Microsoft is America’s most valuable company—and it isn’t even close. After shares surged Friday (June 7), the software company’s market capitalization is now well above $1 trillion. For now, second- and third-place Amazon and Apple both remain around the $880 billion mark. A Microsoft rally led its share price to rocket nearly 10% in the past four days to a record level.
Investor optimism about Microsoft’s cloud services business is among the factors behind its shares’ rise, as CEO Satya Nadella is credited with a renaissance at the company. (Nadella, for his part, won’t be celebrating the trillion-dollar milestone: in an earlier interview with Bloomberg, he dismissed the valuation as “not meaningful” and claimed he would be “disgusted if somebody ever celebrated our market cap.”)
Things didn’t look as rosy for the tech behemoth prior to Nadella’s taking over as CEO in Feb. 2014. Microsoft had missed out on the mobile phone boom, failed to provide a decent competitor to Google’s search empire, and utterly ignored social networking, while the future worth of its Windows operating system and Office software looked ever less clear. Under Nadella’s eye, however, the morale and performance of the company have rebounded. Nadella has notably brought extra focus on cloud computing, with Microsoft’s Azure offering proving a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services.
Microsoft had a 17% share of the global cloud infrastructure services market in 2018, according to industry research firm Canalys. Amazon Web Services commanded a 32% share.