The Difference Between Microsoft and Apple Coverage on Techmeme (or: “Nobody Likes Us, Everybody Hates Us, Think We’ll Go Eat Worms”)

by Joey deVilla on October 22, 2013

Looking at tonight’s list of stories in the tech news aggregator Techmeme, it seems that I made the right call in leaving Microsoft.

I left in 2011, when I held the title of Developer Evangelist and a special role of Windows Phone Champ. One of the factors in my decision to leave was their promising to make me the specialist for “the next version of Surface”; I’d heard that they were yanking that name from the big-ass table and repurposing it for the new “slate” computer.

“Oh, great,” I thought, “I’ll be representing not one, but two products that no one will care about, fighting hammer-and-tongs for a very sad, very distant, third place.”

It would seem that my instincts were correct. Consider the stories that were listed on Techmeme tonight, Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 at around 11 p.m. Eastern time. It’s the evening of the day when both Nokia, now effectively Microsoft’s mobile hardware department, and Apple made big announcements about their new tablets.

Here all two of the “Nokisoft”-related stories on Techmeme’s main story list, which were clumped together at the bottom of the page:

microsoft-nokia on techmeme

And here are the Apple-related stories, which were positioned at the top. They dominated a huge swath of Techmeme:

apple on techmeme

Now while you have to keep in mind that Apple’s announcements spanned more than just mobile devices — they also covered OS X Mavericks and the fact that it’s free-as-in-beer, the new free-as-in-beer iWork and iLife, as well as the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro — the difference in coverage must hurt. I’m glad that’s not my problem anymore.

Microsoft’s present situation is a big reversal from when I started in the industry back in the mid-’90s. Back then, Apple was doomed and The Empire was unstoppable. Things were such that most startups’ business plans ended with the sentence “…and then we’ll get bought out by Microsoft”. Nowadays, I get the feeling that they’re singing the song performed on this Kids in the Hall sketch in the hallways at Redmond:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Adam Bomb October 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Would be fairer to compare the stories on TechMeme on the 17th when Microsoft had the GA release of Windows 8.1 to the stories on the 23rd when Apple had their new products announced/released.

2 Joey deVilla October 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Adam Bomb: My focus is particularly on mobile — that is, tablets and phones — so Windows 8.1 is a bit off my radar.

However, even if you limit the Apple news only to the iPad-related stuff, Apple wins. There were 9 iPad-related stories vs. Microsoft’s 2 at the time I took the sample, and neither of the Microsoft stories were about the Lumia 2520 — those had already fallen off Techmeme’s front page by 11 p.m..

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