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Its not a given that bigger is better. Let´s see how Apple cope with being no. 1. Here is a article from SF Gate.

“When Apple Computer Inc. overtook Microsoft Corp. in terms of market cap last week, it quickly became known, in press parlance, as the “500-pound gorilla of the technology world.”

So, what would you call the Cupertino company now that it’s the world’s third-largest company by market cap? Maybe not King Kong or Godzilla – those would be reserved for the world’s top two, PetroChina Co. Ltd. and ExxonMobil Corp. – but how about Mothra or Rodan?

When the Financial Times put out its annual list of the world’s 500 biggest companies by market cap last week, Apple was actually ranked No. 5, up 28 places from 2009, as of March 31. Since then it jumped over Microsoft and the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and is holding on to that spot with a valuation of $263 billion at Thursday’s closing bell.

Steve Jobs swears otherwise, but, given the hubris the heroic CEO occasionally exhibits, could world domination be in the cards?”

Read more here.

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Here is a report from SF Gate.

“Apple, long the scrappy but innovative challenger to dominant Microsoft, has passed its rival in market capitalization, becoming the most valued technology company in the world.

The shift in fortunes became official at the close of the stock market Wednesday, when Apple’s market capitalization – the sum of its outstanding shares multiplied by its stock price – finished at $222.07 billion, ahead of Microsoft’s at $219.18 billion.

Though the distinction is merely a milestone, it culminates an amazing turnaround for Apple, which was given up for dead in 1997, when Apple founder Steve Jobs returned as CEO. Apple is now the second most valuable company in the United States after Exxon Mobil.

“This has got to be not only one of the greatest comeback stories, but success stories of the last 20 years,” said analyst Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. “You see companies coming back from the dead, but not to the point where they achieve this staggering financial position.”

Since September 16, 1997, when Jobs returned as CEO and Apple shares traded at $5.49 per share, the stock has surged 4,346 percent and now trades at $244.11 per share. Over the last five years, Apple’s stock has grown about 600 percent while Microsoft’s managed a modest 5 percent growth.

The shift validates Apple’s strategy of focusing on smart phone and tablet technology, which is on track to eventually outgrow the traditional PC business.

Michael Mace, who worked at Apple for 10 years prior to Jobs’ return, said Apple held the upper hand in the rivalry with Microsoft before being passed in the early 1990s. He said after that point, most employees gave up any hope of rivaling Microsoft financially.

“When a company runs away from you, you usually don’t get a chance to run them back down,” said Mace, a consultant with Rubicon Consulting. “But what Steve (Jobs) has managed to do is produce a series of seminal, meaningful, market-changing products.”

Apple found new life by remaking itself as a mobile company. While it continues to snag more PC market share from Microsoft’s Windows operating system, it is setting the pace of innovation in mobile devices.

Starting with its iPod media players in 2001 and more recently with the iPhone in 2007, Apple has become a leader in building the kind of portable devices that appeal to users. Apple’s iPods command more than 70 percent of the digital-player market, while the iPhone represents a quarter of the smart phones in the United States.

Now, with the iPad tablet selling a million units in its first month, Apple is leading that market as well.

“Apple is sitting on a gigantic business that’s just taking off,” said Leander Kahney, editor of the Cult of Mac blog, who’s written several books on Apple.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has struggled to grow beyond its roots in PC operating systems and applications. Its Zune media player and Windows Mobile operating system are not clicking with consumers. On Tuesday, the company announced a management shakeup in its gadgets and games division.”

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Here is some tidbits around MSFT aquistion of Opalis Software Inc. from Computer World.

“Microsoft Corp. has acquired systems management vendor Opalis Software Inc. for about $60 million, according to an analyst report.

Brenon Daly, an analyst at The 451 Group, blogged earlier this week about the deal, citing unnamed financial and industry sources.

The VC-backed Mississauga, Ontario, start-up was making about $10 million annually from sales of software for automating IT processes, according to Daly. It also partnered with Microsoft in the spring (download PDF), integrating its software into Microsoft’s System Center management platform.

Daly’s report was echoed by blogs and tweets.

Through a spokeswoman, Microsoft said it is not commenting on rumors and speculation. Opalis, meanwhile, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Opalis’ CEO, Todd DeLaughter, was previously general manager of Hewlett-Packard Co.’s OpenView systems management division.

Daly said the Opalis acquisition would be the fourth in this market in the past two years. HP bought Opsware for $54 million in 2007, while BMC Software Inc. acquired RealOps for $53 million. CA Inc. bought Optinuity last year. One key difference, he said, is that Opalis’ revenue appeared to be higher than its counterparts’ at the time of acquisition.”

Read the full article here.

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With a worse than bad report coming out of its first quarter, Yahoo is struggeling to find ways to stand on its own.  In the wake of Oracle/ Sun merge, next large Silicon Valley merge may come very soon. Microsoft who was once considered a no-no in the Valley may look like a saviour!

Here are some coverage tidbits from PCWorld.

“Yahoo had revenue of US$1.58 billion, down 13 percent from the first quarter of 2008 but higher than the $1.20 billion consensus expectation from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.”

“Meanwhile, net income fell 78 percent to $118 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to $537 million, or $0.37 per share, in the first quarter of 2008, the company said Tuesday. On a pro forma basis, which excludes certain one-time items, Yahoo had net income of $206 million, or $0.15 per share, down 16 percent and 17 percent, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2008 but exceeding by seven cents per share analysts’ expectation.”

With these bleak numbers, cutbacks will only solve parts of the fundamental problems.

“This time around, Yahoo will let go 5 percent of its staff worldwide. Yahoo ended 2008 with 13,600 employees, so this would mean that about 680 people will be laid off. Yahoo handed out pink slips to about 2,600 employees in two rounds of layoffs last year.”

One may wonder if this is the preparation for a merge with MSFT.

Other coverage on this story can be found at;  YogiMassMedia NowErik Bowman , 24/7 Wall Street

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