Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL ) yesterday (Thursday) supplanted Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT ) as the largest technology company in the United States. Apple now trails only Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM ) in size, but that size will only make the company a bigger target if it fails to use its newfound market position prudently. Just last month, Microsoft's market capitalization exceeded Apples by some $25 billion. But Apple has finally overtaken one its great archrivals. But being the new standard bearer for the technology sector brings with it more than bragging rights. It also will make Apple a bigger target for its competitors and government scrutiny. As far as competition is concerned, there's no question that Apple has outdone Microsoft.