What makes a product great? For 22 years, we've answered that question in the form of our World Class Awards. The products, technologies, and categories keep changing. But in 2005, as in 1983, great products meld practical features with innovation. They help you rather than annoy you. And they do it at a fair price. This year we chose 100 tools--the most in years--for work, home, and everywhere in between. Then we ranked them from 1 to 100, scrutinizing each product's design, features, performance, innovation, and price. The resulting honor roll is as wide-ranging as today's world of personal technology. (And 23 of our 100 winners have the best price of all: They're free.)
In the following pages you'll find our top picks grouped by category (for example, Security on page 4 and Digital Photography on page 8), as well as in ranked order from 1 to 100 on page 12. Here, we begin with our Product of the Year.
Product of the Year
WEB BROWSER (Free) Let the browser wars begin anew: This open-source program is streamlined, customizable, and just plain better. No wonder it has attracted millions of users in just a few months. Is it merely a coincidence that Microsoft finally plans to give the aging Internet Explorer the major overhaul it has needed for years? Review | Download