Ranking are rankings, right? Lists like this are mostly about perception. Still, Microsoft, thanks to its recent investments and enhanced focus on cloud and hardware, has found a place at the top.

It has been listed as the second most valuable brand in the world — just behind Apple.

Forbes has compiled this list, which has Apple valued at $124.2 billion, mostly due to what experts are calling excellent sales performance across the globe. The company does sell tens of millions of hardware devices across multiple form factors, after all.

Microsoft finds a place in top two for the first time, and is listed as being worth $63 billion, which while is nearly half the valuation of Apple, is an increase of 11% for Redmond.

Not to mention quite a strong performance from Microsoft, which Forbes claims has been somewhat flat over the past three years. A richly deserved standing for the software titan, as the company has made progress by leaps during the last season.

The impressive value increase for Microsoft, it is being said, is because of a move away from the PC and software licensing model towards cloud offerings like Azure, OneDrive and Office 365.

Google is good enough for a podium finish, coming in at third position.

It too has seen an increase of 19% compared to the same period of the previous years, and a lot of it has got to do with its impressive showing in the mobile arena, and the Android domination.

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