Insurgents rampant at PC World Readers' Choice Awards

There were several upsets at Friday night's PC World Readers' Choice Awards. First-time winner NZoom knocked Xtra off the pedestal to win the Best New Zealand Website Award, and in the Best Home PC award HP was toppled by local manufacturer TL Systems.

There were several upsets at Friday night's PC World Readers’ Choice Awards in Auckland. First-time winner NZoom knocked Xtra off the pedestal to win the Best New Zealand Website Award, and in the Best Home PC award HP was toppled by local manufacturer TL Systems.

Other insurgents include Macromedia, whose Dreamweaver 4 stole the Best Web Design Software crown worn last year by Microsoft’s FrontPage, and Borland, which regained the Best Development Tool trophy from Microsoft with Delphi 6.

In the Best Internet Security Software category a talented scrappy upstart — the freeware ZoneLabs ZoneAlarm — pushed Symantec into second place. Compaq, meanwhile, took back the Best Corporate Desktop title lost to Dell last year. HP was only third, but is presumably looking to remedy this situation by buying Compaq.

The Best Operating System was, as ever, a Microsoft versus Microsoft affair, but is notable this year for Windows 2000’s victory — the first time the business-focused NT line has beaten the SOHO-leaning 9.x family. Linux continued its modest encroachment into the Best OS category, clocking up 9% of the vote.

There were several new categories this year. Clear Net picked up the inaugural gong for Best E-business Solution Provider; Nokia took Best DSL Modem (beating off a strong challenge from Dynalink); and the crashing Netscape 6 took Loser of the Year.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking kept its Best Speech Recognition Software title, but the news will do little to alleviate the gloom at its parent company, Lernout & Hauspie. L&H filed for bankruptcy in October following the arrest without bail of its Boston-based chief executive, plus Belgium founders Jo Lernout and Pol Hauspie, on the small matter of a missing $US100 million.

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