So Microsoft is top of the annual Superbrand list for 2009. It's no surprise that the company should have very high recognition. The survey uses YouGov's online panel, and anyone with a computer either uses Microsoft or has gone with rivals like Apple that define themselves against Microsoft. Presumably those whose PCs had frozen, crashed or been taken over by malware weren't able to complete the survey.
But there's a lot more to the survey than just who is, or is not, No 1. The richness lies in the detail: that the biggest consumer brand in the public sector after the BBC is Ordnance Survey; or that a very twenty-first century visitor attraction like the Eden Centre can be a bigger brand that Schweppes, dating back to the Eighteenth; or that Top Trumps are the fastest-rising toy or game brand. But as in all ranking surveys, there has to be a note of caution unless and until full data tables and methodology are published.
Apple, if you want to know, was No 9.