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Media Loves Apple and Its Army of Fans

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the we-loves-us-an-ipod dept.

The Media 356

cgriffin21 writes "Apple is getting more media attention right now than any other technology company, including Google. Microsoft, meanwhile, is languishing in the shadows like Cinderella on the night of the ball. That's the upshot of a study released Monday (PDF) by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, which found that Apple was the focus of 15.1 percent of media coverage between June 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. Google received 11.4 percent of media coverage during the period, while Microsoft garnered just 3 percent."

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356 comments

MS is hurting (4, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721500)


Apple was the focus of 15.1 percent of media coverage [...] Google received 11.4 percent of media coverage during the period, while Microsoft garnered just 3 percent.

That 3 percent Microsoft garners is reports of bug fixes and failed projects. Look at recent Microsoft tags on /. :

Microsoft To Release Emergency Fix For ASP.NET Bug
Microsoft Migrating Live Spaces Users To WordPress
Microsoft Says IE9 Beta Demand Overwhelming (Nice but it's free)
Researchers Demo ASP.NET Crypto Attack
etc. etc.

Re:MS is hurting (5, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721756)

In my view, Apple is the only company focusing on the user experience (and the only company focusing on the user) as opposed to feature lists products that will be close to become unusable. As a result, they release more expensive products, sell more of those than the competition, and then get a bigger revenue. This revenue is invested in R&D. In Apple's terminology, R&D means exploring existing technologies and finding how they can be integrated into end user products.

The users we speak of here are not slashdot readers, they are the general public.

As a result of all that, they get good press. And it seems well deserved.

This is my view on Apple, so you may express your view but you may not say I'm wrong because I don't claim to express a fact.

Re:MS is hurting (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721818)

I'm with you there.

MS has been blinded by their "Windows Everywhere" mantra over the years. They're a rudderless ship.

Re:MS is hurting (4, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722002)

MSFT would be even more irrelevant than they are already becoming if it weren't for vendor lock-in.

Seriously, where would they be?

Re:MS is hurting (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721852)

> In my view, Apple is the only company focusing on the user experience
> (and the only company focusing on the user) as opposed to feature lists
> products that will be close to become unusable.

Yes. Because no one ever uses "features".

The notion that Apple "focuses on the user experience" quickly seems absurd
as soon as you try to do anything that Apple didn't account for or is actually
trying to prevent.

"plays my movies"
"reads my files"
"installs some random app"
"reads some website"

If another device gains traction, it will be due to the fact that it is good
at doing the things that Apple refuses to do. Being able to ignore Steve's
vision is a great feature for a lot of people.

Apple may have cared for the end user once but now they've jumped the shark.

Re:MS is hurting (3, Informative)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722188)

Why is parent rated as troll? Even though he's chosen rather unsubtle wording, he does make a valid point IMO.
There's a reason why I'm closely watching the development of upcoming Win7 powered tablets while the iPad leaves me cold. It's the tyrannical grip Steve has on his hardware and the software that runs on it (or rather, keeping specific types of software from running on it).

Re:MS is hurting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33722564)

Maybe because parent is trolling. I have a MacBook Pro that just works.

Re:MS is hurting (2, Funny)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722104)

"Experience" == being the current fashion, making products with a brand that makes you feel better about yourself. If you can't describe what distinguishes it, the distinction just isn't there. You're like a Pepsi loyalist who can't pick it out from the other brand in a blind test.

If by Languishing they mean Hiding (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721510)

That would make sense. If Microsoft were put into the spot light, people would start taking shots before they would start celebrating.

Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721522)

Articles like this one just prove their point

Re:Duh... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721654)

As seen in a printed newspaper:

"Study finds printed newspapers are huge paper wasters!"

Media Loves Apple... (1)

Push Latency (930039) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721530)

Media love is usually a good indicator of things I can safely and happily ignore. Good to know that I can happily continue ignoring Apple.

Uh that's what media is supposed to do (2, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721702)

People love apple and it's fabuously high quality ineffebly well designed products. Media's write stories about things people are interested in or find fascinating.

The weird thing here is that somehow people think this works in reverse. That the media is supposed to somehow find something people dont' care about and make it fascinating. E.g. Linux. SOny walkmans, corvettes, and basketball got media attention because people got excited about them about them and not the reverse.

Re:Uh that's what media is supposed to do (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722034)

People love apple and it's fabuously high quality ineffebly well designed products.

What are you, new here? Haven't you heard? People love Apple because they're "fashionable". And they're, like, brainwashed fanbois, who are mindlessly drawn to the Apple store thanks to Steve Jobs' mind control techniques.

Well-designed products... honestly, what are you, some kind of "consumer choice", "people pick what they want", "the best product wins" capitalist pig or something?

Err... no, capitalism is good, that can't be right.

Now I'm confused. Confused and hungry.

Re:Uh that's what media is supposed to do (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722132)

Now I'm confused. Confused and hungry.

Go eat some bacon [bacolicio.us] and calm down.

Re:Uh that's what media is supposed to do (2, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722294)

Wrong. There's a tiny minority of loudmouths who like Apple. Even the huge success of the iPhone -- the only phone in the world, according to the media -- only has something like 10% market share.

Also, their supposedly ineffably well designed laptops have a worse malfunction rate than Asus, Toshiba and Sony, despite Apple only catering to the midrange and high end. So: no better than others, which means you're fraudulently advertising their quality. Yes, your comment is an advertisement.

Re:Uh that's what media is supposed to do (2, Informative)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722418)

People love apple and it's fabuously high quality ineffebly well designed products.

Having owned a few of their products I would hesitate to call them high quality, especially in the reliability department. The iPod Classic has been trouble free but both the original iPhone and the 3gs gave me quite a few issues, as a matter of fact the original is still sitting in a desk drawer, only useful as a paperweight now.

Re:Media Loves Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721808)

Its no surprise to me that the creative industry loves the company with the gadgets that have most restrictive walled garden.

A story ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721538)

... about how many stories are done about Apple

We're through the looking glass here people.

- Sent from my iPhone

It will pass (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721540)

Give it one or 2 years and something new will come along to replace it. Remember myspace (lol) or RIM (lol)? The only thing that surprises me about Apple is how they found millions of people willing to throw money away at frivilous toys in this "tough" economy.

Re:It will pass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721662)

The "tough" economy is controlled by the government.

If they want to have a low economic time to enforce more social control, they raise the taxes on business causing a slowdown in the market. When they want you to look the other way or declare war, they lower business taxes and get you working again so you don't care as much.

Re:It will pass (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721674)

How has Apple got anything to do with Myspace? And RIM's products have always been shit. The difference with Apple here is that their products have relatively intuitive interfaces and are therefore easy for people to pick up. I wouldn't buy an iPhone or an iPad, but I am happy that iOS inspired stuff like Android, so that I finally have a smartphone that has a decent UI.

Re:It will pass (3, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721950)

We need Apple around to steal good ideas from. However, it would be a disaster if they were the predominant force in the industry.

Re:It will pass (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722236)

Well, they already are in certain markets, ie MP3 players and tablets. I don't think it's a problem if they're popular, but it would of course be a problem if they had a monopoly.

I already gave in to buying an iPod because it's the only device that works nicely with my car stereo. USB drives work too but it takes ages to read the filing system every time you switch the car on. On the upside, I now can use the wide array of toys designed to dock with iPods.. but I wish they could just use standard USB connections and have a standard interface for sending control commands, music, video etc so that any MP3 player would work with any device. Grrr. I'm wondering if there are any apps out there for Android that can simulate an iPod so that I can just use my phone with my car's stereo instead..

Re:It will pass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33722146)

but I am happy that iOS inspired stuff like Android

Google acquired Android inc in August, 2005.

Re:It will pass (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722560)

The iPhone came out in 2007, actual Android phones in 2008. Before the iPhone there were no smartphones available with interfaces that were actually nice to use. Are you trying to say that Android interface wasn't inspired by the iPhone interface at all? If not then Apple completely ripped off Android's UI. It's one or the other, but Apple had a product out a year earlier and methinks they were once again the ones leading the way.

They were certainly the ones that pioneered capacitive touchscreens on phones, which is a large part of what actually makes them pleasant to use these days.

Re:It will pass (2, Funny)

zombieChan51 (1862028) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721740)

Yeah seeing a guy complaining about how bad the economy is, and that he can barely feed his family while he checks out what's Hot or Not on his new iPad.

Re:It will pass (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722282)

Except that MySpace was founded in 2003, wasn't really popular until 2005, by comparison, apple's laptops, and iPods have been starting their current popular trend since way back in 2001. My space faded from it's "success" (read, it was bigish in america and never managed anything in europe at all) in two years, while apple is getting ever more popular.

The reason? Apple's products are actually good ;)

Re:It will pass (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722428)

... millions of people willing to throw money away at frivilous toys in this "tough" economy.

A bit of research on The Great Depression will invariably turn up some related neat little facts as well - one of them being that movies (back then a similar luxury) were amazingly popular during a time when folks could barely keep food on the table.

Escapism from shit times isn't exactly a new phenomenon, you know.

Ctrl+F Aggregation (0)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721548)

This is my new internet filter. Load news / aggregation site , press "Ctrl+F" in chrome, type "apple" and count. If count > 10 on a single page, I never go there again. Oh cra

Re:Ctrl+F Aggregation (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721678)

This is my new internet filter. Load news / aggregation site , press "Ctrl+F" in chrome, type "apple" and count. If count > 10 on a single page, I never go there again.

Not the greatest fan of orchards or cider, I gather.

Yeah I Can See That (0)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721572)

If you want a lot of hits, just post something vaguely bad about an Apple product and pretty much the entire army will hit your product. Too bad they'll all be pregnant in a couple of months. That's right folks, iPhones can make you pregnant! Even if you're a man! ESPECIALLY if you're a man!

You're welcome.

Can your iPad cure cancer? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721584)

The answer may surprise you.

lolwut? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721608)

Microsoft, meanwhile, is languishing in the shadows like Cinderella on the night of the ball.

Is this trying to imply that they're going to arrive later as the belle of the ball? Pfft.

As for the main point - anyone who follows tech news at all would have noticed that Apple is getting the most press. I fail to see how this meta-news is news.

Cinderella (1)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721616)

languishing in the shadows like Cinderella on the night of the ball

So right now Microsoft is getting decked out in cool clothes from its fairy godmother, and about to make a stunning entrance that turns everybody's head?

Re:Cinderella (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721724)

So right now Microsoft is getting decked out in cool clothes from its fairy godmother, and about to make a stunning entrance that turns everybody's head?

... Inside a carriage made of a fruit with attached mice?

It's a PROPHECY!

The Windows powered IDesktop is coming!

REPENT!

Cinderella? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721626)

So, this ends with Apple users trying to fit their iphones into glass footwear?

Re:Cinderella? (1)

KumquatOfSolace (1412203) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722022)

No, I think it ends with Microsoft trying to sell pumpkins disguised as smartphones. It's a shorter story than the original.

The apple backlash is going to be amazing one day (1, Insightful)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721664)

When all of these "fashionable" people turn against apple because it's no longer "cool" I wonder if the company will survive.

Re:The apple backlash is going to be amazing one d (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721706)

I doubt it will happen any time soon. Maybe after Steve Jobs is dead, buried, and an entirely new generation that has never heard of him starts buying computers.

Yeah, fashionable people. (1, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721720)

They use it because it... goes with their shoes. It has nothing to do with the fact that Apple software does the job it was meant to do, for less money, and with a better interface than the alternatives (Windows in the first case, Linux in the second).

Re:Yeah, fashionable people. (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721998)

Apple doesn't do anything for less money.

Whether or not it "does the job" is another matter. More than likely, it only "does the job" because the requirements of the job have been restricted to the point where success is a lot less meaningful.

Re:Yeah, fashionable people. (-1, Troll)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722158)

Simple bullshit.

Mac Box Set
(Mac OS 10.6.3, iWork 2009, iLife 2009)
$169.00

Windows 7 Home + Office 2010 Home
$328.00

Nevermind that the Microsoft set doesn't have any equivalents at all (much less included in the cost above) for iDVD, iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, or GarageBand.

And it's patently ridiculous on its face to suggest that Mac OS X users can only accomplish a "restricted to the point where success is a lot less meaningful" subset of tasks with their computing environments. That's troll territory.

Re:Yeah, fashionable people. (2, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722246)

And how many people buy the boxed version of Microsoft Windows, as opposed to just getting it with a computer? That's the point; how much does a computer with Windows cost compared to a computer with Mac OS?

Re:Yeah, fashionable people. (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722416)

You have to be deep, deep, deep into the Apple Kool-Aid to seriously compare Office to iWork. Its grape-tastic deliciousness is spilling from your mouth and running down your chin.

iWork is to Office as my $30 Walkman is to a 64 GB iPod Touch. Yeah, one's cheaper. There's a reason for that.

And hell, I love my $30 Walkman for what it is -- it does the job I bought it for perfectly, but let's not pretend it's something it's not.

Re:Yeah, fashionable people. (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722170)

Less money?!?!

The only time I've ever seen Apple come in cheaper than a competitor is with the high end all-in-one desktops - HP costs more at least back when I checked.

Re:The apple backlash is going to be amazing one d (3, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721964)

When all of these "fashionable" people turn against apple

Wow, cool, I've never, in my life, been called "fashionable" before... pragmatic, sure. Focused on actually Getting Things Done, as opposed to fiddling around with inferior solutions, yes. Matured past the need to paint entire groups of people with the same brush in order to make myself feel superior, yes.

But never fashionable.

It's about the market's they serve (4, Insightful)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721668)

This is not surprising. Apple and Google cater to consumers. That means the masses, the general public, the hordes. Microsoft's activities the last 10 years and all their successes have been in the enterprise space along with SAP, Oracle, IBM and HP. That makes them boring to most people and that includes the media. Apple creates really cool products that capture imaginations. Even Apple haters want things like what Apple produces - just not from Apple - witness Android phones and tablets. Google touches everybody too. We all use one or more Google services.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721812)

I guess you never heard of Windows Vista, XP or 7. 90 odd percent of computers run it.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (2, Interesting)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721944)

Consumers rarely buy Windows. It comes pre-installed on their computers and they don't tend to upgrade until they buy their next computer. Microsoft markets to PC manufacturers and large enterprises. A huge portion of Windows licenses are installed on business computers. Their marketing to end users is pathetic. When was the last time masses of the general public got excited about a Microsoft product?

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722064)

Netbooks came out with Linux initially, consumer demand basically pushed a lot of them to run Windows.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

zombieChan51 (1862028) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722164)

Doesn't mean they get excited about Windows. They wanted Windows, because they know how to use Windows. People like a familiar enviroment.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722190)

So I've heard. Users want what they know and they know Windows from work and their regular PC. Many also want compatibility with the systems of their employers and others they work with. That's not the same though as having an exciting consumer product. It's more like having your steering wheel on the left side of the car if you drive in North America.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

TeethWhitener (1625259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722140)

When was the last time masses of the general public got excited about a Microsoft product?

*Cough, Xbox, cough* But I dunno, I've seen Ivy-League-educated, advanced-degree-bearing, Mac-using scientists get pretty worked up if they don't have access to the Office suite. I think Microsoft products (especially Office) are probably looked upon by the general public in the same way as a dishwasher. They're convenient, ubiquitous, people use them all the time, and the only time anyone really notices them is when they're not present.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722006)

Sure, but nobody actually gives a crap about what version of Windows they're running in the real world. Witness the media coverage: nominal interest in the fact that there's a new version of Windows, and the only other coverage is how they've managed to screw it up. It's like the space program, nobody bothers writing about it unless something goes wrong. By contrast, Apple and Google's activities are an active source of curiosity for the average newspaper-scanning city-dweller.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722098)

Of course they do, there was a load of negative coverage over Vista, and everyone knew they didn't want it. Then when 7 came out people started moving to it and bitching it wasn't XP.

The point is, all their successes have not been in the enterprise space in the last 10 years. XP sold in droves and EVERYONE wanted it compared to ME. Vista not so much, 7 perked up demand again.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

DarkXale (1771414) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722306)

Still XP was just as much of a mess as Vista until SP2; not a lot of people remember this though. And for performance; XP generally wanted 256mb RAM to run most programs fully. While 128mb was 'ok', most machines at the time contained a mere 64mb, and newer kits generally sold with 128mb. The 256mb systems only came out later.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722254)

Yeah, that's kind of Microsoft's problem. Windows is the Helvetica of the OS world. To most lay people it's just "the computer" or "the windows." It has basically zero brand recognition, in spite of these ridiculous ads I keep seeing on TV about ordinary people "inventing" Windows features.

Apple has spent decades cultivating public perception of its products in terms of its difference from Microsoft, the consumer default. When Jobs came back in 1997 they put that strategy into overdrive, and it has really paid off for them. It's like all those BILLY MAYS ads where they have the Super Product compared against "Brand X." Everybody knows what Brand X is, it's whatever happens to be sitting in their mudroom. But it has no face, no personality, and gets no recognition of its own characteristics.

If Microsoft wants to get back into the consumer foreground on the OS side they need to give their products some personality and possibly even engage in self-competition.

How about a completely new ground-up operating system that they sell initially as a niche product alongside Windows? That worked really well for Apple.

How about giving Windows features names that don't sound like they were thought up by a Congressional committee? I mean, come on. Who in God's name is going to prefer Windows Shadow Copy or Windows Media Player over Time Machine or iTunes? Also, they need to drop the "Windows" prefacing everything. That probably kills consumer recognition of the individual features as well.

So far Microsoft's only been willing to take these kinds of chances in emerging markets, like search and mobile, and then they come up with names that sound like they're trying to be cool but failing miserably. "Bing?" "Kin?" Yeah, those are really hip and with it. I recognize the logic underlying the two names but again they sound like they came out of a committee.

In short Microsoft needs to stop acting like a Soviet-era bureaucracy if it wants to reclaim mindshare.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (1)

Wocka_Wocka (1895714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721832)

Google touches everybody too.

Hope that doesn't include little kids, or Google might be in trouble.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (-1, Troll)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722036)

Even Apple haters want things like what Apple produces - just not from Apple - witness Android phones and tablets. Google touches everybody too. We all use one or more Google services.

Best description I've read yet of the "irrational haters" in technology, who want the same features that everyone else is excited about, but can't admit it because they'll lose their "l33t" cred, so they "hate" all the companies/product offering said features, call everyone that buys such products or uses such features "mindless fanbois," then go off and buy either inferior kirf versions or they try inadequately to re-create the very same things via Sourceforge projects that languish in half-completedness for a decade as they badger people in Slashdot discussions about not using the "evil" products they've tried to copy.

Sorry haters, I have no problem admitting that I like commercial products if they do the job. And no, the alternatives often don't. Android is not an iPhone alternative; it simply doesn't offer the same benefits. No, no, no it doesn't. The social benefits (the app store and its cleanliness) are not equivalent; not even close. Same thing with Mac OS, which has superior social benefits (metaphor, signification/representation, visual cues, conceptual elements like filesystem layout and software packaging practices). But Slashdotters, true to stereotype, don't understand anything human or social; they fetishize technology. It's actually Slashdotters that are blind, self-defeating enthusiasts -- of grungy, dystopian metal-and-led assemblages, of overcomplicated user interfaces and APIs, of convoluted mashup projects, and of "open" code (even in cases in which it's actually totally nonfunctional; because it's not the function that matters to Slashdotters, but the form) which they conceptualize as some sort of rebellion against power.

In short, Slashdotters are basically wedded to the fantasy that they are living inside a dystopian cyberpunk novel and mock anyone that doesn't want to play along the way RPG gamers make fun of people that don't walk through Manhattan wearing suits of armor, carrying plastic swords, and speaking in Shakespearean English. Everybody else sees it as pitiful, but they wear that plastic sword like a badge of honor and are sure that it's everyone else that's a loser.

Re:It's about the market's they serve (4, Insightful)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722162)

I just want some of Apple's innovations without the drawbacks. That's not hypocritical, and certainly doesn't merit a three paragraph rant about "haters".

Re:It's about the market's they serve (2, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722258)

I just want some of Apple's innovations without the drawbacks.

Yeah, you just admitted Apple innovates. That immediately disqualifies you as an Apple hater. You then followed it up with a reasonable, coherent statement. That disqualifies you from Slashdot.

Ha ha ha ha!! (1)

Kludge (13653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722400)

Slashdotters, true to stereotype, don't understand anything

Slashdotters are basically wedded to the fantasy that they are living inside a dystopian cyberpunk novel

Slashdotters that are blind, self-defeating enthusiasts

Says the guy who reads and posts on slashdot.
Thank you for the belly laugh. I needed one.

Mac OS, which has superior social benefits

Dude, you are obviously a bigtime fanboy, and very ignorant of the benefits of diverse array other systems available.

Meanwhile, in reality land... (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721680)

Meanwhile, in Reality Land... Microsoft continues to hold a dominate position in a mature market, targeting business customers Apple doesn't seem to care about. They have a market cap over $211bn and have started paying out dividends. They're in IBM territory now, but the media loves underdogs and sexy startups, and one thing Microsoft has never been is sexy, even when they were a startup. However, I don't really think they care. Not that I really have terribly much use for any of their products, and my personal situation is in no way tied to their fortunes. But to say that only getting 3% of the media coverage is going to hurt them is just kind of stupid. Its almost like Boeing running commercials -- anyone in a position to be purchasing ANYTHING from Boeing isn't going to make that decision off of a 30-second ad. For some companies, media interest is irrelevant, because they're entrenched in their market.

Re:Meanwhile, in reality land... (1)

frostfreek (647009) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721732)

On the other hand, Microsoft is about to launch a major campaign for Windows Phone 7. My inside source tells me they have a marketing budget of $1 Billion. I had to capitalize and spell that out, writing $1B doesn't seem to do it justice.

Re:Meanwhile, in reality land... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721836)

My inside source tells me they have a marketing budget of $1 Billion. I had to capitalize and spell that out, writing $1B doesn't seem to do it justice.

It's better to spell it out, otherwise some people may think it was $1 Bullion.

Re:Meanwhile, in reality land... (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722092)

The comparison isn't really about Apple vs. Microsoft - as you point out that was decided years ago - but rather the other findings. Mainstream media coverage of technology is 1.6% of the total - miniscule, yet ahead of religion or immigration. There's twice as much coverage about how tech is changing our lives than about corporate folk. Twitter coverage is very different from the mainstream. These are useful metrics that tell us something about who we are and how we get our news.

Re:Meanwhile, in reality land... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722210)

Microsoft's market cap is quite impressive, but still simply doesn't do them justice.

When you look at the important stats- their net income, then they're still pulling in around 3 times the amount of post-outgoings cash as Google and Oracle, and about twice as much as HP, and around 2.5 times as much as Apple. Their equity and assets trump pretty much all the other players as well. In comparison with Dell- a truly dying tech company, they've got a staggering 12 times the profit Dell has nowadays.

As you say the media interest doesn't matter, Microsoft is still by far the biggest tech company in the world, no other company comes close, and of course with Microsoft still reporting record profit year on year there's no sign of anyone catching up to them any time soon. Google and Apple's growth over the last decade has become phenomenal, no one can argue that, but even with their epic growth they've still not been able to reach half the size of Microsoft and their momentum has certainly slowed recently- certainly the rate of growth isn't close to what it was some years back so if they do catch Microsoft up, it's still going to be a long hard slog and take them an awful long time yet.

The other point is about the negativity of the articles too, certainly not all of the press Apple and Google have received has been positive- a company like Apple riding on a wave of positive publicity to drive sales of it's products is going to get hit much harder by negative stories than a company like Microsoft that's had pretty much nothing but negative publicity for the last 20 years, but still manages to thrive.

Re:Meanwhile, in reality land... (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722312)

Meh. You're right adn you're wrong. Microsoft certainly isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and they do in fact dominate the business market in PCs and (to a slightly lesser extent) servers. This isn't in doubt. On the other hand they're showing themselves increasingly unable to adapt to changing market conditions. They were famously late on the web (and had to bludgeon Netscape to death to win), their attempts to me-too their way into search, social media, cloud computing, game systems, etc have met with various degree of success; but nearly universally cost more than they make. Most importantly right now, they can't get a mobile platform going.

There are strong indicators that smart phones and tablets are going to be what PCs were 15-20 years ago. Not that they are going to replace PCs (not yet anyway, who knows with advances in miniaturization what a decade from now will look like), but they are the big ticket, high margin items that everyone wants and is willing to pay for. PCs are commodities. You have the fridge, the washer/dryer, the TV, and the computer. (Before I get flamed that computers are bigger ticket than mobile devices: yes, but notice "big ticket, high margin")

For right now, this merely means that Microsoft is missing out on the cash cow of the moment. Kinda sucks, but they make plenty of money on other things so not the end of the world. But what *about* ten years from now? When these micro devices get the power and peripherals they would need to be a serious threat to PCs and laptops on the desktop. History has shown that smaller and slightly less powerful often wins out over larger and slightly more powerful when it comes to technology.

IBM wasn't worried about PCs. They were toys. Until they weren't. Everyone said laptops were great for a short term "I have to be mobile" scenario; but when you were at your desk you wanted a "real" computer with some power. Then suddenly laptops *were* real computers, and people were using them as primary systems. Sometimes "docked" to peripherals, sometimes not.

Your comparison to IBM is apt. Microsoft is in *precisely* the position that IBM was in at the dawn of the PC. They made the wrong decisions, went the wrong directions, and it very nearly killed them. Will mobiles make have the same kind of long term trajectory as PCs? Will Microsoft make the same mistakes as IBM? I don't know the answer to either question, but I do know the IBM's position seemed just as unassailable once. I don't think Microsoft is going anywhere, don't get me wrong. PCs didn't kill IBM, and (even if they don't pull a rabbit out their collective hats and actually get in the game) mobile won't kill Microsoft. For all that they're a great company though, IBM is not the behemoth they used to be. Someday, perhaps someday soon, Microsoft won't be either.

Re:Meanwhile, in reality land... (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722478)

(and had to bludgeon Netscape to death to win),

Hey, let's not be revisionist about the history of Netscape. At best, that was an assisted suicide.

Having to support the many differently-broken versions of latter-day Netscape is why web developers of 10 years ago will be having 'Nam-like violent PTSD flashbacks someday. Charlie in the trees has nothing on that action.

Re:Meanwhile, in reality land... (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722316)

Meanwhile, in Reality Land... Microsoft continues to hold a dominate position in a mature market, targeting business customers Apple doesn't seem to care about. They have a market cap over $211bn and have started paying out dividends.

Apple market cap today: 260B
Microsoft market cap today: 212B

Re:Meanwhile, in reality land... (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722474)

The have a market cap over $211bn and have started paying out dividends. They're in IBM territory now, but the media loves underdogs and sexy startups

You do realise Apple's the second biggest company in the world with a market cap of $263.2bn (figure subject to change with the winds of time)... Welcome to reality land Apple is bigger than Microsoft.

Well duh (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721712)

The media wants to make more money. So, if you were in the business of selling newspapers/magazines/stupid shit what would you do to attract customers? Would you talk about things no one cares about or would you talk about things PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT.

While the two feed off one another (is the iPhone popular because it is "great" or is it popular because we keep saying it is popular), if something people liked more came along it would certainly get more attention.

Re:Well duh (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721902)

Android sells more than the iPhone, so which is more popular?

Apple plays the press, they do it well. That's about it really.

Bloomberg TV gave Gates some love. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721714)

Bloomberg TV did a story on the Stuxnet/Iranian nuke facility story in the past week. The host opined that systems running Microsoft were "already" unstable without "viruses". She asked the barely-containing-his-smirk-of-agreement guest tech pundit if people really ran important things like Nuclear facilities on Microsoft. B-roll behind this conversation: a factory pumping out shiny new discs of Windows7. FTW!

Bringing Socrates into this.. (4, Informative)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721746)

All people can be fanbois.
Journalists are people.

=>
Journalists can be fanbois.

MS : Apple :: Ugly Step Sister : Cinderella (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721752)

MS is not cinderella at the ball....more like one of the ugly step sisters!

Re:MS : Apple :: Ugly Step Sister : Cinderella (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33721938)

Linus is Cinderella... Isn't he beeeuuuutiful?

Do the innovation - get the attention. (2, Insightful)

rclandrum (870572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721776)

Since the return of Jobs to Apple, they have defined the mass-market consumer computing industry. The iMac redefined how computers can look, introducing the concept of high-design into a buyers decision. The iPod and iTunes defined an easy, safe, legal means for carrying your music around and purchasing it online. The iPod Touch pushed into territory previously occupied by PDAs and showed how applications and music players could co-exist in the same device. The iPhone took the Touch a step further and integrated your cell phone. Finally, the iPad leveraged the phenomenal user interface that Apple engineered for its new portable consumer devices and made the screen large enough to be attractive to use in an armchair at home. And during all this, their computers have made major switches to Intel CPUs and OS X.

Everyone else has been just trying to keep up. It has actually been an incredible accomplishment by Jobs. Say what you will about the man or his methods, but he has completely and authoritatively defined the interaction of humans and their computing devices during his lifetime. Apple deserves the attention.

Re:Do the innovation - get the attention. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722052)

> Everyone else has been just trying to keep up. It has actually been
> an incredible accomplishment by Jobs. Say what you will about the
> man or his methods, but he has completely and authoritatively defined
> the interaction of humans and their computing devices during his lifetime. ...yes. You can only move data through one poorly crafted overloaded proprietary application.

That's a definition that we could all do without.

Re:Do the innovation - get the attention. (1)

rclandrum (870572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722280)

> That's a definition we could all do without.

But the majority of users have elected to use that very mechanism, haven't they? Yes, it's overloaded. Yes, it is proprietary. Market share would seem to indicate that it doesn't matter much.

Herd mentality (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721796)

Have journalists ever had such a herd mentality? Probably. What we are seeing is that #2 in the list - Google - has transformed their jobs. Search means that everybody is singing from the first page returned. Nowadays, you can read ten articles on the same subject and get only two points of view - over the top pro and anti. Apple is dying. Apple is cool. Obama is the saviour. Obama is a Muslim. A mildly centric British politician is suddenly "Red Ed". In three weeks he'll be accused of selling out to the Right.

Meanwhile, strangely, the real world goes on. Acer is the big growth story in laptops. Android has the (world) expanding market share in phones. Client/server computing is growing very rapidly, in a new guise, with very interesting things happening. But they don't actually make for exciting stories, just like the rise and rise of Hyundai gets less attention than Ferraris that catch fire.

The moral? Go to journalists to find out what incurious people are thinking.

Re:Herd mentality (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722568)

Nota Bene - Journos have had the luxury of Lexis-Nexis [lexisnexis.com] long, long before Google ever existed. :)

More Bias Please (4, Informative)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721800)

Could we please have a bit more bias in our summaries please. I mean, things like "Apple and Its Army of Fans" and "Microsoft, meanwhile, is languishing in the shadows like Cinderella on the night of the ball." don't quite make it obvious that the story is trying to make a point. Feel free to throw in references to Nazis, if necessary, to make the story bias more obvious.

sigh... I know it's a pipe dream, but I really do enjoy story submissions that just cover the details and let me make up my own mind on how I view the information...

Really let's look at other industries. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33721848)

Let's go right to cars.
I bet if you couldn't up all the coverage about cars you will find that Porsche, Ferrari, and Bugatti get a lot more press than they should based on market share.
That is because people are interested in them more than Chevy's and Kia's.
If you look at models you will see that that there is a lot more coverage of the Mustang than the Focus even though the Focus probably out sells the Mustang 10 to 1.
When you look at computers it is also much the same. You just don't see a lot of coverage on low end Dells and HPs.
It is all interest driven. A lot of it is also we are interested in what we don't have.
I really don't need to read about Windows XP or Windows 7 much. I use them everyday.
I do like reading about Supercomputers, BSD, and VMS because I don't have them to play with.

So no Apple does interesting stuff and do not produce commodity PCs. Apple is more in the BMW range than say Ferrari or Bugatti IMHO but Microsoft is Kia or maybe Honda.
BTW being Kia or Honda isn't a bad thing. It just isn't all that sexy and interesting.

Re:Really let's look at other industries. (1)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722004)

I wish I had mod points to mod you up..

But yes. MS is not doing sexy stuff. They're also not being brave or showing vision (which may be more serious in the long run).
Even when Apple is being super conservative they still manage to dress it up as being revolutionary. I mean, I use Apple products (you might even call me a fanboi) but seeing the gall of El Jobso in his keynotes when he shows stuff that is very, very and thoroughly just an incremental upgrade (or even just a fix for something that was broken) and manages to dress it up as awesome, great and revolutionary.
The man has skill!

Re:Really let's look at other industries. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722328)

I do not think that is even fair to say about Microsoft.
The IE 9 looks pretty interesting. Everyone is jumping on the HW acceleration for browsers now.
Zune Pass is also interesting. If Microsoft had created an app store and SDK for the ZuneHD I would have gotten one.
The 360 is very popular and had NetFliz streaming for a while now.
Microsoft does do some cools stuff. The problem is that they are now acting like a drunk elephant.

Apple in some ways I find to be sad. I so wanted an Apple II back when I got my C64. It was a real computer and had slots and everything.
IMHO Apple needs to bring back some of the spirit of the other Steve.
I would love for them to open up the specks on the new IPhone/Ipod doc so hackers can make their own devices for them.
But they are a consumer company now and not a hacker company.

This includes ALL coverage, good and bad (2, Insightful)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722000)

Well, according to TFA, this includes ALL coverage of Apple, whether it is good or bad.

That means all the negative Apple articles and Apple bashing will be counted in as well. No wonder Apple got the highest number in the media coverage count, I am pretty sure there are very few companies that are so emotionally charged either way right now, so those articles tend to draw huge reactions either way :)

Also, the media selected for this survey is a bit odd. Of the 52 news outlets, 12 are websites, six are television channels, but a whopping 10 radio stations? That seems like the wrong ratio to me.

Cindarelly, Cindarelly, Night and Day... (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722018)

Microsoft, meanwhile, is languishing in the shadows like Cinderella on the night of the ball.

Now, is this *really* the best analogy to use? I mean, I understand what the poster was going for, but, in the end, Cindarella goes to the ball, dances with the prince, and, ultimately, ends up "happily ever after" while her two wicked stepsisters (presumably Apple and Google) are forever tormented by her success.

I mean, I'm all about analogies to make concepts easier to understand, but, I think this one is a bit of a fail.

Re:Cindarelly, Cindarelly, Night and Day... (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722204)

I think the analogy was meant like "hey look there's this other company that makes billions of dollars in revenue and profit, makes similar products that isn't getting any attention. It's only a matter of time before they strike it big again.".

I agree with you that the wording is a little too out there, maybe "lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike" would be more appropriate.

Re:Cindarelly, Cindarelly, Night and Day... (1)

theghost (156240) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722466)

Here's the thing about analogies - they are very good at taking a complex issue and making it understandable at a very surface level to an uninformed person. They are also very good at taking an issue and skewing it so that one side looks better than the other. If someone uses an analogy to describe something simple, they either think you are a drooling idiot or they are trying actually trying to influence you towards one side.

In order to understand recursion.... (4, Insightful)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722072)

And we see another example of this phenomenon, as news outlets rush to report how news outlets cover Apple.

it's like M$ circa 1995 (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722240)

i remember when Windows 95 was released and the geeks not only lined up to buy it but they spent hundreds of $$$ buying RAM, hard drives and other upgrades to run it. This is back in the days when $150 per MEGABYTE of RAM was a killer deal. MS freed geeks from the tyranny of overpriced IBM and Sun hardware. in a few years Windows became boring and something you have to buy.

same thing with Apple. in a few years smartphones and maybe tablets will become something everyone buys like a computer or blu ray player and someone else will have the spotlight

Media Loves MS (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722270)

Kin flopped, vulnerabilities still on (they are even being used as weapons), somewhat is losing relevance (much fanfare about IE9, and will FF and Chrome keep gaining ground). Keeping them under the radar until they manage to get out something positive is a favor right now.

Media uses Apples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33722406)

Interesting. However... What computer is most commonly used by those in the media?

I'm just saying... it might be a little bias at the source. Not the people who made the study, but the people that they are studying.

Sleeping Beauty (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722434)

Shouldn't Microsoft be compared to Sleeping Beauty instead? After all, it seems to have affected by an Apple.

Recent Events (3, Interesting)

DarkXale (1771414) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722534)

Still, how much of this coverage was caused by the iPhone 4 antenna debacle?

Because on a lot of places there would be dozens of articles on that very issue - which would significantly push up the percentage.

Save for Windows 7, the latest Xbox, and the Kinekt - nothing much has really happened from Microsofts end - and Apple I expect should be able to match those articles with various product revisions of their own.

As for Google - they tend to be on the forefront a lot in general - search update here, mail changes there, new service here - and so on, not to mention its somewhat different compared to physical product businesses as well.

Easy answer...wait and one up (2, Insightful)

UseCase (939095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33722548)

It is safer to play the "wait and one up" game but the publicity goes to the innovator.

Right now the innovation and engineering is coming out of Cupertino so they garner all of the attention. Everyone else, in the table/mobile market, is playing wait and see whats good and copy/one up.

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