IBM passed Microsoft in market cap for the first time in 15 years. By the end of the day Friday, IBM's market cap had hit $208 billion, just edging out Microsoft's $207.9 billion. While IBM's stock has been rising over the past year, Microsoft's has stayed flat, and has started to drop. Both companies come behind Apple, which at over $311 billion is well ahead.
Microsoft's fall to third comes a year after Apple first passed Microsoft in value. At the time, Apple's market cap was $222 billion to Microsoft's was $219 billion. But as Apple continues to strengthen its lead, Microsoft has let the gap widen.
According to Geekosystem, Microsoft's stock has fallen 58 percent since the beginning of the 2000s, while IBM's stock has increased in value by 57 percent.
Though stock fluctuations could bring Microsoft back up to number two, the event serves as a sharp reminder of just how different the situation was 20 years ago, when Microsoft looked unbeatable, and IBM seemed poised to fade into obsolescence.