Many figures in the global stock market last night became incredibly excited after it was reported that Apple had for the first time overtaken Microsoft in a leading market ranking report.
The Guardian reports, however, that once other variables were factored into the calculations, Apple hasn't quite passed Microsoft's market value – at least, not yet.
The market battle between Microsoft and Apple is of particular interest mainly due to the contrasting ideologies of the two. Microsoft has made its fortunes by striving for widely accessible computing housed across a wide selection of hardware created by a huge number of companies. Apple is all about high-end consumer tech and its business model based on the notion of having total control over completely controlled platforms.
Last night's furore kicked off when the Standard & Poor 500 Market Ranking stated that Apple's float-adjusted market cap had reached $241.5bn, ahead of Microsoft's $239.5. A company's market cap is its stock price multiplied by issued stock.
However, it has since emerged that the Standard & Poor 500 Market Ranking omits shares held by government agencies and other publicly traded companies.
The result, when the extra numbers are added in, is that Apple's market cap is $242bn – just 88 per cent of Microsoft's $275bn.
This still points to a remarkable change of fortunes for Apple, which in 2000 stood at $7. Today it is worth $266. Its value has not been higher than Microsoft's since 1997.