Pakistan is High Child Mortality Country, Says Survey

Islamabad, Pakistan (APP) | Pakistan is one of the resilient places for the children to survive till touching the age of five years due to delays in receiving appropriate care from a skilled health worker, as per the Pakistan Demographic and health survey (PDHS).
According to Survey, one from every 14 children dies before reaching the age of one year and one in every 11 does not survive to his or her fifth birthday.
The survey reported that child mortality was significantly higher in Balochistan as compared to other provinces.
While the survival of children has been found significantly higher of those who have been breastfed.
Pakistan is still ranked among the countries with the highest birth rates, Given this progress, the targets set in the SDGs become even more ambitious, which state lowering the under-five mortality to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2030. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the under-five mortality rates is at 81.1 as per 1,000 live births in the country while Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) in rural areas is 62 per 1000 live birth and 47 per 1000 live birth in urban areas of the country.
The death rates of the children of fewer than five years are 57 percent and birth rate 43 percent. However, the trends have been in consistent decline over the year. Similar disparities are seen in wealthy and poor households.
PDHS pointed out that factors to reduce child mortality include higher levels of the mother’s education, preceding birth interval, size of the child at birth and family size.

Bid to Attack Christmas Celebrations Foiled in Karachi, Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan (APP) | Five suspected terrorists were taken into custody after a shootout in Karachi’s Mobina Town on Christmas Eve on Monday.
According to police, the alleged terrorists were planning an attack on Christmas celebrations in the metropolis.
The suspects were identified as Amjad, Naveed, Ali, Mumtaz, and Mureed.
Law enforcers also seized arms and ammunition from their possession.
The Christian community across the world will celebrate Christmas tomorrow (Tuesday) to mark the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ.
Special services will be held in churches across the country to celebrate the festival.
Earlier this month, two suspects affiliated with the Muttahida Quami Movement’s (MQM) South Africa network were arrested by the Rangers during a raid in North Karac
hi Sector III.

Rs50 Coin Issued

Islamabad, Pakistan | The State Bank of Pakistan has issued Rs50 commemorative coin of International Anti-Corruption Day.
"The Federal Government has authorized the State Bank of Pakistan to issue Rs. 50 Commemorative Coin of International Anti-Corruption Day. These coins will be issued through the exchange counters of all the field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation," the bank had said in a statement issued on December 7.

The metal composition, shape, dimension and design of Rs.50 commemorative coin are as under:

Metal composition: Cupro-Nickel, Copper 75% & Nickel 25%

Dimension: 30.0 mm

Weight: 13.5 gram


The waxing crescent moon and five-pointed star facing North West in rising position is in the center. 
The periphery on the top of the crescent star is inscribed in the wording “ISLAMI JAMHORIA PAKISTAN” in Urdu script.

Below the crescent and at the top of two springs of wheat with arms curved upward, there is the year of issuance 2018. 
The face value of the coin in numeral “50” in bold letters and RUPIA in Urdu script are written on the right and left sides of the crescent star respectively.


On the reverse side of the coin wordings of International Anti-Corruption Day in English script along with periphery 9th December at the bottom of the coin a
nd “Hamara Emaan, Corruption Free Pakistan” in Urdu script in the center of the coin are inscribed

Pakistan is an Attractive Tourist Country | Canadian Diplomats

Mardan, Pakistan (APP) | A ten-member delegation of Canadian Embassy Islamabad Saturday visited the archaeological sites in Takhtbhai and evinced keen interest in the historical remains of Gandhara civilization.
The delegates were briefed about the historical importance of the archaeological remains by the officials of the KP Archive Department.
The members of the delegation in their comments on the occasion held Pakistan an attractive tourist country.
Pakistan is a peaceful country and its people are peace-loving and hospitable, they added.

New Facebook Bug may have EXPOSED Unposted Photos

San Francisco, USA (AFP) | Facebook apologized Friday for a "bug" that may have exposed unposted photos from as many as 6.8 million users over a 12-day period through third-party applications.
In the latest in a string of incidents on data protection, the leading social network said using Facebook login and granting permission to third-party apps to access photos may have led to the unintended lapse between September 13 and 25.
"When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline," engineering director Tomer Bar said in a message to developers.
"In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, such as those shared on Marketplace or Facebook Stories."
Bar added that the bug also impacted photos that people uploaded to Facebook but chose not to post -- in situations where someone uploads a photo but doesn´t finish posting it, for example.
"We store a copy of that photo so the person has it when they come back to the app to complete their post," he said.
Bar said affected users would be notified and directed to a help center where they will be able to see what images may have been affected.
"We´re sorry this happened," he said. "Early next week we will be rolling out tools for app developers that will allow them to determine which people using their app might be impacted by this bug. We will be working with those developers to delete the photos from impacted users."
Facebook has been facing heightened scrutiny over its data protection practices in recent months, notably since the revelations over the hijacking of personal data of tens of millions of users by Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy working on Donald Trump´s 2016 campaign.

US Adds Pakistan, China to Its Blacklist For Religious Freedom Violations

Washington USA (AFP) | The United States said Tuesday it has added Pakistan to its blacklist of countries that violate religious freedom, ramping up pressure over its treatment of minorities.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had designated Pakistan among "countries of particular concern" in a congressionally mandated annual report, meaning the US government is obliged to exert pressure to end freedom violations.
Pompeo a year earlier had placed Pakistan on a special watch list - a step short of the designation -- in what had been seen as a US tactic to press Islamabad into reforms.
"In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs," Pompeo said in a statement.
"The United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression," he said.
Nine countries remained for another year on the list of Countries of Particular Concern -- China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
The United States removed one country from the list - Uzbekistan - but kept it on the watch list.
Pompeo also put on the watch list Russia, adding another item of contention to the relationship between the two powers.

Land of Noah | Armenia’s History and Culture

Yerevan, Armenia (AFP) | Armenia on Sunday holds snap parliamentary polls that were sparked by reformist Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan last month.
Here are five points on the culture and history of the tiny landlocked mountainous nation located in the South Caucasus.

Biblical Land
Armenia, which in the fourth century became the first country in the world to officially embrace Christianity, is an ancient biblical land where the Book of Genesis says Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat after the Great Deluge.
Now inside Turkey, Mount Ararat is regarded by Armenians as a national symbol and features on the country’s coat of arms and banknotes.
The Bible was translated into Armenian in the fifth century by Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the distinctive Armenian alphabet.

Great Crime
When World War I broke out in 1914, Armenia -- which for most of its history has been occupied by foreign powers -- was divided between the Ottoman and Russian Empires.
During the war, Ottomans massacred and deported more than 1.5 million Armenians in what has become the most tragic event in the history of the Armenian people, which they call Meds Yeghern, or the Great Crime.
Up to this day, Armenia and Turkey are locked in a bitter diplomatic battle over whether the massacres should be described as "genocide".

UNESCO Treasures
Armenia’s preeminent cultural institution, the Matenadaran museum, is a repository of the country’s national treasure -- the vast collection of ancient manuscripts that cover almost every sphere of Armenia’s ancient and medieval science and culture.
In recognition of its universal significance, the collection - one of the world’s richest - was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 1997.
The collection includes more than 17,000 manuscripts, books, and 30,000 other documents, that embrace a wide range of subjects such as theology, philosophy, history, medicine, literature, art history, and cosmography in Armenian and many other languages.

A symbol of Armenian national identity, the duduk oboe is a double-reed wind instrument whose roots go back to the times of the Armenian king Tigran the Great (95-55 BC).
Made from the wood of an apricot tree, the Armenian duduk is distinctive in construction and performance technique and characterised by a warm and soft timbre.
Duduk music accompanies popular Armenian traditional songs and dances and is played at social events such as weddings, anniversaries, and funerals. In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed it a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Star-Studded Diaspora
The Armenian diaspora that developed in the wake of the 1915 massacres is now vast -- around eight to 10 million people according to estimates -- and it includes some famous figures.
Reality TV superstar Kim Kardashian, the late singer Charles Aznavour, Hollywood’s Cher and France’s football World Cup-winning striker Youri Djorkaeff all have roots in Armenia.
The politically influential diaspora is strongest in Russia (1.5 million), followed by the United States (1.3 million) and France (400,000).

Speaking Opportunities | Join Us on Annual Christian Convention 2019

Bahawalpur, Pakistan | Sutlej Reformed Church of Pakistan invites you to come and speak on our annual event "Christian Convention 2019" that will be held in coming November 2019, hopefully by the grace of our Lord God.
The theme of our Convention is "The Second Coming of Jesus Christ".

Along with speaking opportunities, you can also join us in the following activities;
1. Biblical/Theological/Leadership/Couples/Youth/Women Seminar
2. Pastoral Fellowship
3. Children's Ministry
4. Outreaches
5. Visitation to our Project Sites
Or let us know about your ministry of interest that you want to do during your trip.

1. Valid Passport
2. Valid Visa to travel to Pakistan (Normal processing time for a visa is 4-6 weeks.)
For Americans:
For London UK:

Total Cost of the Trip: 
$2800-3000 USD (Airfare (Round Trip), Accommodation & Food etc.)

If you, your church/ministry/organization members, group, family or friends are interested to join us then do not miss this opportunity. Remember, he who wins a soul is wise (Prov.11:30). And do not hesitate to email in case you need require additional information in this regard.

Join us in prayer, worship, serving, and proclamation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!

May God Richly Bless You Even As You Invite Others.

Pakistan Wishes to See Peace Beyond Borders

Rawalpindi, Pakistan | A group of Pakistan-based foreign media journalists interacted with DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Tuesday.
According to a press release issued by the ISPR, Maj-Gen Ghafoor briefed the journalists about the security situation and ongoing stability operations. 
All matters related to Pak-Afghan border and situation along Line of Control (LOC) were also discussed. 
"Security situation of Pakistan has largely improved through successful clearance operations and we are heading towards stability," he said. 
He said that having restored peace Pakistan wishes to see peace beyond borders especially Afghanistan. He said that international community sees Pakistan through their reporters based in Pakistan. 
Ghafoor expected them to highlight improving peace and stability in Pakistan, which offers economic opportunities for foreign investors. 
The DG ISPR also said that media has a very important role to project the true positivity of Pakistan.

First Baby Born Via Uterus Transplanted From Dead Donor

Paris, France (AFP) | In a medical first, a mother who received a uterus transplant from a dead donor gave birth to a healthy baby, researchers reported Wednesday.
The breakthrough operation, performed in September 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, shows that such transplants are feasible and could help thousands of women unable to have children due to uterine problems, according to a study published in The Lancet.
The baby girl was born in December 2017, the medical journal added.
Until recently, the only options available to women with so-called uterine infertility were adoption or the services of a surrogate mother.
The first successful childbirth following uterine transplant from a living donor took place in 2014 in Sweden, and there have been 10 others since then.
But there are far more women in need of transplants than there are potential live donors, so doctors wanted to find out if the procedure could work using the uterus of a woman who had died.
Ten attempts were made -- in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Turkey -- before the success reported Wednesday.
Infertility affects 10 to 15 percent of couples.
Of this group, one in 500 women have problems with their uterus -- due, for example, to a malformation, hysterectomy, or infection -- that prevent them from becoming pregnant and carrying a child to term.
"Our results provide a proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility," said Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at the teaching hospital of the University of Sao Paulo.
He described the procedure as a "medical milestone".
"The number of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own death are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population," he said in a statement.
The 32-year-old recipient was born without a uterus as a result of a rare syndrome.
Four months before the transplant, she had in-vitro fertilisation resulting in eight fertilised eggs, which were preserved through freezing.
The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died from a stroke.
Her uterus was removed and transplanted in surgery that lasted more than ten hours.

Proof of Concept:

The surgical team had to connect the donor’s uterus with the veins, arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canal of the recipient.
To prevent her body from rejecting the new organ, the woman was given five different drugs, along with antimicrobials, anti-blood clotting treatments, and aspirin.
After five months, the uterus showed no sign of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the woman was menstruating regularly.
The fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months. Ten days later, doctors delivered the good news: she was pregnant.
Besides a minor kidney infection -- treated with antibiotics -- during the 32nd week, the pregnancy was normal. After nearly 36 weeks a baby girl weighing 2.5 kilograms (about six pounds) was delivered via cesarean section.
Mother and baby left the hospital three days later.
The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs.
At age seven months and 12 days -- when the manuscript reporting the findings was submitted for publication -- the baby was breastfeeding and weighed 7.2 kilograms.
"We must congratulate the authors," commented Dr. Srdjan Saso, an honorary clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at Imperial College London, describing the findings as "extremely exciting".
Richard Kennedy, president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, also welcomed the announcement but sounded a note of caution.
"Uterine transplant is a novel technique and should be regarded as experimental," he said.

Decelerated Justice Leaves Christian Youth Accused of Blasphemy in Limbo | Gujranwala, Pakistan

Gujranwala, Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | Gujranwala’s Christian youth Farhan Aziz who was accused of sending blasphemous text messages awaits justice as he loiters behind the bars. 26-year-old, Farhan was arrested on August 2, this year after a local religiopolitical group leveled charges of blasphemy against him.
Following the accusations, an incensed mob surrounded the street of Muslim Town where Farhan lived. Frahan had to be saved by the police as the agitated mob wanted to kill him. Many Christians living in the street fled out of fear as the mob showed aggression wanting to execute extra-judicial judgment.
“Most of the Christian families had run from the area and, when the protests started, we ensured the safety of the Christians,” World Watch Monitor quoted a local police official Jawad Answer. The police chief said that in order to avert violence a police contingent had to be stationed at the scene so as to ensure the security of Christian residents.
Farhan’s family unfolded that the accusations were fabricated as victim’s ex-girlfriend had sent the blasphemous text messages from a phone registered in Farhan’s name. “We are told that text messages were sent by [the woman’s] family and two of her family members were also arrested by the police,” Pastor Niamat Bhatti confirmed.
Sources revealed to Christians in Pakistan that Farhan’s ex-girlfriend who is also a Christian tried to embroil him in the fake blasphemy case. Her brother sent the text message from the mobile phone registered in Farhan’s name. Police arrested Farhan and the girl’s brother. Their location is still undisclosed as no details of the progress, in this case, were made available for media.
Shortly after the incident, a local Human Rights organization intervened and tried to succor the victim but a rights’ activist Ms. Karamat took the matter in her hands. So far, no details of the case have been provided either by police and by Ms. Karamat.

100M Users May Have Been Affected By Data Breach | QUORA

A recently discovered data breach may have exposed the personal information of about 100 million Quora users, the question and answer website said Monday.
Account information, including names, email addresses, encrypted passwords and data imported from linked networks when authorized by users may have been compromised, it said.
"We recently discovered that some user data was compromised as a result of unauthorized access to one of our systems by a malicious third party," Quora Chief Executive Adam D'Angelo wrote in a blog post.
"We are working rapidly to investigate the situation further and take the appropriate steps to prevent such incidents in the future."
"We're in the process of notifying users whose data has been compromised," he added.
Quora is investigating the issue and said it has notified law enforcement officials.
Massive data breaches have become a common occurrence as hackers exploit vulnerabilities in the information technology systems used by businesses.
Last week, Marriott International said hackers had copied data from the reservation database for its Starwood Hotels brand, with unauthorized access dating back to 2014.
Earlier in the year, social networking giant Facebook disclosed a security breach where 29 million users had their personal information exposed.

Benefits of Paying Income Tax in Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan (APP) | Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has urged people to file their income tax returns at the earliest to take advantage of numerous facilities offered by the government for active taxpayers and to avoid disadvantages of being non-filers.
For the facilitation of people, the authority has already extended the deadline for filing the income tax return to December 15.
Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of being tax filer and non-filer, a source in FBR said that immediately after filing income tax returns, the name of the filer would be enlisted among the active taxpayers.
Whereas they added, in case of failure in filing tax returns by the due date, the taxpayers would have to wait for one whole year to become an active taxpayer.
Similarly, tax filers would have to pay only half of withholding tax as compared to the tax being paid by non-filers.
A non-filer cannot purchase any property that is valued over Rs five million whereas active taxpayers are not barred from purchasing any property.
Furthermore, the importers would have to pay eight percent tax(Rs 160,000 on Rs two million) on import of raw material whereas the tax filerspay only 5.5 percent (for example Rs 110,000 on Rs two million) on import of raw material whereas non-filer exporters would have to pay nine percent duty i.e (Rs180,000 on export of goods worth Rs 2 million) on commercial exports.
However, the filers pay only six percent duty (Rs 120,000 on the export of goods worth Rs two million) on their commercial exports.
Likewise, non-filers will have to pay 20 percent tax on their dividends (company's profit) against the 15 percent tax paid by active taxpayers.
Sources further informed that non-filers pay 15 percent tax on the profit of banks and saving scheme against the 10 percent tax paid by filers, whereas the tax filers pay 4.5 percent duty on the supply of goods to the government, and companies as compared to 9 percent tax paid by the non-filers.
On the amount of contracts, the non-filers pay 15 percent tax against 7.5 percent tax paid by the filers and active taxpayers pay 15 percent tax on prize money of prize bonds whereas non-filers pay 25 percent tax on the same.
Similarly, taxpayers pay 12 percent tax on commission amount whereas non-taxpayers pay 15 percent tax on the same.
On annual token of vehicles, filers pay Rs 800 to 10,000 while non-filers pay Rs 1200 to Rs 30,000tax, whereas on registration of vehicles, tax filers pay Rs 15000 to Rs 250,000as withholding tax while non-filers pay Rs 25000 to Rs 400,000. On cash withdrawal of over Rs 50,000, tax filers pay 0.3 percent tax against 0.6 percent tax paid by the non-filers, whereas filers pay nothing on bank transactions (cross cheque, pay order, and demand draft) while on-filers pay Rs 600 as tax on each bank transaction.
Furthermore, on property transfer, active taxpayer pay only one percent tax against two percent tax paid by non-filers, and tax filer pay two percent on the total amount of purchased property while non-filer pay four percent on the same.
The non-filer pay 10 percent tax on auctioning by the government and other companies whereas non-filers pay 15 percent on the auction of goods of government or other companies.

Seasonal Infections Start Hitting Population

Rawalpindi, Pakistan (Muhammad Qasim) | After the change in weather conditions, the incidence of seasonal infections is on the rise particularly among elderly people, children and chronic patients who according to health experts may suffer from serious complications of the seasonal ailments if they do not opt for in-time management of the infection.
Nearly 20 per cent of the total patients coming to public and private healthcare facilities in the region are with seasonal infections like chest infections, flu, sore throat or cold, said Senior Registrar at Medical Unit 1 in Holy Family Hospital Dr. Zahid Minhas while talking to ‘The News’ on Sunday.
He said majority of patients being reported with seasonal ailments and their complications are elderly, aged over 60 years, children, diabetics and those who are immunocompromised, living with weaker immunity whether because of some congenital or primary disorder or secondary disorder, the disorder they got later in life due to some disease or infection like HIV/AIDS.
The air is engulfed by dusty clouds, toxic metals and vapours that cause certain infections and at the time, rain and heavy wind are needed to cleanse the air, he said. High pollution level in the air is causing the spread of various seasonal infections and complications for patients with asthma, he added.
Dr. Minhas, however, said the situation is well under control and the number of patients being reported at present with seasonal ailments is smaller as compared to the number of patients reported last year at the beginning of winter.
He said the most important thing to avoid seasonal ailments is following proper preventive measures. Common cold and flu (influenza) are very common infections of the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, ears and sinuses). Over 200 different viruses can cause cold which is self-limiting. There is no cure for the cold or the flu however you can treat your symptoms only to feel better while your body fights off the virus, he explained.
He, however, added sometimes complications such as ear and sinus infections in case of colds and pneumonia in case of flu may occur that may be life-threatening. He said both the chronic patients and healthy people should start drinking green tea or warm water with lemon and honey. “Chicken soup can also help loosen the mucus.”
He like other health experts suggested that a patient of cold or flu should not take antibiotics as they do not work against viruses. However, in case of complications of cold and flu, these may be taken on the advice of a qualified doctor, he said. Wearing warm clothes and a well-balanced diet can help avoiding a number of seasonal infections in winter, said Dr. Minhas.

UAE Passport Becomes Strongest, Globally First

Dubai, UAE (Sibte Arif) | In a new historic achievement, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) passport has become the strongest passport and now ranked first globally.
The UAE passport was on 27th position in December 2016 and now has attained first place globally in December 2018.
The number one spot in the global Passport Index was achieved just as the UAE celebrates its 47th National Day and its achievements since 1971. The exceptional achievement on 1st December 2018, coincides with the 'Year of Zayed' and country's 47th National Day and is added to country's numerous accomplishments in various domains.
The UAE, under the leadership of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has surpassed all expectations after accomplishing this achievement, according to the UAE official news agency WAM.
This success was achieved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation under the leadership of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In his remarks on the occasion, Sheikh Abdullah said, "This achievement is a true reflection of the legacy of Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the UAE. It also underscores what can be achieved through positive diplomacy, reflecting the UAE as a confident and engaged force at the global stage."
The UAE passport was ranked first by Passport Index, an interactive online tool that provides users with insights on passports with the ability to compare and rank the world's passports. The ranking is based on freedom of movement and visa-free travel to passport holders.
The UAE passport holder can travel to 167 countries without the need for pre-visa requirements, which is 84 per cent of the number of countries listed in the index.

Spread of Polio Remains International Health Emergency | WHO

London, UK (Reuters) | The spread of polio must still be classified as a public health emergency because, while progress has been made towards wiping out the disease, that progress is fragile, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
“We are so close to the elimination of polio, but we have to use all of our international tools to achieve this end,” Helen Rees, chair of the WHO’s international emergency committee, told reporters on a telephone briefing.
“The ongoing situation continues to require that a public health emergency of international concern should be applied.”
Latest figures from the WHO show there have been 27 cases of wild polio in 2018 - all of them in Pakistan and Afghanistan where the contagious viral disease is endemic.
Rees said the WHO was “very concerned” that this number was slightly higher than last year, and urged governments against complacency in the battle to eradicate the paralyzing disease.

Microsoft Overtakes Apple as World's Most Valuable Public Company

Microsoft has surpassed Apple to be ranked as the world's most valuable listed company, reclaiming the number one spot after more than 15 years.
The software giant ended Friday with a market value of more than $851bn (£668bn) compared with Apple's $847bn. Under Satya Nadella’s leadership, the old tech giant pivoted put its cash cows at risk, and successfully transitioned to the next big technology wave—cloud computing.
On Friday, Microsoft shares gained more than 0.6% to close at $110.89, while Apple shares finished at $178.60, down about 0.5%.
Apple's shares have fallen almost 25% since October - more steeply than the market overall - amid concerns about slowing smartphone demand and the possibility of additional US tariffs on Chinese-made goods.
Microsoft became a challenger again in large part because Apple’s stock fell nearly 20 percent in November, while Microsoft hasn’t done any worse than the rest of the stock market. But the fact that it hasn’t done poorly is a reflection of its steady focus on business customers in recent years.
Microsoft lost its brilliancy as people were shunning PCs in favor of Smartphones. In 2013, PC sales plunged 10 percent to about 315 million, the worst year-to-year drop ever, according to research firms Gartner and IDC. It didn’t help that Microsoft’s effort to make PCs more like phones, Windows 8, was widely panned.
A turnaround began when the Redmond, Washington, company promoted Nadella as CEO in 2014. He succeeded Microsoft’s longtime CEO, Steve Ballmer, who initially scoffed at the notion that people would be willing to pay $500 or more for Apple’s iPhones.
By many measures - including annual revenue and profit - Apple remains the bigger company.
For now, however, investors are betting that Microsoft's prospects are brighter.
The firm's cloud services unit, which sells to other businesses, has driven the firm's growth in recent years. Apple, by contrast, depends on consumer spending, which investors are worried could slow.
Microsoft boss Satya Nadella is well-positioned to "further transform [Microsoft] into a cloud behemoth over the coming years," he wrote in a research note.
Microsoft flourished in the 1990s and ranked as the world's most valuable company in the early 2000s. But the firm took a hit after a landmark anti-trust case and fell farther out of favour as mobile phones emerged to challenge desktop computers.
In 2010, Apple overtook Microsoft as the most valuable technology firm.
The iPhone maker unseated Exxon Mobil for the overall number one spot for the first time in 2011 and has held the title largely uninterrupted since.
It became the first trillion dollar company in the US this summer but lost its distinction this autumn as its share price started to plunge.