Apple Computer tops The 2005 Wired 40 list of companies leading tech innovation

“They’re masters of technology and innovation. They’re global thinkers driven by strategic vision. They’re The 2005 Wired 40,” Duff McDonald writes for Wired Magazine (not yet available online).

Last year, Apple Computer was number three on Wired’s list. This year, Apple’s number one.

McDonald writes, “As the world moves toward open standards, the last true believer in closed systems refuses to capitulate. Funny thing: No one is asking Apple to change. That’s because the computermaker turned consumer electronics powerhouse has made a virtue of proprietary control, consistently delivering quality and flair. The company sold 8.2 million iPods in 2004, and iTunes [Music Store] accounted for 70 percent of legal music downloads, leading to exceptional revenue and profit in Q4. With such a foothold in music, can an assault on TV be far behind?”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ Pixar is also on the list at #12. IBM is #14, Dell is #16, Intel is #19, and Microsoft is #28.

The Wired Magazine (issue 13.05, May 2005) is on newsstands now.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
The Wired 40: Apple Computer ‘the new face of consumer electronics’ rockets from nowhere to number 3 – May 21, 2004


  1. IBM I understand…

    Intel.. yea.. totally cool..


    Not even Dell wants to be there.. they have publicly said that their R&D goes towards cost cutting, nothing more…

    Microsoft.. well, if you spend 6 billion a year on MS Research and end up with.. a bill for 200 million for Marketing a 4 year old OS.. phew.. it’s nice to know that it’s all worth it when you can clock in at #28 on some top 40 list..

    Don’t worry, they’ve got creepy robots and flatscreens built into your desk (sticker price 40 thou) so by 2020 they should have some very cool stuff coming out of MS Research..

  2. Closed: Yes, OS X is only legally allowed to run on Apple hardware. How many 3rd party G5 upgrade kits do you see? Yes, Apple Mac is quite closed. iPod isn’t exactly open source even if you can run Linux on it. IPod can run WMA files too, but Apple cripples this function.

    But they make the best products out there. One reason is that they can focus on supporting a limited set of options. WinXP has become so bloated in part because supporting all the hardware out there is a nightmare.

    Tight controls are necessary if you are making something that is supposed to “just work”. Windows is fine it you don’t mind tinkering with your system.

  3. How come Microsoft’s even in the top 40 at all? Making Operating Systems that crash, programs with thousands of bugs in them, and SP2’s that don’t fix known problems – surely they shouldn’t be in the list. Imagine a similar list, but comparing car manufacturers – if a car company made cars that didn’t work, would they be in a ‘top 40’ list?

    Good news about Apple being at number 1; hopefully the magazine and list will be read by thousands of PC users, starting a “What If…” thought process…

  4. It just kills me to see how much money MS pours into its products. Give 1/100 of that cash to any of a thousand small development houses and you’ll get some truely innovative software. How many billions to make the next version of XP (codenamed Longhorn)?

    It’s insane.

  5. I don’t understand how Dell can be on the list at all. The only thing Dell innovates in is how to sell what Intel and Microsoft have already come up with faster and cheaper. Maybe innovating (and perfecting) the “bait and switch” technique with their useless, ultra-cheap boxes is considered innovation by Wired. There is even less innovation at Dell than Microsoft! Can anyone name a single product that Dell came out with before some other major brand promoted it?

    I’ve said it here before, but it bears repeating… I’ve decreed in the company where I’m in charge of all the technologies (not just the computers) if anyone buys a Dell they’re fired. Period. No discussion allowed.

  6. “Windows is fine it you don’t mind tinkering with your system.”

    Tinkering or troubleshooting and maintenance? I’d say the latter. The average consumer or small business has definitely had their eyes opened by what Apple has to offer. It will continue as “The computer for the rest of us” grows marketshare.

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