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If the US was run by a company, Microsoft would get the job.

That's according to a report by PR firm Brouillard Communications, which surveyed 1,000 random Americans on who they would trust to put in charge of the country.

Many based their decision on Microsoft's strong financial performance, and also liked its corporate character. But though it was seen as creative and innovative, few described it as honest or trustworthy.

The software giant was four times as popular as second choice IBM. General Motors and General Electric also got into the top four.

"Microsoft - for all its faults - is perceived as a highly effective, can-do company," said Brouillard CEO Bill Lyddan. "Although brand recognition, size and longevity matter, most Americans seem to be asking: 'What have you done for me lately? On that basis, Microsoft scores over IBM."

In the UK the choice to take over Number 10 would be Virgin - largely due to its strong performance and the popularity of its chief Richard Branson.

Not surprisingly, Railtrack and British Rail were voted least favourite to take over the British government. ®

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