What topics are the big three software giants focused on? Their press releases show what areas of their business they want the media to cover, so I thought analyzing them in bulk might reveal some of their priorities.

I started off by downloading every press release that Apple, Google and Microsoft have released in 2011, and then built word frequency clouds based on the text. My data-mining didn't uncover any secret messages hidden in the releases, but the visualizations do give a flavor of what's on their minds.


My old employer Apple has a characteristically minimalist set of press releases, with just a handful since the start of the year. With the recent big news of the release of a Verizon iPhone, it's no surprise to see mobile terms high on the chart, but the Mac brand is still at the center of Apple's public story.

What I wasn't expecting was the emphasis on the new desktop App Store, with multiple stories pushing the service, so it's obviously a big priority for the company. It's also interesting to see "customers" show up prominently, reflecting the company's consumer focus.



Google doesn't do press releases, so I analyzed its official blog instead. There's a lot more material than Apple, over 360,000 words just since Jan. 1! Search is the most popular word, but it's clear that YouTube is a bigger part of its public face than I'd expected, with video making a strong appearance, too. Mobile and Android aren't as strong as I'd have expected, with Chrome only making a middling showing as well. I wonder if it says something about the company culture that "data" shows up more often than "information"?



What's clear from Microsoft's cloud is that it's now undeniably an enterprise company, as its Dynamics CRM product is mentioned more often than Windows, and "business" beats out "customers."

I wasn't expecting to see how much of an emphasis it's putting on the healthcare industry, too, with multiple announcements of deals and technologies for both insurers and providers. "Information" beats out "data" for Microsoft, and "technology" and "experience" are prominent, which seems to fit with the company's culture. There's very little coverage of Web technology, with Bing and Azure only receiving a handful of mentions each. Mobile does a bit better, but it's clear management's mind is focused on the money-making opportunities of selling to large organizations, not fighting it out in the consumer trenches.