Microsoft has been the king of mountain in the technology sector for years. It has used Microsoft Windows and other products used by millions of people to keep itself among the most valuable technology companies around the world. Just a few years ago, it was tough to imagine Apple passing Microsoft in terms of market value, without something special. Apple has delivered more than just that. iPod, iPhone, and iPad have helped Apple keep its momentum to zoom past Microsoft for now (Apple is valued at about $223 billion against about $219 billion for Microsoft).
This development is not going to change things much as far as Apple is concerned. It’s more symbolic. But Apple will get more attention from authorities. The U.S. government is in the process of investigating Apple over its iTunes practices. That’s just a start. When a company is small, it can get away with some aggressive tactics. Apple won’t have that luxury anymore.
More importantly, one should hope that Apple continues to innovate to keep its momentum going. Microsoft has had momentum in the past, but it has become clear that Microsoft has not been a market leader but a follower in the past few years. Apple can not afford to become a follower. Especially with Google breathing down its neck across multiple markets.
Steve Jobs is known for taking time to respond to user e-mails and providing information on the direction the company is going with its products. With Apple vs. Google rivalry becoming more intense, Apple will need to do more of that. Treating developers better would not hurt either.