Microsoft surpassed Apple to become the world's most valuable publicly traded company.
Over the last few years, however, Microsoft has turned into a tech juggernaut again as its Windows 365 "cloud subscription" model has worked to perfection.
While Apple inched below that threshold Monday afternoon, it still closed as the most valuable public company.
Earlier, Apple's stock fell, and both companies' market capitalisation were within about US$3 billion of each other, putting them at virtually the same value. It's down 6.3 per cent since the start of October, while Apple has lost 23 per cent.More news: 2nd gene-edited pregnancy reported, scientist claims
Apple has slid amid growing concerns the company is seeing weak demand for iPhones, by far its biggest product line.
Microsoft has managed to hold up better than other high-flying tech names after its first-quarter results showed it continuing to follow through on the vision of CEO Satya Nadella. Yet RBC affirmed its outperform rating on Apple, saying it remains a "core large-cap tech holding" in an "increasingly "risk-off" environment", given the company's strong balance sheet and "aggressive" buyback program. Considering that not long ago Apple (and Amazon not too long after) broke $1 trillion valuation, it has come a long way down since then, due in part to Apples latest (and most expensive) smartphones (XR, XS, XS Max) not selling as well as anticipated. Just last month, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet were also ahead of Microsoft in market capitalization.
Thirty-three analysts recommend buying Microsoft's stock, while just one has a negative rating and another has a neutral rating, according to Refinitiv data.
Compared with Apple which is mainly consumer-focused, Microsoft now rides cross-platform technologies, cloud and artificial intelligence for enterprises.