Forbes has announced this month's CEO approval ratings, and the focus on Apple CEO Steve Jobs remains.

Jobs took a 77 per cent approval rating in July, down from June's 86 per cent – but far higher than Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's rating, which stood at nine per cent.

Forbes writes: "Apple-istas were at it again in August, sending Jobs' approval rating above the 90 per cent range."

Highlights of Apple's year to date include: the introduction of iTunes Music Store, selling its millionth iPod, increasing notebook sales beyond the industry average growth rate and closing the megahertz gap with the release of its Power Mac G5.

Apple will this year release iTunes for Windows systems and its next major operating system upgrade, Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther). Apple shares stand at $22.61, towards the top of its 52-week high.

While the dominant operating system, Microsoft's management faces an angry European Union that threatens to charge the company up to $2.5 billion in fines for antitrust violations.

Microsoft has also been ordered to pay $520.6 million in damages to Eolas Technologies for patent infringement in a case that may change the way the Web works.

Ballmer is also obliged to steer his company through fallout from recent virus attacks on Windows systems that reportedly shut down power across America's East Coast, and extended delays to the release of next-major OS upgrade, Longhorn, which has slipped from shipping in 2004 to at least 2005. Microsoft shares currently stand at $26.52.