Rivals Microsoft and Google Take Top Honors in Asia

Technology Companies Dominate Findings With Focus on Innovation, Localized Products and Regional R&D PresenceThree years ago, Google Inc. had a marginal physical presence in Asia — a handful of staff in sales offices in Japan, Korea and Australia. Flash forward to 2008: The company has 2,000 employees in 15 offices in the region, plus 11 research-and-development centers, where engineers churn out products and services for Asian markets as well as Internet users world-wide.The Asian focus has helped propel Google up the charts in The Wall Street Journal Asia’s reader survey of Asia’s most-admired multinationals. Google grabbed the No. 1 spot in the featured category, “Innovative in Responding to Customer Needs.” It is the second survey in a row Google has held the top spot as an innovator, a category that asks readers to tell us which companies they consider best at bringing new products and services to the market as well as at employing sophisticated customer service.

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