Enrique Dans
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Enrique Dans

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Microsoft overtakes Google

I mentioned a while ago that Microsoft is back, gradually recovering from the kicking it received from that incompetent hooligan Steve Ballmer. Now, amid an impressive transformation overseen by Satya Nadella, Microsoft is the third most valuable company in the world after Apple and Amazon, and ahead of Google. At the time of writing, Microsoft is valued at $760.2 billion dollars, compared to the Mountain View Company’s $745.6 billion.

In the just over four years that Nadella has been in charge at Microsoft, its valuation has more than doubled, thanks in part to a series of repositions that have turned it into a relevant competitor in important areas such as cloud computing (creating a strong offer for third parties and transitioning its own products to the cloud), cross-platform technologies, augmented reality, machine learning and quantum computing. In the last year alone, its share price has grown by more than 40%, eclipsing Google’s not inconsiderable gains: Microsoft has done incredibly well. In fact, its revenue is now much more diversified than Apple, which depends on its iPhone for 60% of its sales, or Google, which depends on advertising for 90% of its income.

Obviously, the markets are fickle, and Microsoft’s share price could shift at any time, but we are where we are: Microsoft is once again a key player on the technology stage, with analysts such as Morgan Stanley suggesting its value could double in a year and pass the one trillion dollar mark.

We are very accustomed to the swings in fortune of technology companies, leading to the map being redrawn every now and then: today’s big beasts are not the same as those of two or three decades ago. But Microsoft’s return is the result of an incredible transformation that puts among the pantheon of industry leaders — a transformation well told in his book “Hit refresh”, now a classic of management — and is, without doubt, good news for everybody.

(En español, aquí)

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On the effects of technology and innovation on people, companies and society (writing in Spanish at enriquedans.com since 2003)

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Enrique Dans

Enrique Dans

Professor of Innovation at IE Business School and blogger at enriquedans.com

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