Apple, Microsoft now on nearly equal footing

Ina Fried of CNET writes: "Apple has long been the little guy in the Mac vs. PC debate, but that's no longer the case.
As of trading on Tuesday, Microsoft and Apple both have roughly equal market capitalizations of around $230 billion. By another measure--adding in debt and other factors--Cupertino has actually surpassed Redmond in total value.
The fact that Apple has reached this level of valuation represents a remarkable turn of events in the history of computing.

Consider this: As recently as 1997, Michael Dell suggested Apple should just close up shop and return the money to shareholders. Today, Dell is worth barely a tenth as much as the Mac maker.
That same year, Apple had to accept a $150 million investment from Microsoft. Bill Gates famously appeared at Macworld via satellite, dwarfing the on-stage Steve Jobs as he announced the company's commitment to the Mac."

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