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Microsoft and Amazon battle beyond the cloud for third “most valuable company” spot

Microsoft and Amazon have been competing with one another on a myriad of fronts that include providing productivity software to enterprises as well their infamous cloud solutions battles. However, it seems there is yet another place where the companies find themselves embroiled in another case of one-up-manship and that’s stock market value. For the first time ever, Amazon has not only broken the ranks of the top three most valuable companies in the US and in doing so, ousting Microsoft from its cozy perch at number three.

Yesterday, Amazon shares crested at a 2.57% gain which lifted the market value beyond that of Microsoft’s $699.2 billion, and leaving the company sitting just beyond reach at $702.5 billion. Amazon’s new positioning puts it just behind other know direct-competitors Alphabet/Google at $746.4 billion and Apple at $849.2 billion.

Perhaps, adding salt to a new wound is the knowledge that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos took former Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates’ long-running title of “World’s Richest Man” as his company climbed over Microsoft to sit at the third spot.

Amazon’s newfound market cap isn’t an overnight success and probably doesn’t have Microsoft bean-counters up late and night worrying. Amazon is a 21-year-old company that spent much of Microsoft’s antitrust days (which cut the company’s value by almost two thirds for the next decade) learning from those mistakes.

While analysts are predicting a much broader future for Amazon, Microsoft’s niche focus on the cloud has helped raise the company’s sails, and is guiding them to a lucrative future beyond their 40-year-old core competence. It could also be the eventual catalyst for another switch between the two tech giants for “most valuable company” spot in the rankings.

It’ll be interesting to see how both Microsoft and Amazon behave with one another as they not only compete for cloud solution supremacy and market value spots, but also enter into binding (ideally mutually beneficial) agreements to combine their efforts and push the industry needle forward.

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Do you think Amazon can maintain this lead?