Microsoft becomes World's 2nd most valuable brand. You'll never guess who's #1

A month ago we reported that Apple is the most valuable brand in the world. This ranking was based on figures published by Interbrand, but things have been improving for the Nadella-led company in recent weeks. Since then, Microsoft is creeping up the charts when looked at in terms of market capitalization -- the number of company shares multiplied by the price of a share.

Microsoft now finds itself overtaking oil giant Exxon as it jumps to second place in the global rankings. Apple remains in the top slot. The move up the charts was helped not only by Exxon getting hit by a slump in global oil prices, but also by an increase in Microsoft's share prices.

Shares shot up to $50.04 on Friday -- a 14 year high -- before dropping back slightly to $49.81. This gave Microsoft a value of $410.5 billion, placing it comfortably ahead of Exxon. Despite a share price of $94.90, and a share rise of 24 percent, the oil firm's market capitalization sits at $401.9 billion. While there will undoubtedly be celebrations at Microsoft at the news that the company finds itself second on the podium, there is quite a ways to go if the Redmond-based firm is to catch up with Apple.

The company behind the iPhone and iPad is very comfortably in the lead with a value of $668.2 billion. It's also not clear how long Microsoft will remain at the top of the charts. While the company's value is certainly on the rise, fluctuations in the price of oil were instrumental in overtaking Exxon.

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