Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Apple Just Killed Microsoft

By Tim Beyers - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 7:55PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Or so says BusinessWeek.

BusinessWeek's list of the world's 10 most influential companies is out, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) isn't on it. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is. So is Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Hear that? It's the jeers from the iGallery: "Thanks for playing, Mr. Softy, but everybody hated Vista. You no longer matter." These are the companies that do, says BusinessWeek:

  • Apple
  • Unilever
  • JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM)
  • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)
  • News Corp.  
  • Toyota (NYSE:TM)
  • Saudi Aramco
  • Monsanto
  • Huawei
  • Google

Microsoft is instead crowned a "niche dominator," according to an article sidebar. "Despite years of antitrust battles, the Redmond (Wash.) giant still accounts for about 90% of computer operating systems," the plug reads.

How's that bad, again? Apple's Mac OS X is gaining ground, sure, but when it comes to who rules the PC roost, it's Windows. Maybe that doesn't matter; researcher iSuppli says that PC shipments are expected to rise 4.3% in 2009, down from 13% projected growth for this year.

Equally telling: Those following the Big 3 Techies in our 125,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS database, like BusinessWeek, tend to favor Apple more than either Microsoft or Google:





CAPS stars (5 max)




Total ratings




Bullish ratings




Percent Bulls




Bearish ratings




Percent Bears




Bullish pitches




Bearish pitches




Note: Data current as of December 23, 2008.

CAPS investor FoolNewb best explains the bearish sentiment in this pitch from April:

I see no immediate upside for Microsoft outside of game and office software sales. They seem to be in panic mode if you ask me, as evidenced by their recent acquisition attempt of Yahoo. Google dominates search. IE is losing market share to Firefox, Safari, and Opera in the browser world. The Zune which is a nice Mp3 player will never be an iPod. It's that simple.

Fair enough. There's little hope for a Zune Phone, and cloud computing is enough of a threat that Mr. Softy has painted Windows a deep shade of Azure. But can we really say that Microsoft isn't one of the world's most influential? No. Here's why.

Battleground: Your living room
Microsoft is an emerging power in the battle for your entertainment dollars thanks to close ties with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and its Silverlight technology, which makes streaming more palatable. So much so that many leading content delivery networks have chosen to adopt it for delivering high-definition video over the Web.

You might say that Mr. Softy is embracing Netflix to extend the Xbox 360, transforming it into an all-in-one media hub. Neither the PlayStation nor the Wii have Netflix streaming as a feature, though the PS3 has a Blu-ray player. What do consumers prefer? On Black Friday, it was the Xbox over PS3.

And where's Apple rank when it comes to bigger-screen entertainment? 293rd, if you look at Apple TV's Amazon sales rank in electronics. Yeah, I know -- that's not fair. Apple is making huge strides in mobile entertainment via its App Store and the iPhone and iPod Touch. The battle for your palm is as important as the battle for your living room.

What matters is that neither battle is over. And in the living room, it's Microsoft -- not Apple, not Google -- that's allied with Netflix, arguably the market's most dangerous and best-positioned combatant. How's that for influence, BusinessWeek?

Pretty significant, I think, and I own shares of both Apple and Google. But that's also just one Fool's opinion. What's yours? Would you buy Microsoft at today's prices? Would you short it? Let us know by signing up for CAPS today. It's 100% free to participate.

Get your clicks with related Foolishness:

Apple, Amazon, and Netflix are Stock Advisor selections. Microsoft and Wal-Mart are Inside Value picks. Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation. JPMorgan Chase and Unilever are Income Investor picks. Try any of these Foolish services free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers team and had stock and options positions in Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is hanging mistletoe at Fool HQ.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$288.39 (2.16%) $6.09
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Stock Quote
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
$129.15 (0.22%) $0.28
Netflix, Inc. Stock Quote
Netflix, Inc.
$243.31 (5.82%) $13.37
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$119.84 (2.75%) $3.21
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$168.11 (1.93%) $3.19
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Stock Quote
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
$118.47 (2.68%) $3.09
Toyota Motor Corporation Stock Quote
Toyota Motor Corporation
$157.71 (3.12%) $4.77

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/10/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.