Apple overtakes Microsoft

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Microsoft trails Apple by around £3bn in total value

New figures have shown that Apple has surpassed Microsoft to take its place as the world's largest technology company. The figures, based on market capitalisation data, have been calculated by multiplying share price by number of shares in the company and show Apple in pole position for the first time since the late eighties.

Microsoft's total value has been calculated at £151bn, just £3bn short of their rival's estimated value of £154bn. Apple can also boast a 95 per cent increase in their stock over the past year as well as besting Microsoft in earnings per share with the latter £1.12 to Apple's £4.35.

It is not all bad news for Microsoft however. The company's annual net profits still exceed Apple's, the most recent data demonstrating a £10bn net profit with Apple trailing at £4bn. Similarly, Apple has reported a full-year revenue of £25bn, just over half of Microsoft's £40bn.

Great products open wallets

While Microsoft continues to best Apple in profits and currently provides the operating systems for over 90% of the world's computers, it has had limited success in diversifying the company in other ways. Apple, on the other hand, has had huge hits in both the iPod and the iPhone and this could be the reason for the surge in popularity demonstrated by the new data. "A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path," Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said in the past about his company's success. "Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets."

Apple's value looks set to increase even further if customers continue to open their wallets for the imminent UK iPad launch. The launch, which has been delayed several times due to overwhelming demand, is now set to take place tomorrow with pre-orders being delivered and stores reportedly opening at 8am.