After what seemed like an eternity, Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) market cap has reached the all-time highs set just before the Nasdaq bubble burst in late 1999, reaching $450 billion. Former CEO Steve Ballmer took the rap for much of the stock trouble over that time. In reality, for the most part, Microsoft fell and rose with the Nasdaq.
The primary difference to the business model direction of the company in the past two years is its success with the cloud. And it is not even in first place in that business, trailing at least Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).
However, it is safe to say that both in revenue and in image, Windows-based personal computers are no longer the face of the company.
As Microsoft posted its most recent earnings, for the period that ended June 30, CEO Satya Nadella said:
This past year was pivotal in both our own transformation and in partnering with our customers who are navigating their own digital transformations. The Microsoft Cloud is seeing significant customer momentum and we’re well positioned to reach new opportunities in the year ahead.
Microsoft will need to drive this business hard because it has become crowded with competition from every large tech company in the world. As the drive for market share increases, margins may not. However, its office and business customer bases are so huge, Microsoft has a built-in advantage.
Nadella is off to a good start as he reinvents the company. At the same time, the Nasdaq continues to march relentlessly higher, as it did from 1999 to 2016. What will it look like checking back in another 17 years? Now at $58, Microsoft has hit a summit again.