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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Trying to drop all of them
by Wondercool on Sat 13th May 2017 08:46 UTC
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I could drop all of them and have dropped most of them over the years except Amazon.

Facebook, I don't use it.

I do own a 2nd hand Mac Mini G4 but haven't used it as the replacement power supply is 40 euro even on Aliexpress because of Apples customer friendly design. So really I don't use Apple.

Google is and was the hardest by far. I moved my Gmail account to Fastmail, after a tip here. (Luckily I always had my reply-to to my own domain, no big issues with moving). Fastmail is *better* than Gmail in every respect, it was a pleasant migration. For Maps I use Bing or Here maps on mobile. I bought 3 laptops with ChromeOS over time and immediately put Linux on them, The hardest is your Android phone. I buy China phones and install LineageOS on them but there are a couple of (banking) apps I couldn't miss. That's why I do install Google Apps (minimal), download the apps and disable Google services on my phone (20 percent better battery life, i am not kidding!!). None of my apps have ads in them, I won't buy them if they display ads.

All Facebook domains are blacklisted in my browser and most Google ones (and Twitter and LinkedIn).

I haven't used Microsoft at home much but still have it. My wife uses it and I do occasionally boot into it for Steam games. But even there most of my games run on Linux and I actively try to buy only games that run on Linux. It is getting harder to buy A games for Linux compared to 3 years ago for some reason. I deleted my LinkedIn account when Microsoft bought it but I would have done that anyway. I really liked their phone os but they started spying there too (like Windows 10).

About 10-20 items a year are ordered via Amazon, but my wife has a book subscription. I can easily order elsewhere though.

For me it is more a "what company would you like to drop most?" question and it would be in this order:
Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Amazon.

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