Apple's support Web site has been recognized as one of the "Ten Best Web Support Sites" in 2004 by the Association of Support Professionals (ASP).

The award is adjudicated by an independent panel working to a number of set criteria, including usability, personalization and search capability. There are 25 criteria in all. This is the seventh annual award.

Other winners included: Cognos, HP, Interwoven, Iomega, National Instruments, Research Machines and Xilinx. DataDirect Technologies and Think3 were named winners in the Small Company Division.

The ten winning sites will be profiled in a book-length report called "The Year's Ten Best Web Support Sites," which includes profiles of the the winning sites, screen shots of key features, and site performance benchmarks, which the ASP will publish in July.

ASP executive director Jeffrey Tarter said: "The Web continues to grow as an important and popular medium for delivering customer support. Web support is no longer just a way to save on the cost of answering the phone – it's now recognized as the gateway to a much richer choice of support-related services than customers can get from a live agent."

"The ten companies that won this year's competition are clearly on the leading edge of Web support," he added.