It truly is a brave new world.

Not long ago, it seemed written in stone that Microsoft was the big dog on the block, a hugely profitable international force that brushed off advances from its smaller, more "niche" competitors. Now, one of those competitors, a company that almost collapsed just over a decade ago before being saved in part by Microsoft (see above video), has overtaken the house Bill Gates built in profitability.That company is, of course, Apple.

Yesterday, Microsoft posted quarterly earnings showing a profit of $5.23 billion on $16.42 billion in revenues. That number falls short of what Apple recently posted for the same quarter with $5.99 billion in profits on $24.67 billion in revenues.

To be clear, this is the first time this has happened in 20 years.

Of course, it doesn't take a genius at speculative finance to have seen this coming. In the past decade, Microsoft has had missed opportunity after missed opportunity while Apple has continued to reinvent the industry in its own image with the iPhone and the iPad.

The numbers really just underscore what we already know: This is a new era and Microsoft is being left behind.