Aug 20, 2020

How Apple achieved its $2trn valuation

Apple
Services
Technology
Tesla
William Smith
2 min
Apple has become the first US company to achieve a $2trn valuation on the stock market
Apple has become the first US company to achieve a $2trn valuation on the stock market...

Apple has become the first US company to achieve a $2trn valuation on the stock market.

With shares reaching $467.77 on Wednesday, the company witnessed a barnstorming return to form after it was forced to close all of its stores worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That sent stocks to a price point half of what they are today, but strong quarterly results built on products and services (such as streaming service Apple TV+) reversed the trend.

It is widely understood that the US stock market has become untethered from reality, with such success coming despite huge economic problems caused by the pandemic. While some fear a bubble, others have suggested the market has become crash proof.

One of the other companies also experiencing huge growth in the markets is Tesla, which recently achieved a $342bn valuation, up 485% compared to a year ago. Tesla is now by far the world’s most valuable car manufacturer, despite producing a small percentage of vehicles compared to rivals, highlighting just how important technology has become to the industry.

Apple is not the first to reach the $2trn figure, pipped to the post by state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco in December of last year, though it has since fallen back to a $1.8trn valuation.

At the start of the year, another of America’s tech giants, Amazon, returned to the trillion dollar club of companies with Microsoft and Apple, and around the same time, Google’s parent Alphabet achieved such a valuation for the first time.

Apple is currently embroiled in a fight with Epic Games, developer of the wildly popular Fortnite video game, over the 30% cut it takes from digital items sold via its App store. Epic Games decided to circumvent that to sell its virtual products for less via its own digital storefront, leading to Apple removing the game from its platform. In an escalation, It recently further threatened to ban Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, on which countless other apps and services run. 

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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