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11/7/2007
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Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell Top List of IT Influencers

Gates was named by 84% of the participants, Jobs by 73%, and Dell by 53% of CompTIA voters.

Bill Gate, Steve Jobs, and Michael Dell rank one, two, and three in a list of the most influential people in IT over the past 25 years.

The list was compiled by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a tech trade group with 22,000 members. The poll got 473 votes, mostly from people who have worked in the tech industry for at least three years.

Gates, chairman and co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, was selected by 84% of the participants. Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple, was selected by 73% of those taking the poll. Michael Dell, CEO and founder of Dell, got the nod from 53% of CompTIA voters.

Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux operating system, made the list with 47% of the vote, tying for fourth place with Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Coincidentally, Google's vast server infrastructure relies on Linux.

John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, came in fifth (44%). Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle ranked sixth (36%). Vinton Cerf, who (with Bob Kahn) co-designed the TCP/IP protocol upon which the Internet is built, placed seventh (35%). Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, came in eighth (35%). And Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay, was ninth (30%).

Other people prospering in this popularity contest include Craig Barrett of Intel (28%), Louis Gerstner Jr. of IBM (26%), Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com (23%), Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems (22%), Leonardo Chiariglione who helped create the MP3 standard among others (17%), Paul Otellini of Intel (17%), Carly Fiorina of HP (14%), Ray Ozzie of Microsoft (13%), Mark Hurd of HP (11%), Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe of MySpace.com (10%), Thomas Friedman of the New York Times (4%), and Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com (3%).

Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing of the World Wide Web, came in near the bottom of the list with 1% of the vote.

Marc Andreesen, co-creator of the Mosaic Web browser (with Eric Bina) and the co-founder of Netscape, didn't make the list. Adding insult to that omission, CompTIA voters rated Internet Explorer (66%) as most influential technology product in the past 25 years, followed by Microsoft Word (56%) and Windows 95 (50%).

Apple's iPod and Microsoft Excel tied for fourth place among products (49%).

Strangely absent from the list is anyone responsible for pushing the computer gaming envelope.

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