In one of the clearest signs yet of the renaissance that’s finally putting a close to The Dark Age of Personal Computing, Apple Inc. (AAPL) has overtaken Microsoft (MSFT) to become the second-most-valuable U.S. company.

Microsoft spent most of the trading day fending off Apple relentless assault — sometimes by excruciatingly small amounts — but, at approximately 2:15pm EDT, shares of Apple rose $4.35, or 1.78%, to $249.57, putting Apple’s market value at $227.10 billion and finally overtaking Microsoft’s which declined $0.20, or 0.77%, to 25.87, putting their market cap at $226.72 billion.

Watching it happen in real-time and then savoring the replay on 15-minute delay was doubly satisfying!

What I can’t figure out is why he (Steve Jobs) is even trying (to be the CEO of Apple)? He knows he can’t win.Bill Gates, June 1998

Expect the companies to trade positions back and forth in the near term, but Apple should put the derivative Microsoft in their rearview mirror soon enough.

As per NYSE, the top five U.S. publicly-traded companies, based on full market values, are:
1. Exxon Mobil (XOM) – $283.06B
2. Apple (AAPL) – $227.10B
3. Microsoft (MSFT) – $226.72B
4. Wal-Mart (WMT) – $189.57B
5. Berkshire hathaway (BRKA) – $175.76B

MacDailyNews Take: Pop the corks! Congrats, Apple, on a job very, very, very well done!

One more thing… Boom!