Microsoft surpasses Apple as world’s most valuable company

Microsoft has briefly overtaken Apple as the world’s most valuable company for the first time in over eight years. It was also the first time since 2013 that any company topped Apple, ever since it surpassed ExxonMobil in size. Apple’s market cap ultimately regained its number one rank, closing at $828.64 billion, while Microsoft’s stood at $822.90 billion.The rise of cloud computing changed Microsoft’s fortunes about five years ago. Under Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, the company invested heavily in data centers and other infrastructure to run applications and store data for corporate customers. And instead of trying to tie Office work productivity software to its Windows operating system, Microsoft offered it as a subscription service over the internet and on other companies’ devices — including Apple’s. It also stopped making smartphone hardware, while boosting the quality of its tablet and PC designs. Microsoft is now second behind Amazon Web Services in the cloud.