Originally Posted by solipsism
Yes, MS’ cap was over double what it is now, but remember that was all false inflation from the dotCom boom that made it so. What those graphs are really showing are a steady and consistence climb for Apple and stagnation for MS (when you factor in extra-market affects on those companies.
If Apple had nothing but vapourware with lofty promises and/or a huge E/P then I would fear that Apple’s growth bubble will pop, but as shareholders we know that their E/P isn’t egregious, that their earnings back up their growth rate, and that aren’t likely to even acknowledge a product’s existence until it’s almost ready to ship (or at least the contracts for components and manufacturing have been inked, even if there are occasional hiccups). Take Palm, for example, I wish I would have bought them for the short term when they announced WebOS. They jumped 14x in about 5-6 months, but that dropped after they couldn’t deliver on actual sales and profit.
PS: MS’ still makes more profit than Apple, and as of the last earnings made slightly more revenue. That isn’t to last long based on current trends, but I would not count MS out when they have so much control and profit to make a huge comeback if they get their internal structure and management issues resolved. They may be a slow and inefficient giant, but it will take a lot to bring down this giant. At this point MS is more immobilized* than hurt.
* Pun intended in referring to their inability to be dominate on smartphones and tablets.
When I worked for IBM (1964-1980) they were the unassailable 800 lb gorilla. Big Blue had 97% of the mainframe computer market. In the mid 1970s, DEC, Data General and a few other minicomputers began to challenge IBM's dominance. They still had 97% of mainframes and IBM even introduced some minicomputer class systems of their own.
But the market emphasis had shifted
(for lots of reasons) from mainframes to minis.
Personal computers (called microcomputers) were around then, but some technology converged around 1978-9 that shifted the focus once again. That convergence was three things: the Apple ][, Floppy Drives and VisiCalc.
I still worked for IBM, but, with 2 others, had opened a computer store in 1978. One of my partners was a known expert on the Apple ][-- and he was asked to beta test VisiCalc.Zap!
When that package hit the market it said: I'm here! I'm serious! I can do the job (your work)! I can get it done, NOW!
It helped that a solution like this cost $3,000 or less, but the driving factor was geting it done, NOW!
The typical backlog to get the Data Processing Department to implement an application for an enterprise department was 18 months or longer. The manager of an evolving department (or a new product) could not afford to wait that long for the information he needed-- it was perishable.
So, typically, a couple of smart people in the department would slap together a few quick spreadsheets and voila-- you had a budget, a payroll or product forecast.
So these department managers said: $3,000 and some part time effort vs major $ and 18-month wait...Data Processing? Data Processing? I don't need no stinkin' Data Processing!
And they didn't. The emphasis had shifted again,
and with it went the emphasis on the mainframe and the mini.
We were in the middle of Silicon Valley, selling this "solution" to all the Fortune 500s (IBM, Fairchild, Xerox, Applied Materials, Marriott, Intel, ADP....).
We were part of it, but didn't really recognize what was happening.
So, why am I going on about this?
I'll tell you why!
with the iPhone and the iPad * the emphasis has shifted again!
* (and all those that follow in their footsteps)
Floortops, Desktops, laptops aren't going to go away (we still have mainframes). But their halcyon days are gone -- they are today's legacy systems.
I can carry most of what [information] I need in my pocket or in my hand and have instantaneous access. The stuff I don't have with me, I can pull out of the air! I don't need to spend a lot of money, and I don't need any special training or preparation!Legacy Computers? Legacy Computers? I don't need no stinkin' Legacy Computers!
... maybe a little premature-- but it's happening!