TechCrunch ran a story yesterday about how Apple is now the most valuable technology company – beating Microsoft by more than $100 Billion, which is roughly the valuation of HP just to put it into perspective. And rather than regaining the number 1 spot, Microsoft seems more focused on not dropping further which may be a challenge given that both IBM (No. 3) and Google (No. 4) are doing well.
Maybe it’s a sign that of my age, but it seems to me only recently that Apple Computers returned from the land of the dead. Back in January 1997, Apple was losing money and viewed by nearly everyone as a ‘past the expiry date’ company – they had a serious image problem. The then Apple CEO, Gil Amelio, left the company in July the same year, and Steve Jobs returned after a decade away from Apple as a ‘special advisor‘ – to soon after become CEO again. These were the days of Mac OS 8 when they were hoping to regain some market share from Microsoft’s Windows 95.
But as part of turning the ship, Steve Jobs announced later that year in August a new ‘meaningful partnership‘ with Microsoft, where they had agreed to purchase $150m in Apple shares and committed to continue to upgrade MS Office for Mac. In other words, Steve Jobs managed to convince Microsoft to basically save Apple from a near certain death.
How things have changed. . .