The end of the first decade of the 21st Century marks a great time to take stock of a monumental 10 years in technology. Here are PC Advisor's companies of the decade: there can be only one winner.

PC Advisor editors and expert contributors, with reader feedback from pcadvisor.co.uk's 300,000 registered users, have nominated 10 products, technologies, people and companies that have defined the decade 2000-2009 and will still hold influence over the next.

Here are the winner and nominees for company of the decade - and why they matter.

The company of the decade

WINNER: Google

PC Advisor's Company Of The Decade is Google. Like Apple it started in a garage - and rapidly outgrew it after going public a few years later.

Google's search engine has done much to revolutionise the way we use the web and the internet. The company's thousands of servers process millions of search requests each day and about 1 petabyte of user-generated data every hour. Its name has become synonymous with the very act of searching online - to Google something means search, and to many Google is the internet.

Its biddable keyword-based advertising model has made it one of the richest corporations ever. But its 'Do No Evil' company slogan is beginning to look duplicitous with controversy surrounding its censorship deal with China and latest moves into behavioural targeting based on users' interests.

Not all of its spin-off projects are successful, but services such as Gmail and YouTube are market leaders - and software such as Google Earth has created new technological categories.

It has pioneered web-based software such as its Google Docs alternative to Microsoft Office.

And with the release of its own Chrome web browser, Android mobile operating system and forthcoming Chrome desktop OS Google shows no signs of slowing down in the influence its has over all our lives.

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Google

NEXT PAGE: the nominees, starting with Amazon and Apple >>

PC Advisor Awards 2010 NEW!

See also: PC Advisor's Person of the Decade

Product Of The Year 2009

PC Advisor's Technology Of The Decade

PAGE INDEX:

  1. Google
  2. Amazon & Apple
  3. ARM & Dell
  4. eBay & HP
  5. Microsoft & Nokia
  6. RIM (BlackBerry)

The end of the first decade of the 21st Century marks a great time to take stock of a monumental decade in technology. Here are PC Advisor's companies of the decade: there can be only one winner.

The company of the decade: nominees

Amazon

Nominees for the company of the noughties simply had to include Amazon. In many the story of Amazon is the story of e-commerce throughout the decade.

Today Amazon is the UK's favourite music and video retailer, but it wasn't ever thus. Starting out as an online bookstore in the mid 90s, Amazon was unusual for a dotcom in that it deliberately grew only slowly. As other internet startups flared up and burned out, Amazon finally turned a small profit of $5m in 2001, and hasn't looked back since. It is the behemoth that dominates online shopping.

As well as earning yearly profits measured in tens of billions of dollars, Amazon is responsible for the popularity of user reviews, and owns a range web properties as diverse as Alexa Internet and the IMDB, as well as carving up the nascent e-book reader market with the Amazon Kindle.

If on January 1 2000 someone had told you that you could do all of your Christmas shopping via the Amazon website, you'd have laughed in their face. Now that's far from the case, and if the Kindle is to the e-book market what the iPod did to music, who knows where Amazon will be in 2020?

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Amazon



Apple

Where do you start with Apple? For the computer manufacturer, the first decade of the century has been a time of diversification, innovation and success.

During the noughties Apple has released potential products of the decade in the Mac OS, the iPod and the iPhone. There's also been the Mac mini, MacBook Air and Mac Pro, as well as various iconic iterations of the iMac all-in-one desktop PC.

Under the guidance of PC Advisor's personality of the decade Steve Jobs - who was confirmed as Apple CEO only in 2000 - Apple partnered with Intel, started the iTunes store online, and saw its Apple Stores become fixtures on major high streets. All accompanied with a touch of Hollywood fanfare.

Perhaps even more impressive: since the trauma of the troubled nineties, Apple has become a hugely profitable company, that manages simultaneously to be admired.

Think about it: in 2010 the only way you can run Apple and Microsoft OSes on one PC is to buy a Mac, the iPod and iPhone are pretty much locked in to iTunes, and Apple computers tend to cost more than their Windows counterparts. But Apple is seen in many quarters as the epitome of cool. A fine decade's work.

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Apple

NEXT PAGE: ARM and Dell >>

PC Advisor Awards 2010 NEW!

See also: PC Advisor's Person of the Decade

Product Of The Year 2009

PC Advisor's Technology Of The Decade

PAGE INDEX:

  1. Google
  2. Amazon & Apple
  3. ARM & Dell
  4. eBay & HP
  5. Microsoft & Nokia
  6. RIM (BlackBerry)

The end of the first decade of the 21st Century marks a great time to take stock of a monumental decade in technology. Here are PC Advisor's companies of the decade: there can be only one winner.

The company of the decade: nominees

ARM Holdings

If Google, Amazon and Apple are marquee household names, Arm Holdings is the company that changed your decade the most: without you knowing about it. And it's a UK firm, based in Cambridge with design centres all over the world.

Why is ARM important? It is far from the biggest company on our list, turning over only a fraction of the revenue commanded by other companies on our list. And as a research and design business, ARM doesn't actually make anything.

But ARM designs the CPUs that power the mobile technology revolution. The company has mastered the art of inventing chips that require very little power to operate. As a consequence it has become the processor maker of choice for mobile phones, personal internet devices, portable games consoles, GPS satnavs, cameras and just about any gadget you can think of that requires portability from limited power.

Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung mobile phones include ARM chips, as do the iPod and iPhone, Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, and the Sony PlayStation Portable. Impressive, no?

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ARM Holdings


Dell

Dell embodies the trials and tribulations of computer manufacturers in this decade. For a time it was the largest PC maker on the planet, but it has endured falling sales and profits, as well as its fair share of boardroom uncertainty.

So why is Dell one of PC Advisor's companies of the decade?

In the noughties Dell started making displays and printers, partnered with AMD and purchased the Alienware gaming PC brand. It's built plants around the world, and launched consumer PC ranges and Linux laptops. the decade also saw the return of Michael Dell to the position of CEO.

Above all, Dell deserves a nomination for surviving and prospering during the most tempestuous decade in computer manufacturing history. It's still here, and it will be around for a long time yet.

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Dell

NEXT PAGE: eBay and HP >>

PC Advisor Awards 2010 NEW!

See also: PC Advisor's Person of the Decade

Product Of The Year 2009

PC Advisor's Technology Of The Decade

PAGE INDEX:

  1. Google
  2. Amazon & Apple
  3. ARM & Dell
  4. eBay & HP
  5. Microsoft & Nokia
  6. RIM (BlackBerry)

The end of the first decade of the 21st Century marks a great time to take stock of a monumental decade in technology. Here are PC Advisor's companies of the decade: there can be only one winner.

The company of the decade: nominees

eBay

You know a company has made it when its name becomes a verb: want to clean the floor, you 'Hoover' up; need some info, 'Google' it... and if you want to earn some money or grab a bargain online, you eBay.

Although it was founded in the mid 1990s, in this decade eBay has expanded exponentially, purchasing PayPal, and selling millions of items every day. It's also bought and sold Skype, had numerous spats with buyers and sellers, various security alerts, and always, always been an interesting story. Today there are more than 60 eBay sites around the world.

And despite making only a tiny percentage on each sale, eBay's revenues now run in the billions. Nice work.

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ebay


HP

Amidst all the dotcoms, startups and chancers thrown up by the first decade of the century, HP is a throwback: a consumer electronics corporation that makes things, and then sells them.

Founded in the 1930s, Hewlett Packard has enjoyed a successful decade. The first IT company in history to enjoy yearly revenues in excess of $100 billion, HP is both the biggest PC manufacturer and the largest technology company on the planet.

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HP

NEXT PAGE: Microsoft and Nokia >>

PC Advisor Awards 2010 NEW!

See also: PC Advisor's Person of the Decade

Product Of The Year 2009

PC Advisor's Technology Of The Decade

PAGE INDEX:

  1. Google
  2. Amazon & Apple
  3. ARM & Dell
  4. eBay & HP
  5. Microsoft & Nokia
  6. RIM (BlackBerry)

The end of the first decade of the 21st Century marks a great time to take stock of a monumental decade in technology. Here are PC Advisor's companies of the decade: there can be only one winner.

The company of the decade: nominees

Microsoft

In any discussion of any recent decade, one company looms large: Microsoft. The world's biggest software company has never strayed far from the headlines in the past 10 years.

The decade started with the Redmond giant losing a monopoly court case against the US government, and ended with the release of Windows 7: PC Advisor's Product Of The Year 2009.

In the intervening years we've seen the launch of Windows XP and Windows Vista, the Xbox games console, and successive versions of the Office productivity suite. Bill Gates has reduced his role, affording greater exposure to Steve Ballmer and Ray Ozzie - which both have gratefully accepted.

Challengers such as Google, Apple and Mozilla have taken bites out of Microsoft's share of various markets, and all the while the legal wrangles continue, primarily with the EU.

But as the decade turns Windows 7 is set to give Microsoft several more years of desktop dominance, while products such as Microsoft Security Essentials and Office Web Apps are fighting back in areas not traditionally dominate by the company.

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Microsoft


Nokia

It really looks like the decade of the mobile device with not just Apple and RIM being nominated for Company Of The Decade but also Nokia. The world's largest manufacturer of mobile telephones, Nokia's global device market share was around 40 percent in 2009.

The Nokia brand is listed as the fifth most valuable global brand in the Interbrand/BusinessWeek Best Global Brands list of 2009. It is the number one brand in Asia and Europe, the 42nd most admirable company worldwide in Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies list of 2009, and the world's 85th largest company as measured by revenue in Fortune Global 500 list of 2009.

If you've owned a mobile phone this decade, you've almost certainly owned a Nokia.

Related articles:

Nokia

NEXT PAGE: RIM (BlackBerry) >>

PC Advisor Awards 2010 NEW!

See also: PC Advisor's Person of the Decade

Product Of The Year 2009

PC Advisor's Technology Of The Decade

PAGE INDEX:

  1. Google
  2. Amazon & Apple
  3. ARM & Dell
  4. eBay & HP
  5. Microsoft & Nokia
  6. RIM (BlackBerry)

The end of the first decade of the 21st Century marks a great time to take stock of a monumental decade in technology. Here are PC Advisor's companies of the decade: there can be only one winner.

The company of the decade: nominees

Research In Motion

Not all telecoms innovation came from Finland (Nokia), Sweden (Ericsson) and California (Apple). Canada's Research In Motion (RIM) changed the way first busy business people and then ordinary consumers access their communications. Its BlackBerry smartphones pioneered push email and have ruined many a social or cultural event with their beeps and hurried pocket fumbling.

In 2009 Fortune Magazine named RIM as the fastest growing company in the world with a growth of 84 percent in profits over three years despite the recession. In 10 years RIM has sold over 50 million wireless handset units worldwide.

Whether always-on mobile access to email is a good thing is a point for debate, but it's here to stay and that is in no small part down to RIM.

BlackBerry

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NEW! Explore PC Advisor's virtual BlackBerry smartphone

PC Advisor Awards 2010 NEW!

See also: PC Advisor's Person of the Decade

Product Of The Year 2009

PC Advisor's Technology Of The Decade

PAGE INDEX:

  1. Google
  2. Amazon & Apple
  3. ARM & Dell
  4. eBay & HP
  5. Microsoft & Nokia
  6. RIM (BlackBerry)