Look Who’s About To Pass Microsoft In Market Cap

It’s not Google. It’s IBM.

That’s right: the company that gave Microsoft its big break, only to be eclipsed as the PC revolution replaced the mainframe.

Right now, IBM’s market cap is at $207.88 billion, just shy of Microsoft’s at $209.95 billion. IBM’s stock has been rising pretty consistently over the last year. Microsoft’s has been flat, and has been creeping down since its last earnings call.

If IBM passes Microsoft, that would make Microsoft the third-largest tech company after Apple, which passed it in market cap last May, and IBM.

IBM was last ahead of Microsoft about 15 years ago.

Steve Ballmer was around for the IBM beating. This must make him feel a little queasy inside. No wonder he’s opening the wallet.

Update: Here are top tech companies’ market cap positions as of 2:45 pm ET today. IBM is within a couple billion.

Market cap of top tech companies May 16 2011

And here’s the 10-year stock performance of IBM versus Microsoft:

Market cap of top tech companies May 16 2011

[credit provider=”Google Finance”]