Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th May 2017 21:13 UTC
In the News

Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are not just the largest technology companies in the world. As I've argued repeatedly in my column, they are also becoming the most powerful companies of any kind, essentially inescapable for any consumer or business that wants to participate in the modern world. But which of the Frightful Five is most unavoidable? I ponder the question in my column this week.

But what about you? If an evil monarch forced you to choose, in what order would you give up these inescapable giants of tech?

Such a simple list for me: Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft. I don't use Apple products, and Amazon isn't a thing in The Netherlands so I don't use any of its products either. I do use Facebook to keep in touch with some people abroad, but that could easily be replaced by other tools. Dumping Google would mean replacing my Android phone with something else, which isn't a big deal, and while losing Google Search and Gmail would be a far bigger problem, those, too, can be overcome. YouTube is a very big deal to me - I use it every day - so I would have to learn to do without.

Surprising to some, perhaps, Microsoft would be hardest for me to ditch, because Microsoft Office is quite important to how I earn my living. OpenOffice or LibreOffice or whatever it's called is fine if the people around you also use it, but since my entire industry is 100% Office, I can't make such a switch. Windows, too, is important to me, because it's the desktop operating system I hate the least, and quite important to me gaming-wise.

This is definitely an interesting exercise!

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In order I guess
by AaronMiller on Sat 13th May 2017 02:17 UTC
AaronMiller
Member since:
2011-05-23

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple.

Facebook first. I actively avoid it. Had an account, which was a mistake. Closed the account and never looked back.

Google second. Although I have an Android device and use gmail and their search engine, it's not like alternative services aren't reasonably good enough. iOS would be a fine replacement for Android, though I'd miss certain features. I only occasionally use Chrome and can live completely without it.

Microsoft third. The only game I really play on Windows is osu, but that vaguely sorta kinda works barely on other operating systems, so I guess that's fine. Outside of that I'd miss Visual Studio (and no VSCode is nothing like it, though I do use that extensively too).

Amazon fourth. I make extensive use of Prime and do all sorts of shopping on there. Lots of difficult to find stuff here and a bit more reliable (and enjoyable) than, e.g., ebay. I don't use any of their consumer tech stuff though. Alexa? Fire? Echo? I just really don't care about any of that stuff.

Apple last. Of all the operating systems I use, macOS is the one I take the least issue with. That doesn't mean that I think it's superior in any way to GNU/Linux, Windows, etc. I just mean that I personally prefer using it. Some of the stances the company has taken I've agreed with more than some of the other tech giants as well.

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