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Microsoft stock has outperformed Apple by 13 per cent since the beginning of the third quarter. Given the change in culture at Apple since Steve Jobs’ death, this may signal the beginning of a long-term trend.

Apple’s brilliance is unquestionable, but it has been almost entirely confined to products oriented at retail consumers. The ascension of Tim Cook – formerly the head of the company’s operations department – to become the CEO, along with the departure of prominent executives from the product innovation areas, have some industry-watchers concerned that Apple’s culture is changing from one emphasizing innovation to operational blocking-and-tackling. The death of Steve Jobs, arguably the greatest creative force in business history, still looms over the company’s future.

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