Will Apple be equal to Microsoft by 2010? It may sound ambitious, but if both companies maintain current growth rates, Apple revenue will exceed Microsoft's by 2010

Online magazine 10Layers has compared the growth rates in revenue at both firms, noting that Microsoft has grown approximately 60 percent since 2002 — but that Apple is growing at a much faster rate.

"While Microsoft has grown linearly for this period, Apple has accelerated with revenues of just under $6bn in 2002 growing to just under $21bn in 2006. An impressive 250 percent revenue growth! In other words, Apple has been growing much faster than Microsoft," the report explains.

When these growth rates are extrapolated the report claims Apple could catch up with Microsoft by 2010 or 2011. However, these claims do demand that Apple continues to exceed market expectations.

The figures also include a lengthy period in which Microsoft was shipping an older OS, so the release of Vista could have a positive impact on Microsoft's fortunes and fend off Apple.