3.  Microsoft

best brand microsoft
  • Brand value: $122 billion

Microsoft has maintained its No. 3 position for the second year in a row. It's brand valuation nudged up by 5%.

The company has long used its Windows software as a cash cow, but its latest Windows 10 offering has been a true crowd-pleaser. It operates on PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones while also working well with Apple products, said Cheung.

On top of that, the company recently announced its plans for virtual reality. It's working to get its Windows Holographic platform into as many devices as possible, just like it did with Windows when personal computers first hit the market.

First published June 7, 2016: 8:49 PM ET
Methodology: The 2016 BrandZ ranking of the most valuable brands in the world was carried out by Millward Brown, part of advertising firm WPP. It calculates brand value by using in-depth financial data and interviews with over three million consumers around the world.

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