Today in Apple’s history: Microsoft is reaching the pinnacle of its power

December 30, 1999 Microsoft reached the peak of its dominance in the 1990s and began its decline in the early 2000s, bridging the gap at the top for Apple.

After reaching its all-time high of $ 53.60, Microsoft shares began to fall. Less than a year later, Microsoft shares fell more than 60 percent to $ 20.

A decade of Microsoft dominance

While I usually focus on Apple (and sometimes NeXT and Pixar) for “Today in Apple History,” it’s worth highlighting Microsoft today for what this date meant about changing the face of technology. In inflation-adjusted dollars, Microsoft’s market capitalization peaked at about $ 850 billion at the time.

It’s hard to imagine a company that looked more inviolable than Microsoft as 2000 approached. Yet, just 15 years earlier, Microsoft was just a successful indie developer for the Mac.

At a time when software could boost computer sales (and today, but not to the same extent), the tide began to turn after the forced departure of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs of Cupertino.

Then-Apple CEO John Sculley signed a contract with Bill Gates to give Microsoft a “non-exclusive, global, free, permanent, non-transferable license to use [parts of the Mac technology] in current and future software programs ”for your new Windows operating system.

Apple’s determination to stick to a proprietary OS while Microsoft licensed Windows to third-party PC makers represented several tough years for Cupertino. After disastrous product launches and poor management decisions, Apple fell from power. Meanwhile, Microsoft is gradually approaching the alignment of what Apple has been doing with Mac OS – most notably Windows 95.

At the time of Jobs ’return to Apple in 1997, Cupertino looked so far removed from the candidate that Microsoft was ready to save the company as part of a deal involving Internet Explorer. It was said that Apple was 90 days away from bankruptcy at that time.

So what has changed?

Within weeks of Apple debuting with its 1997 Think Different advertising campaign, marking Jobs’ vision of what Apple was supposed to represent, the Justice Department sued Microsoft in a long-running antitrust case. This was not enough to bring down Microsoft in any way. But that coincided with a reduction in the company’s influence.

Shortly after the high stock price in December 1999 (aided by the dot-com bubble), Gates resigned as Microsoft’s chief executive. Steve Ballmer took over that function. Then, as Microsoft struggled to maintain its relevance in the new century, Apple released hit after hit. You know the rest.

In addition to Apple, newer technology giants like Google have helped fill the gap as Microsoft’s dominance waned.

How do you see things going in the next few years? Leave your comments below.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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