Mac vs. PC: "Most Innovative Companies" Edition

I’ve been busy working on the Most Innovative Companies special report and exclusive ranking, to be published on April 9, along with the team here at BusinessWeek. It’s based on an executive survey by the Boston Consulting Group, with financial results of the companies factored in. This year, we’ve come up with new elements of the multimedia package that will accompany the special report in the magazine, including an online reader poll (which we hope you will take if you haven’t already).

The online poll won’t be part of the vetting process for the official ranking, but it does reflect what you, our readers, think of the state of innovation today. And it reveals strong, widespread opinions about some leading corporations and how they’re perceived. For instance, 97% of online poll respondents to date say that Apple deserves its reputation as the # 1 “world’s most innovative company,” as it was ranked in 2008.

To help illuminate why you think Apple deserves the top spot, consider the responses to another question we asked, which was "Name a publicly traded company that's dealing with the downturn in an innovative way, and how." Apple dominated the write-in answers. One reader wrote, "Apple has $20 billion in the bank, and they are using that money to retain staff (instead of laying off good people) and to increase R & D (instead of decreasing)."

And, on the flip side, 74% of online poll respondents (to date) say that Microsoft should not have been on the 2008 list at all (it was #5 in 2008). There were no correlating write-in answers that helped to explain why (this was a yes/no question), so please feel free to comment on this blog to provide context. And stay tuned for another update next week, with more bits of data from you and your fellow innovators.

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