched in 2006 but was never as successful as the iPod.