Apple enjoys a worldwide reputation of being one of the most widely recognized brands across it, because of its innovation, ways of revolutionizing consumer technology, and high degree of consumer loyalty and brand insistence. Under the leadership of the late Steve Jobs, Apple has released music players, personal computers, tablets, and even accessories like the Apple Watch and an iPad stylus that has allowed the company to dominate the technology sector worldwide. As Tim Cook has been at the helm of Apple’s operations at CEO, he faces other significant challenges as the world continues along the digital continuum. One of these is facing off with a viable contender, Microsoft, headed by Bill Gates.The two powerhouses are global competitors in the technology industry and have marked differences between the two. Microsoft’s significant strengths are that more than 90 percent of worldwide personal computers run on Windows, in addition to being the top productivity software worldwide, meaning its Microsoft Home Office offering.

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Microsoft dominates when it comes to operating systems and productivity software and has a base of customers that prefer to use it over anything else. However, where it falls are in global smartphone sales and shipments, which are lesser than the famed iPhone. Only less than 3 percent of smartphones worldwide run Windows Phone, falling behind Google Android and iOS. Microsoft is also lagging in innovation, Apple being much farther ahead of it as consumers complain that Microsoft upgrades its products with nothing new. Microsoft has the opportunity to compete with Apple in the area of smartphones as it is emerging as a growth opportunity in both developed and developing nations. Competition, however, is its biggest threat, especially in the software market. As Microsoft occupies many markets from software to consumer technology, it faces significant competition in each sector from Apple, Google, Yahoo, IBM, etc.

Both Apple and Microsoft enjoy the reputations of being one of the most widely recognized brands in the world. The two make similar products from phones to computers to even word processors. When it comes to innovation and product differentiation, Apple dominates as a pioneer that has introduced the world’s best-selling and most popular smartphone. Apple is larger and more valuable that Microsoft as a giant in a mature and ever-changing industry.