There was an announcement last week that should have caused tech investors to do a double take: Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) passed Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) value to become the new king of tech. That's right: Apple's market cap is now $240 billion, while Microsoft, yesterday's standard-bearer, is sitting at $235 billion. If you're not immediately shocked, you may want to look back at the start of this millennium. Back in 2000, Microsoft was worth around $500 billion and Apple was picking at the edges with $16 billion, even sinking as low as $4 billion at its post-dot-com-bubble lows.
Over the past decade, Apple's stock kept rising, and Microsoft's kept doing what it has gotten so good at of late -- kind of limping along. Now that the two companies are about equal in price, Fool.com analyst Eric Bleeker wants to know which one is the stronger buy.
Despite some very real concerns for Microsoft -- in particular, that consumers will shift their spending dollars to mobile devices, where the company doesn't derive much revenue -- it's a pretty good bet that most large companies will still be Windows-based in 10 years. For that reason, Microsoft is still a pretty safe -- albeit unsexy -- investment.
Meanwhile, Apple boasts more upside potential, thanks in large degree to its iPhone. The company should see some 40 million iPhones fly off the shelves this year. And every one of them plays into support for the company's other products, such as Macbooks and iPads. It's a pricy stock, but if you believe in the iPhone's future, Apple looks like a solid investment, too.
At the end of the day, though, Eric may not be putting his money down on either Apple or Microsoft. Find out why in this video.
More From Fool TV: