Microsoft becomes world's second most valuable company

Considering its string of recent misfortunes—Windows 8, Windows Phone, and the Surface RT, to name a few—one might think Microsoft is on a continued losing streak. The firm's luck may finally have turned, though.

Bloomberg reports that Microsoft has now surpassed Exxon Mobil to become the second most valuable firm in the world. As I write this, Microsoft's market capitalization stands at $408.7 billion, just above Exxon's $402.7 billion. The top spot is, of course, still occupied by Apple, which has a humongous $669.7 billion market cap.

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft's value has gone up $100 billion, or 33%, this year alone—an increase the news agency chalks up to Satya Nadella taking the helm from former CEO Steve Ballmer. Last quarter, Bloomberg points out, Microsoft beat analyst estimates with record quarterly results driven by strong cloud and hardware growth.

Those successes have come at a cost, though. In July, Nadella outlined a plan to cut 18,000 jobs over a 12-month period. 12,500 of those cuts will be from Nokia's former Devices and Services division, the acquisition of which Microsoft completed in April.

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