The annual Fortune "World's Most Admired Companies
" list has been released, and Apple has top billing for the third year in a row - significantly above rival Microsoft.
According to Redmond Pie
, reporting on the figures released in the March 22nd issue of Fortune Magazine, Apple has beaten Google to the top spot for the third year in the row, forcing the search and advertising giant famed for its innovative atmosphere down to second place.
Online retailer Amazon makes an appearance in fifth place, sandwiched between non-technology companies - something which may make those it allegedly mistreated
during Christmas shopping periods raise an eyebrow.
Technology giant Microsoft finds itself in eleventh place, between Southwest Airlines and Coca-Cola - an impressive standing, but way below its smaller Cupertino-based competition despite the high-profile launch of the company's latest operating system, Windows 7. While an entry anywhere in the Fortune list is something for a company to be proud of, its exclusion from the top ten is likely to upset Steve Ballmer - but possibly spur the company on to greater efforts over the next year.
Other technology companies make an appearance, with one-time industry leader IBM sitting in 15th place, networking and communications specialist Cisco Systems in 20th place, Hewlett Packard at 32, and auction site eBay narrowly beating mobile giant Nokia to 40th place.
Interestingly, while Intel finds itself in 31st place, rival AMD doesn't place in the top 50 as published by CNN
The rankings, which are published annually, looks at the opinions of investors and analysts in categories including innovation - with the overall winner in that category this year being Apple - people management, social responsibility, quality of management, and quality of products and services.
Do you agree with Fortune's findings, or do you think it's shocking Microsoft was excluded from the top ten? Are you amazed to see Intel but no AMD in the list? Which tech company would you
consider the soundest investment? Share your thoughts over in the forums