International Business Machines (IBM) outdid Old Rival Microsoft Corp in Market Value

Corporate/Business Current Affairs 2011. International Business Machines outdid old rival Microsoft Corp in market value for the first time since April 1996

Created On: May 25, 2011 16:59 ISTModified On: May 25, 2011 16:59 IST

International Business Machines outdid old rival Microsoft Corp in market value for the first time since April 1996. Microsoft is now the third-largest U.S. tech company by market value. Apple had moved past Microsoft in 2010.


IBM had hired a then unknown Microsoft to provide an operating system for its new range of personal computers in the early 1980s. By the end of 1999, Microsoft's market value was three times that of IBM's, and bigger than any other U.S. company. IBM in the meantime was pilloried as an old-fashioned, immobile Goliath that could not keep up with the computing revolution.


However since the Internet technology bubble burst in 2000, the tables have been reversed. Despite more than doubling sales and profit in the last 10 years, Microsoft's stock stalled, leading to criticism of CEO Steve Ballmer's 11 years at the helm.


Microsoft lost out to Google Inc in the new market for Internet advertising, then to Apple in smartphones and tablet computing. It is currently struggling to make an imprint on the popular web in the way of Facebook or Twitter.


IBM on the other hand refashioned itself as a specialist in business software, servers and consulting, jettisoning its PC business along the way, under the leadership of Sam Palmisano since 2002.


As on 23 may 2011, Apple's market value stood at $309.2 billion, IBM at $203.8 billion and Microsoft at $203.7 billion.


IBM is now ranked fourth in terms of market value in the United States, behind oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp at $397.4 billion, Apple, and industrial and finance conglomerate General Electric Co at $205.6 billion.

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