Microsoft passed by IBM in terms of market value

Microsoft's place in the business world is a little smaller today than it was earlier this week. Bloomberg reports that in terms of its market value, Microsoft has moved down from the second spot to the third position. In stock trading on Thursday, Microsoft's old partner IBM saw its market value go up to $214 billion while Microsoft's went down to $213.2 billion. It's the first time that IBM has been higher than Microsoft in terms of its market value since 1996.

IBM has been trying to redefine itself for the past several years. It decided to sell off its personal computer division to Lenovo back in 2005 and is now concentrating on creating software and services for business clients rather than the consumer. IBM generated $99.9 billion in revenue in 2010 and half of that revenue came from its computer services division. Microsoft has actually expanded its reach into the consumer market with efforts such as the Xbox 360 console, the Zune media player and more recently the Windows Phone 7 operating system. However it still gets 60 percent of its revenue from its Windows and Office divisions. So far in 2011, IBM's stock price has gone up 22 percent while Microsoft' price has gone down by 8.8 percent.

Of course, both Microsoft and IBM are well behind Apple, which is not only the biggest tech company in terms of market share but the single biggest company in the world, period. Apple now has a market cap of $362.1 billion.

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