Microsoft’s software licensing revenue was up about 9 per cent to $10.9 billion last year, compared with $10 billion for Apple, $8.9bn for Google and $7.5bn for Adobe.
Apple had the most revenue at $4.927 billion and Adobe was the company with the most software licenses ($2.965 billion).
Adobe’s revenue grew by 12 per cent, while Microsoft’s fell by 6 per cent.
The software giant was the only company to report a positive cash flow last year.
The rise was driven by its acquisition of the Adobe cloud software platform, which it uses to produce video and music.
The company is also planning to offer more desktop applications.
But while revenue grew, the software maker’s revenue fell, to $3.7 billion.
The rest of the industry was also growing at a slower rate.
Adobe’s share of the market fell to 5.7 per cent in the fourth quarter from 8.2 per cent the previous year.
Apple’s share rose to 19.9 per cent from 17.1 per cent a year earlier.
Google’s share fell to 7.7 from 9 per the previous quarter.
Adobe had a total of 1.9 million software licences in the year ended June 30.
Microsoft’s Licensing division had 2.7 million licences at the end of the third quarter.