Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

Summary: The technology industry bounced back in 2010 with a slew of new products and innovations. Vote on which company deserves the crown as the top tech innovator of the year.

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The technology industry bounced back from a recession year in 2009 with a slew of new products and innovations in 2010. Much of the attention was focused on mobile devices and cloud computing, and the technology world's largest players were driving many of its biggest innovations.

I've put together a list of five companies that I think have been most important innovators this year. Three of them are among the largest publicly-traded technology companies on the planet - Microsoft, Apple, and Cisco - and the other two are titans of the Internet - Google and Amazon.

Some may ask why Amazon is on this list since the company is best known as an Internet retailer, but I'd list them as a tech company because their real business is e-commerce technology and the company is also rapidly becoming a cloud computing juggernaut with Amazon Web Services and a device and software maker with the rise of the Kindle.

Here's how I would rate the most important tech innovators of the year. Apple gets the top spot mostly on the power of the iPad, which despite being overhyped, still pushed the tech world forward with a new take on the tablet computer that has attracted the masses. Cisco gets number two because it continues to effectively transform itself from an Internet pipe plumber into a powerhouse of modern communications that consistently pushes digital collaboration forward.

  1. Apple
  2. Cisco
  3. Microsoft
  4. Amazon
  5. Google

Which of these five do think did the most to push the tech world forward in 2010? Vote in the poll and then jump into the discussion to explain your reasoning, or to tell why you would nominate a different candidate instead.

Take the poll

[poll id="149"]

This article was originally published on TechRepublic.

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Apple, Browser, Cisco, Hardware, Servers, Virtualization

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15 comments
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  • iPad didn't push any technology forward

    [i]Apple gets the top spot mostly on the power of the iPad, which despite being overhyped, still pushed the tech world forward with a new take on the tablet computer that has attracted the masses.[/i]

    It is a 10" version of a device that was released in 2007. Sure, it is selling well (as do most things Apple thanks to their brilliant marketing) but did it push technology forward in 2010? Not in the slightest. Had it come out in 2007, you would have had an argument but since it is nothing more than an oversized iPod Touch, it isn't a 2010 technical innovation.
    NonZealot
  • RE: Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

    I voted for Microsoft because of
    Kinect
    g@...
  • RE: POLL: Google, of course

    I voted for GOOGLE because of simply everything they do every day to push the envelope. Especially with regard to Android, all the G-apps. It doesn't hurt to also check the stock market ... :)
    mounces
  • RE: Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

    Google with Android
    Microsoft with Kinect
    Apple with the iPad (though it's the idea that counts here, not the technology, which is nothing special)
    drphysx
    • What's special with Android?

      @drphysx

      Seriously.

      Nothing that is not in the iPad. All three of the items you listed are special from a technical standpoint as <i>well</i> as the idea standpoint. There is no denying either Android's or iOS's dominance and disruptive influence.
      Bruizer
  • RE: Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

    Amazon. S3 and the other rent computing as you need it services finally real, and actually available to anyone.
    grant@...
  • Just review all the ZDNet blog articles posted in 2010 and note ...

    The reader responses to those blog articles. Sometimes I get the impression that if it weren't for Apple, ZDNet would cease to exist. (Obviously a hyperbole .. but you get my point.)

    Just look at the first response to this particular Blog. It is about an Apple product. Enough said. Apple is far and away the company that most influenced the tech world in 2010.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

    Microsoft gets my vote. Their R&D just can't be matched. The release of Kinect and WP7 puts them ahead.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

      @Loverock Davidson
      I'll give you credit for one thing .. you are loyal.
      kenosha77a
  • There is one thing that this poll will show

    When all is said and done, the numbers will reveal the ZDNet consumer user profile for its talk back readers. This is basically a "loyalty" poll. Nothing wrong with that.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

    I'm a fan of Microsoft products, but I voted for Google. Clearly Google is shaking up all sorts of marketplaces with their innovative products. Whether we're talking about their Android Platform, Chrome, Google Docs, or whatever they're bring the competition to both Apple and Microsoft and it's resulting in better products (such as Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7 and Office 2010)
    Edesw88
  • Not Cisco or Amazon.

    A valid case can be made for either Apple, Google or MS.

    Apple: It is relentlessly pushing web standards to the proposed HTML 5 allowing more efficient use of smaller and limited processors like the ARM series. They have been the first to show a valid use case for consumer use small light-weight tablets. From a purely disruptive impact, Apple wins hands down.

    Google: Has relentlessly pushed updates of Android while improving on its already great search technology. Google's maps and navigation have continued to improve.

    MS: Say what you want but WP7 is actually very nice and has a great UI. Even if they are misguided a bit on their adverts even if they are funny; MS missed the point of why we like smart phones so much.
    Bruizer
  • RE: Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

    Contribution in tech in 2010.

    Amazon and Cisco - I'm afraid not. Using Cisco gear is like an archeological dig and Amazon is just Amazon.

    Google - talks a good game but consistently puts out sub standard software that it has trouble actually describing and explaining (waves to Google). Believes UI design stopped sometime in the 1980s and beta is the final stage of development. If Google Earth arrived in 2010 they might have had a chance. Managed to take Linux and call it Android.

    Apple - a jumbo iToy, an OS which is a half baked rewrite of Unix and further cut-down to be a phone OS - even when there's no phone! Kudos for making Windows easier to run on Macs.

    MS - Win 7, WP7, Azure, Kinect/XBOX, Office, Windows Live, Windows servers, Visual Studio, XNA and Silverlight frameworks. Manages to update the whole planet once a month. The Windows Phone and Kinect are standouts and show that MS is still the biggest tech contributor out of the list.
    tonymcs@...
    • You are a loyal fanboy to the last...

      @tonymcs@...

      Unable to see anything good in any tech company other than MS. Pretty amazing you listed Windows Live, Windows Servers (what one?), Azure, XNA and Visual Studio (a painful kludge if ever there was one) on your list as pivotal technologies. Win 7: Wrong year.

      WP7 and Kinect. Of those, WP7 has the largest potential to make a "change" in how the tech industry progresses.
      Bruizer
  • RE: Poll: Which company made the biggest contribution to tech in 2010?

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