Apple currently has a market cap of $218 billion. Microsoft is a bit larget ar $267b. So, it might be a bit early to suggest Apple could buy Microsoft. Of course, it would not be impossible. There are a number of scenarios involving leverage and spinning off divisions that could make it work. It’s also not unreasonable to believe that Apple will have a much larger market cap than Microsoft in a year or two.
But what Apple needs is the Microsoft Office property. It has no use for Windows, the X-Box, or the horrible Windows Phone properties, or the abortion that is the Zune. But control over Microsoft Office would completely change the entire tech sector. It would be an epic in the annals of business. It would allow Apple to bring us fully into the mobile computing era.
And for Microsoft shareholders it makes a lot of sense. The company is clearly in decline, and doesn’t even merit the scorn of Apple anymore. In Apple’s latest media event, Jobs took shots at Google, Adobe, Amazon, Sony, Nintendo, but not Microsoft. The company hasn’t had a big idea in over a decade. Its foray into hardware has been a disaster on all fronts, and the Windows platform continues to ossify and hasn’t seen any major new features in 10 years. In that time, almost all important software has become available on other operating systems. Yet Microsoft Office remains the de facto standard for e-mail, word processing, and spreadsheets.
There’s another reason this deal would be good for MSFT holders. Knowing Steve jobs, I can bet that he would be willing to overpay by a significant margin to finally take down his white whale.