If readers were the ones deciding, Bill Gates or Gil Amelio would have been NEWS.COM's Newsmaker of the Year.
In response to NEWS.COM's reader poll, 39 percent agreed and 61 percent disagreed with our choice of Chris Hassett, CEO of PointCast, for the top Newsmaker slot.
That's what we get for asking.
Chris Hassett doesn't yet have the name recognition or net worth of many of his CEO brethren who made headlines in 1996. We chose him for Newsmaker of the Year not because of the number of headlines he made, but because he was the single person most associated with the growth of "push" technology, a new way of broadcasting information that promises--or threatens, depending on one's perspective--to change how people use the Net in 1997.
But 61 percent of you thought otherwise. The votes for NEWS.COM readers' Newsmaker of the Year were split about evently between Microsoft's Gates and Apple Computer's Amelio. Gates had the slight edge, partly because a handful of users voted for Apple cofounder Steve Jobs instead of Amelio.
And readers appear to prefer Bill Gates, well, because he's Bill Gates. And because they believe that Microsoft has been successful in 1996 in refocusing the company on the Internet.
Dr. Gil is seen by many as Apple's savior. Since his arrival as CEO early last year, Amelio turned the flagging company's losses around and lured back the legendary Jobs and his much-touted NextStep OS.
It'll be interesting to see who wins for Newsmaker of the Year 1997. Stay tuned.