By MIGUEL HELFT and ASHLEE VANCE|Published: May 26, 2010 | The New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — Apple, the maker of iPods, iPhones and iPads, overtook Microsoft, the computer software giant, on Wednesday to become the world’s most valuable technology company.
In intraday trading shortly after 2:30 p.m., Apple shares rose 1.8 percent, which gave the company a value of $227.1 billion. Shares of Microsoft declined about 1 percent, giving the company a market capitalization of $226.3 billion.
The only American company valued higher is Exxon Mobil, with a market capitalization of $282 billion.
This changing of the guard caps one of the most stunning turnarounds in business history, as Apple had been given up for dead only a decade earlier. But the rapidly rising value attached to Apple by investors also heralds a cultural shift: Consumer tastes have overtaken the needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.