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Google Tops The Wired 40

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-05-25

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Wired Magazine has released its annual Wired 40 list that identifies the 40 companies that, as masters of innovation, technology and strategic vision, are driving the global economy. Once again, Google claims the first position, finishing off the top 5 of a who's who in the Web industry.

Reasons for Google's ranking were made apparent in the list's description of each company. Wired cited Google's vast hive of servers, purportedly the most powerful private network in existence, not only caches seemingly every page on the Web, but also personal data like e-mail.

""It's hard to say what the company will call upon this monster rig to do, but you can be sure that the Net will be better for it," write Wired's editors.

Amazon is second on the list of global economy movers and shakers, after appearing in 7th place last year. Amazon's evolution into the web's premier online retailer secured the second position. Following closely behind Amazon is Apple. This appearance marks Apple's debut on the top 40 list, having "created the kind of platform-and-content synergy that gadget makers dream of."

Helping Apple's ranking is the fact that the company has sold 5 million iPods. These numbers mean that Apple owns 55 percent of the music-player market.

Another first timer, Genentech, makes its debut on the Wired 40, coming in at third place. Genentech was the first to splice genes into fast-growing E. coli bacteria, thereby mass-producing therapeutic proteins, like insulin. It is well on its way to becoming a leading developer of drugs for cancer and immune disorders by 2010.

Ebay finishes off the top 5, being called an "economy unto itself" by Wired's editors. These editors cite the fact that eBay will pass $30 billion worth of goods through its servers, making the auctioneer the 81st largest economy in the world, just ahead of Kuwait and El Salvador, has reason for the auction house's ranking.

Rounding out the top 10 are:

6. Samsung Electronics (new this year)
7. Yahoo! (3 last year)
8. Electronic Arts (28)
9. Pixar (new)
10. Cisco Systems (11)

The 40 companies are ranked on the basis of five criteria: innovation, technology, strategic vision, global reach and networked communication.

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