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Thursday, May 27, 2010, 08:20 am PT (11:20 am ET)

Microsoft CEO Ballmer not worried about Apple's market cap

After Apple's market cap exceeded rival Microsoft on Wall Street this week, the chief executive of the Windows maker, Steve Ballmer, noted that his company still rakes in more profits than anyone else in the technology business.

Ballmer was in New Delhi, India, on Thursday when reporters asked him about Apple's milestone, in which the Mac maker exceeded Microsoft in terms of market capitalization, making it the largest technology company in the world. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Microsoft CEO dismissed those questions.

"I will make more profits and certainly there is no technology company in the planet which is as profitable as we are," Ballmer said. "Stock markets will take care of the rest."

In the first quarter of calendar 2010, Microsoft had a net profit of $4.01 billion, from revenue of $14.5 billion. Apple, on the other hand earned $3.07 billion in profit during the same period, on revenue of $13.5 billion.

Ballmer told reporters he is more interested in launching new products and improving profitability than he is the market capitalization of his company with respect to Apple.

"We are executing very well," the chief executive said. "That's going to lead to great products and great success."

The market value of Microsoft has decreased from $556 billion in January of 2000, when Ballmer took over for Bill Gates as CEO, to $219 billion on Wednesday. In the same timeframe, Apple's market value has grown from $15.6 billion to $221 billion after the closing bell Wednesday.

"It's a long game," Ballmer was quoted as saying. "We have good competitors... We, too, are very good competitors."

Microsoft vs. Apple

Microsoft's market cap versus Apple. Source: The New York Times.


The Journal made no mention of a rumor that Ballmer could speak at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on June 7. The claim was made this week by analyst Trip Chowdhry with Global Equities Research.

Ballmer in years past has caught the ire of Apple supporters, as the Microsoft executive has repeatedly dismissed the growth of the Mac platform as a "rounding error." Last July, he said gaining share from the roughly 10 million computers Apple sells a year is a "limited opportunity."

Of late, the CEO has been more complimentary of Apple. In a speech he made in March, he praised his rival for the creation of the App Store, which delivers software to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.