The Wired 40: Apple #2, Microsoft drops to #36, Dell falls off list

“What makes a company wired? We start by looking for the basics: strategic vision, global reach, killer technology. But that’s not enough. To land a spot on our annual Wired 40 list, a business also needs the X-factor – a hunger for new ideas and an impatience to put them into practice. Such companies inevitably become trendsetters, literally: As we debated and redebated the list this year, six major themes flickered into view. From the rise of peer production to the end of carbon pollution, they tell us where the world is heading. These are the companies leading the way,” Spencer Reiss writes for Wired.

Highlights and lowlights:

01. Google (2005 Rank: 02): Less cuddly but more profitable than ever, the monster from Mountain View has rivals but no peers. Is it a search engine? A media company? A software provider? Who cares? Microsoft, for one. Get ready for the grudge match of the decade.

02. Apple (2005 Rank: 01): In the drama of Apple’s resurgence, act one was forging the iTunes/iPod axis. Act two was bundling the iLife suite of creative tools with new computers. Adapting the Mac OS to run Windows apps natively would make a triumphant conclusion.

24. Intel (2005 Rank: 19): Four out of five PCs ship with Intel inside, and now the company’s CPUs are even in Macs. But cheaper, cooler chips from AMD have the mothership of hardware spooked. CEO Paul Otellini’s damage control: overclock R&D and leapfrog a generation of processors.

36. Microsoft (2005 Rank: 28): The desktop OS gold mine won’t last forever. What’s next? Redmond’s latest to-do list includes software-as-service, security, even VoIP. Or it could simply buy a piece of Yahoo. (Take that, Google!)

A sample of which companies that fell off Wired’s list:

Dell (2005 Rank #16): An ongoing slump in PC sales and consequent cost reductions have left this retailer with nothing left to cut.

Pixar (2005 Rank #12): Digital animation’s guiding light is now a division of Disney. Here’s hoping CEO Bob Iger doesn’t wreck it.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Beverly Martin” for the heads up.]

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Related articles:
Apple Computer tops The 2005 Wired 40 list of companies leading tech innovation – April 25, 2005
The Wired 40: Apple Computer ‘the new face of consumer electronics’ rockets from nowhere to number 3 – May 21, 2004


  1. “Global reach” is one criterion that applies to Microsoft”

    – Maczealot

    “But that’s not enough. To land a spot on our annual Wired 40 list, a business also needs the X-factor – a hunger for new ideas and an impatience to put them into practice”

    – Wired

  2. An interesting exchange between a co-worker and myself yesterday:

    Coworker: (seeing me reading MDN’s website) “Do you have a Mac?”

    Me: “Yes”

    Coworker: “I was thinking about buying a Mac last year when my Dell died.”

    Me: “Did you?”

    Coworker: “No. I bought another Dell, but it died after nine months. That was a few months ago.”

    Me: “Did you buy a Mac then?”

    Coworker: “No. I bought another Dell.”

    Me: (blank look on my face) “Really! If you bought a car and it died after 9 months, would you buy another car from the same company?”

    Coworker: (blank look on his face) “Uhhhhh…..No, I don’t think so…….I should of bought a Mac.”

    True story. The tide is turning folks!

  3. Dell fell off the list because, well, making a PC cheap is just not that innovative anymore.

    Inexpensive PCs that totally rock is where the market is heading. Tiny, powerful, easy to use, accessible price, Macmini has got it all!

  4. Umm…M$ does have the X-factor. They impatiently wait for Apple to come up with new ideas so they can change the names and put their half a$$ed copies into place immediately to the masses.

  5. Google will forever be known for its search engine, but other than that, I don’t think it has Killer Apps nor Killer Hardware.
    Quad G5s, iPods, ITMS, Bootcamp, OS X, Final Cut Studio, etc, Apple has literally changed the technology game with innovation AND with the iPod, changed our modern culture as we know it.

    Remember, Intel has Quad Dual Cores waiting, but guess which company will probably be the only one to sell it ? Imagine having a consumer computer which can be bought almost anywhere in America (at an Apple store) that has 8 processors running at probably 2 Ghz each, to run your $500 copy of Shake 4.1. Apple has the technology games as its slave. It is No question number #1, Wired droppped the ball on this.

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