Hi there, readers. New Microsoft reporter Matt Day here. Janet’s left some big shoes to fill. I’m looking forward to getting started.
What better place to begin than where things stand now in tech land?
Forbes crunches some numbers in its annual ranking of the most valuable global brands, and again finds Microsoft coming in second to longtime leader Apple.
More interesting, though, is the movement at No. 3. Google unseated Coca-Cola from that spot in the magazine’s list, creeping closer to Microsoft’s perch.
Putting a dollar value on a brand is an inexact science at best.
But Google’s rise in Forbes’ rankings dovetails with its growing reach of in people’s lives, as it evolves from a business known primarily for its dominant search engine to one able to threaten Microsoft and other tech companies on more fronts. Google now competes with Microsoft head on in everything from office productivity tools to Web browsing to the software powering your smartphone.
By Forbes’ calculations (an outline of their methodology is here), Google’s brand is worth 50% more now than it was in 2012. Microsoft’s value? Up 15% in that span.
It’s unclear if branding played any role in a little televised tech drama last night, when CNN commentators covering the midterm election results were spotted apparently using iPads behind the Surface devices Microsoft had provided for the broadcast.