No. 10: Oracle
Oracle's (IW 500/36) is as diverse as they come, offing services and products from virtualization to enterprise management systems. In the process, it saw its revenue jump about $1.5 billion last year as it climbed two spots on the list.
No. 9: Cisco
Cisco (IW 500/30) is literally in the business of everything. Its ongoing campaign to help build the Internet of Everything has futurists jumping, manufacturers investing and technologists innovating. The photo here of the company's business phone line is just a small part of an enormous, expanding business of everything.
No. 8: Lockheed-Martin
It’s easy to cast Lockheed-Martin (IW 500/29) into the aerospace or defense buckets, but at its core, Lockheed is providing some of the most cutting edge technologies on the market. This entry into the DARPA robotics challenge is just one example—one terrifying, impressive example.
No. 7: Intel
For technology at least, what's inside really is what counts. And Intel (IW 500/26) remains at the heart of most of the technologies that are forging the future. All of the big steps these other companies and other industries take are dependent upon the microscopic advancements Intel makes.
No. 6: Dell
Dell (IW 500/24) may be going private again, but it remains a constant in business computing across the world. Its prominence on this year's list is a reminder of just how successful Michael Dell's grand "configure-to-order" experiment proved to be and how that model has come to impact the entire industry.
No. 5: Microsoft
2013 has been a tough fight for Microsoft (IW 500/15), with a couple of disappointing products and releases and of course culminating with the loss of CEO Steve Ballmer. But the company remains a mainstay in global computer world and a high-ranking powerhouse on the IW U.S. 500, bumping its revenue up nearly $4 billion last year.
No. 4: IBM
That which controls the information, controls the world, they say. And IBM (IW 500/10) controls some of the most critical data sets the world has ever known. With systems like Watson and Blue Gene, it is applying intelligence to that data in powerful new ways. Luckily, though, this supercomputing giant is still using its powers for good.
No. 3: Hewlett-Packard
HP (IW 500/9) slipped from its long-held leading position in the computer industry this year after a disappointing 2012, but it remains a strong force in the tech category nonetheless. Plus, it has vowed revenge in next year's ranking, which gives us all a fight to look forward to.
No. 2: GE
GE (IW 500/6) is all over the place this year. While maintaining its domination in small appliances and big machines, it has suddenly become an open innovation pioneer, a 3-D printing leader and a social media genius. All very new tricks for 121-year-old company. There is absolutely no telling where it will go next, but we're sure it will be interesting.
No. 1: Apple
Say what you want about its innovation practices or future prospects, Apple (IW 500/4) earned its seat at the top. In a year of rapid product releases, major system overhauls and rabid fan support, Apple increased its revenue by $50 billion last year, enough to vault it up five positions on the IW U.S. 500 list. But will it maintain that lead? Next year's list will tell.