The 2008 Readers' Choice Awards: Survey Methodology

Introducing Redmond's Triple Crown

Once again this year, Redmond sent its Readers' Choice survey to readers who signed up to receive one of Redmond Media Group's e-mail newsletters. We received 839 responses.

Also, again this year, we're awarding "ISV Winner" status to non-Microsoft entries that didn't win their categories outright but managed to beat everybody else but Microsoft. Redmond is focused on the extensive vendor community that expands on what Microsoft already does; because Microsoft products routinely win in many categories, we developed the ISV Winner award to recognize the leading independent software vendors whose wares finished just behind (or sometimes even ahead of) those of Microsoft's in our standings. We did this not so much to level the playing field but to acknowledge that there are two playing fields in some cases. We're also bestowing the title of Preferred Product on products that separated themselves from the pack but weren't outright winners.

Of course, for 2008, we've established the Triple Crown for products that have won outright for at least three consecutive years. Also this year, we've given you a new Readers' Choice experience, with less text, more numbers and quotes from users drawn out to highlight their experiences with certain products. We're including figures such as the percentage of the vote each recognized product won in a given category in order to acknowledge that some products win with more than 50 percent of the vote, while others win with as little as 15 percent. We're also telling you how many entries there were in each category to offer context for what the voting percentages really mean.

-- L.P.

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