Originally Posted by timgriff84
Well out of the 64 quarter results Microsoft posted higher profits than Apple in 63 of them. Is that what you meant?
That's a stupid argument.
Market cap is the market's determination of what a company is worth. It is based on the analysis of millions of investors and what they're willing to pay for a company.
In 1997, Microsoft's market cap was $130 B while Apple's was $4 B.
Today, Apple's market cap exceeds Microsoft's (both are around $230 B).
So Apple's market cap us up 5500% while Microsoft's is up about 80%. What kind of bizarre logic would lead you to conclude that Microsoft has done better than Apple over the past 15 years?
Revenue shows the same trend. Even profits (which is what you are arguing) shows a similar trend. Apple was losing money in 1995 while Microsoft was (IIRC) the most profitable company on the planet.
In 1997, Apple LOST $1 B on about $7 B in revenues. In the same year, Microsoft made about $4 B on $14 B in revenues.
In 2010, Apple made $14 B on $65 B in revenues. Microsoft made $19 B on $62 B in sales. That trend has continued so Apple is now making more than Microsoft.
Aside from the trends which tell an overwhelming story, there's the fact that the overwhelming majority of Microsoft's profits come from products that have been around for 20 years. They're doing nothing to get into significant new markets and are simply living on upgrades. Customers are apparently getting tired of that based on recent trends. (Xbox is the sole significant exception - and it only recently started to turn a profit). Apple, OTOH, has launched a number of new products which reshaped entire industries.
No rational person could possibly argue that Microsoft has been doing better than Apple for the past 15 years.