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 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.
"Apple, with its flashy press events and often drawn out releases of new products, narrowly outpaced Google in total coverage," according to the study. "Microsoft, on the other hand, once the feared technology behemoth, fell far behind -- attracting just a fifth of the coverage of Apple and less than half that of Twitter."
The study examined 437 technology-related stories that were given top billing by 52 different news outlets, including 11 newspapers, three cable and three network news channels, 12 Websites and 10 radio shows.
The media also tends to depict Apple in a positive light, as 42 percent of media coverage portraying the firm as "innovative and superior," and an additional 27 percent praising Apple's legions of devoted fans, according to the study.
Google has a growing number of developers that are fired up over Android, but that apparently has yet to have an impact on media coverage. Despite Google's policy of avoiding evil behavior, the company was only depicted as innovative in 20 percent of media coverage, according to the study.
While the study sounds like a nightmare scenario for Microsoft, it likely reflects the fact that Microsoft has been on the periphery of a mobile conversation that's being dominated at the moment by Apple and Google.
With Windows Phone 7, which is slated to be unveiled at an event in New York City next month, Microsoft will get plenty of coverage. The question is, what kind of coverage? Windows Phone 7 is being hailed as a solid revamp of Windows Mobile, but whether it's the kind of game changing release that can save Microsoft's mobile bacon isn't yet clear.