IDG ‘s PC World Announces Top 100 Redesign

SAN FRANCISCO — 09/01/99 –Today, PC World, the world's largest computer magazine, announced changes to its monthly Top 100 computer product rankings. Launching with the October 1999 issue (online now at http://www.pcworld.com and on newsstands September 14), PC World's Top 100 will expand to include the Top 10 Power, Midrange and Budget PCs, as well as Top 10 Scanners.

"One of PC World's trademarks is its investment in research-based editorial. Every month, we survey readers to make sure the information stays fresh, on-target, and meets their computer product buying needs," said Cathryn Baskin, editorial director of PC World. "As the PC market has changed — with the emergence of sub-$1000 PCs, faster chips, and a wider array of configurations — the range of prices and systems has become too broad for just two categories: Top 20 Power and Top 20 Budget. So, we surveyed 1,000 readers. We conducted focus groups. We re-evaluated the section's content, usability, and design."

The editorial and design staffs evaluated the feedback, and the October 1999 issue features the redesigned Top 100 section, with the following improvements:

— PCs are now divided into three groups: Top 10 Power (over $2,000), Top

10 Midrange ($1,200 – $2,000), and Top 10 Budget (under $1,200).

— The section has been condensed and re-tooled with all-in-one charts to

make it easier for busy managers to find and absorb the information. It

also includes larger photos of the systems, bulleted highlights of

features, and "Best Use" for each product.

— And, new this month, PC World introduces the Top 10 Scanners ratings.

Starting in 2000, Scanners will alternate with Modems to round out the

Top 100. However, to accommodate business buyers, Top 10 Scanners will

be updated every month on PC World's companion Web site, pcworld.com.

— Launching with the December issue, Top 10 Notebook and Top 10 Home PCs

ratings will expand to the Top 15 — each broken out by Power,

Midrange, and Budget.

About PC World's Top 100

Because there's no one time of year that is set aside for computer buying, PC World editors and Test Center analysts evaluate the latest PC products — focusing specifically on the bottom line productivity concerns of managers — every month. Products with an exceptional balance of price, performance, usability, service and support are listed among the PC World Top 100, the magazine's exclusive monthly rankings of desktop, notebook and home PCs, printers, monitors, graphics boards, modems — and now, scanners. All systems are tested with PC WorldBench 98, independently developed by the PC World Test Center, which measures overall PC performance by running a suite of real business applications through a series of test scripts. Top-ranked products earn the coveted Best Buy Award from PC World editors.

The winner of the 1999 Grand Neal Award for editorial excellence, PC World is the world's largest computer publication with a circulation rate base of 1.25 million (effective with the January 2000 issue). PC World and PC World Online ( http://www.pcworld.com ) are published by PC World Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of IDG , the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company. IDG publishes more than 290 computer magazines and newspapers and 500 book titles and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through IDG .net ( http://www. idg .net ), which comprises more than 250 targeted Web sites in 55 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions worldwide, and provides IT market analysis through 49 offices in 41 countries worldwide. Company information is available at http://www. idg .com.