04.Best Technology Innovator
For the 2009 Best Technology Innovator Award, the winning company had to meet our criteria and deliver innovative products over the past 12 months.
Google continues to release innovative products that are often completely free for consumers to use.
In 2009 Google released Android, a new open-source smartphone operating system that promises to give the iPhone a run for its money; Google Wave, a new take on communication and collaboration tools; and Google Chrome, competing with browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Chrome also came top in CHOICE Computer's 2010 browser test comparing performance, features and compliance with web standards.
Google also takes social responsibility seriously. In response to the Haiti earthquake, appeals were posted on the Google homepage - the most viewed webpage in the world - with no promotion of any kind. And in a widely supported decision, Google has threatened to pull out its entire business from China, the world's largest market, over alleged censorship by the government.
Runners up: Apple and Amazon
Apple's domination has been building over the past few years in the music player market with its innovative iPod range, and has also established the iPhone as the "must have" smartphone for 2009. Amazon has driven the adoption of the ebook with Kindle and electronic book distribution, although the Kindle's impact has yet to be significantly felt in Australia. The Apple iPad launches later in 2010 and along with the Kindle ebook readers should successfully compete with the traditional paperback novel.