Microsoft dropped to third position in the most valuable tech companies on Thursday.
The software giant dropped behind IBM for the first time since 1996 this week. IBM’s market value closed at $214bn (£137.4bn) on Thursday, Microsoft fell to $213.2bn (£136.8bn). Bloomberg reported the values and claims the shift is a reflection of industry trends moving away from personal computer use.
Microsoft hit a market capitalization of more than $430 billion in July 2000, according to figures from Bloomberg. Microsoft dropped to $135 billion in March 2009 following the economic dip. Microsoft recovered alongside the market over the past two years. The majority of Microsoft’s profits come from its Windows and Office sales. Microsoft is facing tough competition from rival firms like Google and Apple who are tempting users over to mobile devices.
The general tech trend towards mobile computing is a market that Microsoft is attempting to play catch up with. The software maker shipped its Windows Phone 7.5 software to existing devices earlier this week, an update to its recent Windows Phone devices. Microsoft shipped Windows Phone 7 less than a year ago and the response has been slow from consumers. The company’s hopes are pinned firmly on Windows Phone 7.5 and a range of new devices on the horizon, including Nokia’s new smartphones running Windows Phone software.
Microsoft is also readying its iPad and tablet response. The company unveiled its Windows 8 operating system at the BUILD developer conference earlier this month. Windows 8 includes a Metro style user interface that is designed with touch in mind. Application developers will be able to write apps that target all Windows devices, including tablets and touch screen form factors. Microsoft is expected to ship a final copy of Windows 8 in mid to late 2012.