Unveiling the 2007 Readers' Choice Awards

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We unveiled the 32 winners of our Editors’ Choice Awards this week, but that’s not the last word on the top Mac products of 2007. Now it’s time for the readers to have their say.

For the past few years, we’ve invited our readers to vote on their favorite products of the past 12 months. This year was no exception—though we expanded the number of categories to four to give you the chance to honor more of your favorites. We asked for your nominations in October and opened up the voting to our online readers a month later. We also collected votes via our Macworld Reader Panel, a group of magazine subscribers polled by market-research firm Karlin Associates.

The votes have been tallied, and we’ll ready to unveil the four products that captured Readers’ Choice awards in 2007.

Apple Product of the Year

Products coming out of Cupertino dominated past Readers’ Choice selections, so in revamping the awards for 2007, we decided to give the biggest maker of Mac products an award all to itself.

The Nominees: AirPort Extreme Base Station, iMac Core 2 Duo, iPhone, iPod touch, iWork ’08, and Mac OS X 10.5

And The Winner Is…: Probably not a huge surprise here, but the iPhone was a runaway winner in the balloting, easily outpacing the other products that came out of Cupertino this past year.

Third-Party Hardware of the Year

We created this award to spread some love to the makers of hard drives, cameras, printers, scanners, and other great peripherals.

The Nominees: Big Disk Extreme hard drive, from LaCie, HV20 camcorder from Canon, Logitech VX Nano cordless laser mouse from Logitech, miniStack v3 hard drive from Newer Technology, Nikon D40X digital SLR from Nikon, and PowerShot A650 IS from Canon

And The Winner Is…: As much of a blowout as the Apple Product of the Year category was, this award came right down to wire. The Nikon D40X edged out LaCie’s Big Disk Extreme hard drive by the thinnest of margins. Apparently, in more readers’ minds, 10.2 megapixels beats out 2TB of storage.

Third-Party Software of the Year

Just as the hardware award above honored third-party products, this one was open to any piece of software made by any developer other than Apple.

The Nominees: Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-editing software from Adobe, Merlin 2 project management software from Project Wizards, Parallels Desktop 3 virtualization software from Parallels, Toast 8 Titanium disk-burning software from Roxio, VMware Fusion virtualization software from VMware, and WireTap Studio audio recording software from Ambrosia Software

And The Winner Is…: Parallels won the 2006 Software of the Year honor from our readers with its debut virtualization effort on the Mac. And now, it’s pulled off a repeat win in 2007 with Parallels Desktop 3, though not without some spirited competition from Photoshop CS3 and fellow virtualization program VMware Fusion.

Mac Gem of the Year

We wanted to make sure even the smallest apps got their due, so we asked readers to pick their favorite program under $50.

The Nominees: 1Password password-management utility from Agile Web Solutions, the open-source HandBrake DVD-to-MPEG-4 converter, iGTD to-do list manager from Bartek Bargiel, MarsEdit 2 blog publisher from Red Sweater Software, Posterino poster-size collage builder from Zykloid Software, and Scrivener writing tool from Literature & Latte.

And the Winner Is…: It’s probably fitting that in what seems like the Year of the iPhone, enough readers would vote for a program that helps them get their DVDs onto mobile devices. The award goes to HandBrake.

Congratulations to the winners as well as the nominees for providing a great year for Mac products.

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