The companies are now battling it out over who is the third-most valuable company on public markets, behind Exxon Mobil XOM +0.38% and Apple AAPL -1.16%, which is increasingly becoming a competitor to Google.
Google passed Microsoft at 9:31 a.m. eastern time today, but fell shortly below Microsoft at 9:36 a.m. It then passed it and has been larger since 9:37 a.m., according to FactSet Research Systems.
It was just last week when it looked like Google would catch up to Microsoft in terms of company value, as concerns over its acquisition of Motorola Mobility began to fade. Google’s share price is up 30 percent this quarter.
Google and Microsoft now compete on search, thanks to Microsoft’s new Bing search engine, and on mobile devices thanks to Google’s growth in Android.
Now Google is in an escalating arms race with Apple, the next company in Google’s sights, after Apple launched its own less-than-savory maps application that replaced a Google-powered version on the iPhone.
Apple CEO Tim Cook ended up apologizing for the app, and suggested Google’s Web-based maps application that you access through a mobile browser as an alternative, along with several others map applications.
By Mathew Lynley, The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2012