Fortune Magazine has put Apple at the top of its America's Most Admired Companies list, ahead of Google (#4) and Microsoft (#16). (Apple also topped the Global Top 20 list, which included companies from other countries.) The list ranks companies on innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment, and quality of products/services. In the Computers category (which includes hardware manufacturers like IBM, HP, and Dell), Apple ranked first in innovation, people management, and quality of products/services, fifth in social responsibility, and third in the other attributes. More impressive was that Apple took the top ranking in innovation in the entire survey, beating out firms like Nike, Herman Miller, and Walt Disney.
Also be sure to check out Fortune's extended coverage of Apple, including Betsy Morris's "What Makes Apple Golden" and Peter Elkind's lengthy "The Trouble with Steve Jobs." The latter piece focuses on Jobs's bout with pancreatic cancer and the options backdating scandal, covering both in a level of detail I hadn't previously seen.