Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Greatest Comeback

After Game Three, when the Yankees socked the Red Sox and it appeared as though the home team's perennial quest to shake off past demons would remain... perennial... we all then witnessed the greatest comeback in history.  The Sox went on to win that ALCS and then the World Series and all past demons could be, finally (!), purged and exorcised.

In the late 1970s, two upstarts... one headed by Bill Gates and another by Steve Jobs... initiated the personal computing age.  Apple was quickly outflanked by Microsoft, though, and Gates and Co. soared to the industry leadership position, successfully transforming and empowering a new digital era.  Apple's prospects dimmed, leading to a departure by Jobs and numerous predictions that the always quirky and sometimes innovative computer-company-named-after-a-fruit would fail.  Michael Dell once called for Apple to shut down and return whatever money was left over to shareholders.  Mr. Dell now oversees a company merely a tenth of the size of Apple.

Apple's transformation of the computing business began, upon Jobs' return, with the introduction of small, simple to use devices known as iPods (and its accompanying iTunes software and store).  Then came the iPhone.  The iPad has exploded onto the market.  Macs are now powered by Intel processors and are able, essentially out of the box, to run most Windows applications.  And what about these guys (I could watch them all day long)?

Well, last Wednesday, Apple surpassed Microsoft in terms of overall market valuation ($222.1 billion to Microsoft's paltry $219.2 billion) and is now just below Exxon in terms of overall US companies.

What a comeback!  The greatest of all time.

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