Apple and Microsoft now neck and neck in market capitalization

Apple and Microsoft, together at last -- in terms of market capitalization, anyway. While that may have seemed inevitable to anyone that's been watching the markets lately, it's certainly nonetheless a significant milestone in the history between the two companies, and all the more striking if you look at a chart comparing the two companies over, say, the past five years (see for yourself after the break). As you can see above, however, Microsoft is still hanging onto a slight lead by one measure of market capitalization, but if you use another factoring in debt and other factors, Apple is now actually ahead of Microsoft in total value as of yesterday, and behind only Exxon Mobil among all US companies. No word on any celebrations breaking out in Cupertino just yet, but Apple will soon have a prime opportunity to do a bit of crowing should it choose to.