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Slashdot Asks: Which Tech Giant You Can't Live Without? 269

In this week's column of NYTimes, Farhad Manjoo writes about the five largest technology companies in the world: Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google. As he notes, these companies have become the most powerful firms of any kind, essentially inescapable for any consumer or business that wants to participate in the modern world. This brings us to two questions:
1. Of the five aforementioned companies, tell us one whose services you don't need for work and for personal use. (In short, the company that doesn't matter to you.) Here's a poll where you can cast your vote.
2. On the same note, which company's services and products you can't ditch (for work / personal use)?
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Slashdot Asks: Which Tech Giant You Can't Live Without?

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  • None of them. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:24AM (#54392647)

    I can get my PC from intel, my monitor from Samsung, my OS via Linux and internet through some sort of fascist company.

    I don't need those 5 at all.

    • Re:None of them. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by someone1234 ( 830754 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:26AM (#54392667)

      You should add google.* to your banned host list, and see how far you get on the "internet" :D

      • Re:None of them. (Score:5, Informative)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:32AM (#54392757) Homepage Journal
        You know...I lived a good portion of my life before any of these companies existed.

        Ok, I guess I heard of Apple in my teens, but they weren't the behemoth they are now and didn't have that much influence on society.

        But seriously, I grew up in a city, with a family, friends, and normal life....without any of these companies and I can tell you, I never felt back then my life was lacking in any form.


        Well, I do appreciate and use the resources of many of these companies...but I do find that some of them also creep me out with the data mining and surveillance they have on my and everyones' lives.

        I find that FB and other social media, while being helpful in so many ways, is also seeming to increase the divisiveness in society, especially in the US. I know there are underlying problems, but I think FB and other social media are compounding these problems.

        Google has some great stuff, but I very much dislike their data gathering on me, my life and preferences.

        So, I could (and have) lived without any of these companies.....and did just fine.

        I don't use FB, never, no loss there. I could probably get by without Google, but the one thing I'd miss is YouTube.

        I do use Amazon a lot, it's my primary purchase destination, but ever since they started collecting tax a couple months ago on their direct sales to my state, I've been using them less. If they clamp down on the 3rd party sellers on Amazon and make THEM also start collecting tax, I'll likely drop using them as often. Might as well buy local at that point.

        So, I guess my answer to the question is "Meh"....I've lived without them before and life was just fine.

        • Re:None of them. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:52AM (#54392983)

          But you're looking at it through historical context - we've lived without internet, without cellphones, even without cable TV, and managed to actually survive! But if you're looking at it in the context of today, you've likely started relying heavily on one or more of these companies and it would likely be extremely inconvenient, if not impossible to do your job, without one or several of them.

          I'll agree that facebook is the most useless one there, and if facebook disappeared from the face of the planet, the lives of hundreds of millions of users worldwide would actually likely improve.

          I've come to rely on google for a lot of things. Certainly searching the internet is one of them, but gmail, google voice, sharing calendars and documents with my family has been extremely useful. So, on a personal level, losing Google would hurt the most - although I'd manage.

          As far as work goes, we work with proprietary software (and I'm not complaining, as it includes great API access for us programmers); it only runs on Windows. I would love to see a port somewhere else, but that's not likely. We also rely a lot on Microsoft's cloud services and office products to share things (the way I do in my personal life with Google). If MS were suddenly to cease to exist, we'd switch to products on Linux (we've evaluated them, and they just weren't ready for prime-time yet, but we'd learn to live with them if they were the only option).

          I also use Amazon a lot - I have prime, and I've never looked back. I'll take free two day shipping over wasting gas, causing extra pollution, adding to the traffic problem, and spending a couple of hours going to the local big box store and choosing something from a much more limited selection. I don't care about sales tax. I'd be paying that locally anyway. Prime videos and music are a nice added bonus.

          So there's none of these companies I couldn't live without, but I don't think that's really the question. We use the word "need" very loosely these days, and it depends on context. I don't "need" internet service at home... but I do "need" internet service at home if I want to work remotely. But I don't "need" to work remotely, it's just a perk. I don't "need" any of these companies. I "need" them to do some specific things that I don't really "need" to do.

          And slashdot actually has polls, so WTF would someone go offsite to take this survey? Unless, of course, you like being the product. Wondering how many ads are on the linked page.

          • There's several ways to interpret the poll question. Does "giving up" one of the tech giants means that you personally simply refuse to use their products, but everyone else still does? Or does it mean that the tech giant magically disappears from the face of the planet, and everyone relying on them is left in a lurch?

            So, for instance, I'd be happy to give up MS products forever. However I can't easily do it any time soon because my job, and almost any other job I might apply to and be qualified for, use

        • Apple? I like macOS for bread and butter computing, but I won't be destroyed if I wind up using a Dell or Lenovo.
          Microsoft? There isn't much out that will scale as well as AD, so perhaps someone (Novell?) would put out a good LDAP offering that can handle things. Other than that, a good Puppet infrastructure could replace SCCM.
          Amazon? Azure and OpenStack items could replace AWS, and someone could make an API interface to map all AWS calls to the other cloud providers.
          Facebook? Easiest to replace. If t

        • You know...I lived a good portion of my life before any of these companies existed.

          People used to live before the invention of a telephone. Now try getting a job without uploading some PDF document to some website along with your email address, LinkedIn details, and right for people to pry into your life.

          Times change. We did a lot of things in the past we wouldn't be able to do anymore. You may not use google, you may not like google, but if you block google you may find your life needlessly difficult e.g. just today I asked the address of a restaurant and I get as a response a google lin

      • Google routes to null here, along with lots of other Alphabet domains and any I find.

        You think you need googleapis, but you don't.

        Nor do you need any of the rest of them. It's all in your mind.

        But then, you can get away without using sugar, tobacco, booze, petroleum-based fuels, and quite a bit more. Just depends on how industrious you are.

        • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )

          But then, you can get away without using sugar...

          I hope you're only referring to refined sugar...

          • Read The Case Against Sugar by Taubes if you have question. Sugar is addictive as opoids, perhaps more so, and dietary overconsumption leads to horrific results. Read the book.

            • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
              Given the image, that does seem to be refined sugar.
              Also, overconsumption is the key word. I don't think having a diet completely free of sugar, in any form, is good either.
              • There are several genotypes that are more susceptible to sugar and carbohydrates. Until you know which one you're a member of, you're in a grey area. By the time you find out, you're pre-diabetic, have high A1Cs, or may have already stressed your pancreatic beta cells.

                Most individuals living today consume 10x-3000x+ the level of carbohydrates that their GGgrandparents did. '

                Without a doubt, you can live very very well on a diet of protein and fat-- remember that excess protein is converted to carbs, and die

      • Re: None of them. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheOuterLinux ( 4778741 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:49AM (#54392947) and they don't bubble your searches either. There's nothing worse than showing subjective results and advertisements pertaining to your personality. You can turn cookies off, but they get more intimate with your computer than that; it won't help. No wonder assholes keep getting into office. Facebook is guilty of the same exact thing with their news articles. Anyone feel free to humor me; find a conservative and a liberal and tell them to google the same topic at the same time and see what happens. DuckDuckGo keeps things objective and private. It also doesn't need JavaScript to run and they have a .onion version for Tor users. So, no you don't need Google at all. When in doubt and need an alternative, ask a Linux user.
        • by gfxguy ( 98788 )

          Tell me about duckduckgo's email service, and calendaring system, and cloud document services. I'm interested in switching. I could easily live without Google's search service.... I could live without Google at all, but we're really talking about current levels of reliance on any of these companies, and I don't think you get as much "for free" from anyone else (I know it's not free, I know I'm the product, but I'm OK with that trade off to the extent that I use the service).

      • Even if it blocked the entire internet I'd still manage to live. You do realize there was life before the internet right?
      • I already do, it's called No Script with the addition of Disconnect with Google added to blacklist. If the site does not render, I do not go there. Problem solved

      • I would do fine, there are other companies that provide the same thing, and if there wasn't a company would soon come in and fill the gap. The question was not do these companies provide valuable services, they clearly do. The question is could you live without them, and the answer for me for all of them is I could live without them. In fact at worst it would be mildly inconvenient.

        I think for most people if you removed Apple, Google, and Microsoft you would l loose smart phones (or the operating system the

    • I have an Apple computer, but almost everything I use could run on another system (though needing something that runs *NIX dev tools and Microsoft Office would probably leave me using some form of virtualisation). Of the others on the list: Facebook? Don't use them. Google? Don't use them for search, do have an Android phone but most of the Google code is replaced by other things, wouldn't mind if they went away. Microsoft? I use MS Office, but if they went away then that wouldn't be too sad (though n
      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        I've actually started migrating-away from Amazon. They have a local presence and I get charged local sales tax if I buy from them. It makes more sense to buy from other vendors that don't have such a presence if I'm doing catalog purchases, especially if those other vendors also offer free shipping.

    • Re:None of them. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:33AM (#54392777)
      This whole thread will be a fanboy shit-slinging-fest.
    • Same over here. I haven't used Windows since 2004 and never used any Apple product (and use Linux since it existed), I barely use a Facebook account to read an article (yes, article, not stupid "posts") once a year, I use OpenStack and not AWS, and I could well shop somewhere else on Amazon (I already shop on / alibaba). The only thing I use is Google search and maps, but really, I could go with duckduckgo and OSM. I wouldn't miss any of these these big companies if they stopped.
      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        I used back in the day, I used mapquest, I used Yahoo maps.

        I switched to using Google for a search engine when Altavista's results got bad or when it closed, can't remember which at this point. I switched to Google's maps because they were easier to read than Mapquest's or Yahoo's.

        Should a truly better competitor for these kinds of functions come along then I would consider them. I'm not exactly thrilled with Google/Alphabet's direction, they seem to be getting a little big for their

    • I use Linux as well. Matter of fact, I got a nine year old laptop right now running 32-bit PAE kernel 4.11 with up to date software just fine. It's really sad how businesses really on these companies for communication and don't even realize the privacy concerns workers may have. Also, everything is cloud and AI now, which just places even more dependency. If these companies disappeared tomorrow, economies around the world would collapse. There are FOSS alternatives to everything. I also personally don't nee
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:24AM (#54392653)
    • A world where the only viable phone was an android and the only viable system running the defacto standard desktop app (MS Office) would suck. Apple provides a unique and viable competition. I don't think it would be possible today to start a new "apple". Though one has to give MS credit for finally innovating a bit with it's surface series.

      One can't quite say the same about microsoft. If microsoft went away the hegemony of the Office app series would fade, probably for the better of everyone. Though t

      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
        The problem is with the word "need," which we use far too loosely. If we "need" cellphones at all then we are a pretty sad society. Just because something is extremely useful doesn't mean we "need" it. If apple never existed, if google never existed, if we only had the cell phones of 15 years ago, we'd somehow manage. A better question would be "the loss of which one of these companies would be the most disruptive to your life?"
        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          Least disruptive to me: Microsoft. As a Mac user, I haven't used any Microsoft products for any nontrivial amount of time since I took an assembly language programming course before the turn of the century. They could disappear tomorrow, and I wouldn't even notice apart from the uptick in friends asking me to recommend alternative office suites.

          Most disruptive to me in the short term: Google. If Google Analytics suddenly went away, it would literally bring the Internet to its knees with stalled connecti

    • by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:46AM (#54392913)
      None of these companies would exist without IBM. I'm pretty sure all of the major banks and exchanges still run big iron (Mainframes). Try and buy something from Amazon without money/credit. Just because they aren't consumer facing doesn't mean they aren't relevant.
      • by Creepy ( 93888 )

        DEC had some inroads into banking as well, but yeah, IBM AS/400 jobs are still out there because banks are reluctant to move off of their expensive servers they bought in the 1980s. I know a guy making over a million dollars a year maintaining an AS/400 installation and he previously worked on a DEC banking system (both ran COBOL). He lives in Silicon Valley and his cost of living is absurd, too. When he took that job they offered him $800000 a year and 20% down payment on a house to move there and that was

  • Here's a poll where you can caste your vote.

    Anonymous Coward's votes are clearly Dalit.

    • Don't be so critical. It was obviously a typo of only one character. Give 'em a break.

      > Here's a poll where you can caste your vote.

      Should have been:

      Here's a pole where you can caste your vote.
  • Alphabet (Score:5, Informative)

    by McGruber ( 1417641 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:27AM (#54392677)

    I've never owned any Apple products, avoid buying from Amazon, think Facebook is a huge waste of time, and got rid of my last Windows (W2K) computer a few years back.

    But my Android phone is indispensable and I find that duckduckgo's search results aren't as good as google's results.

    • by godrik ( 1287354 )

      Same here. I haven't used MS products except for some basic compatibility with MS users in over 10 years. I don't have a Facebook account and I am very happy not to have one. I have never used apple products nor anyone in my family.
      Amazon and Google are the remaining ones. I probably could do without Amazon, as I mostly use their retail business and not really their cloud business. And retail has dozens of competitors, maybe not quite as good, but up there.

      Google is a harder one to live without. Their searc

  • The Only Answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfh ( 56 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:29AM (#54392715) Homepage Journal

    None. Zero. They could all go bankrupt and it would be business as usual for me after some slight adjustment.

    As soon as the tech giants learn that people couldn't live without them (despite whether it's true or not), that's when they always start creeping into nefarious territory with their policies to push their profits higher.

    I'd also like to add that Facebook was caught performing psychological experiments on their users that included attempting to make users extremely sad [].

    Fuck Facebook. I left them YEARS ago and haven't looked back. Now when I talk to friends I meet up with, we have something to talk about because they have no idea what I've been up to AND I have no idea what they've been doing lately.

    Other than Facebook I'm indifferent to every other large business. I'll buy products that have high quality longevity and are a value to me. The second they tamper with the quality, I lose trust in them and move on to some other product.

    I've exited entire markets of products just because none of the offerings were valuable to me. My wallet thanked me for that.

  • To me, companies like General Mills, Tyson and so on are by far more important than software companies. You got to eat first.

    If we look strictly into tech - CISCO and the likes, they make networking gear keeping Internet running. Followed by chip designers - that will be AMD, Intel, Qualcomm, ARM. Followed by crypto and PKI companies, like OpenSSL Foundation, RSA, and Entrsut. Crypto is really difficult to get right, starting fresh there would be a huge setback. OS is not that important in grand scheme of
  • I put in Alphabet/Google because my company provides a Chrome Extension as a development tool for our product. If Google went away, I'd be fucked.

    The initial voting was interesting with Amazon getting exactly ZERO votes. I'm an Amazon customer but life would go on if they went away and I guess everybody else feels that way.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      The initial voting was interesting with Amazon getting exactly ZERO votes. I'm an Amazon customer but life would go on if they went away and I guess everybody else feels that way.

      I wasn't very surprised, except for Kindle, Echo and a few other unremarkable products they're 99% just an e-tailer and some other company would fill the void. I also like my local grocery store, but it's quite obvious I'd find another even if I wouldn't be that happy with location, selection and prices.

  • American Standard

    https://www.americanstandard-u... []

  • by Brigadier ( 12956 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @11:35AM (#54392807)

    Apple - Don't Need
    not a fan boy, and though I work with CS I'm happy with the MS compatible product

      Amazon - Don't Need, but Really Like
    What can I say as a guy, and a parent (see bulk diapers, toilet paper, detergent), and clueless shopper, they have become an asset. e.g. I bought my son a nice watch for his 16th birthday. I first attempted to go to the down town Los Angeles jewelry district. I had my negotiating cash in hand but realized immediately I had no idea what qualified as a good watch. Amazon to the rescue every offer was counter offered by the Amazon cost on my phone. Ultimately I purchased the watch on Amazon for less $10.

    Facebook - Hate It
    Humanity would be better off without it. I've watched all my associates become attention whoring narcissistic children. between that and eye catching adds funneled through friend likes it's kinda sad.

      Microsoft - Use It
    Being in an engineering/architecture field it's required, the only alternate to Office has been Google Apps (see docs) I actually used this in a professional office until people could no longer deal with the accountants whining about there precious icons. (we went back to office). Yes I've tried the linux office apps think they work great but in my professional life this is a pipe dream

    Alphabet - Need It (this could be google subliminal suggestions)
    What can I say they whore my information but it works and it's cheap (see $100 android phone). I also just discovered the cool features in google photos. lossless uploads and automatic sorting. After 10+ years of Film, DSLR this is sooo convenient.

  • While I do not necessarily use every tech giant out there personally, I feel like if you took one away it could adversely affect how the markets have grown, and we could be living in a very different time.

    One thing I am certain of, if Oracle did not buy Sun Microsystems, we would be better off today. I feel as though anyone else buying Sun would have yielded better for everyone.

  • Without a credit card we are back to paper billing, bank transfers, trading in fucking seashells.


    Not until I can pay my water bill with bitcoins will it be ready for mass consumption. Once Bitcoin reaches the low level of utilities then it'll be ready for primetime.
    • by sinij ( 911942 )

      This is just not true. Without credit card companies we would still have bank exchanges, wire transactions, debit cards and so on. Actually, without CC companies retail economy would grow 3% overnight, or about how much these companies suck up in transaction charges.

      • debit cards are tied to one of the major vendors. You COULD get one from your bank as an ATM card but that's getting harder and harder to do.

        There's no way in hell to manage any form payment system without having one of the big 4 as a vendor and support. Paypal is getting closer.
        • Yea there is, plenty of other countries to it with bank transfers. The problem is international transfers can still be a pain and you have to deal with no instant validation.
          Or we just switch back to writing checks.
          • by sinij ( 911942 )
            In US, credit cards dominate. In the rest of the world - not so much. Actually, credit card companies are the key reason why US lags behind in adoption of CHIP + PIN and TAP to PAY.
    • by Misagon ( 1135 )

      I need a debit card only because the banks in my country are trying to kill cash.
      I was doing fine without it for many years.

      Bank transfers for paying bills: Internet banking works great. Most of them are automated, under my control.
      Bank transfers for buying stuff from people on the Internet: works great as well.

  • I can live very well without any of them especially the (anti-)social media companies.
    Microsoft was the last one I gave up. Boy did I feel good and still do tbh.

  • I'm guessing that if you do have an Android or iOS based smartphone then either Alphabet or Apple will be your indispensable choice accordingly, but if you are an Android user then Apple is probably your most likely first pick for the one you could do without. That was certainly going to be my choice, until I thought about it a bit more. Then I realised that, as an Android user that doesn't care much about Apple, they're mostly harmless since you generally don't need to go near their ecosystem, whereas Facebook will try to track you even if you haven't opted to use their services and they are far more pervasive on third party sites. So, for me, no pain from going without Apple, but a definite upside if Facebook were to just go away.
  • I confess to using Gmail (for convenience) and purchase the occasional item from Amazon but that's it but I don't even interact with the rest. If they all vanished, I would be just fine. Does this mean I'm not participating in the modern world?

  • I do use all of them save for Apple. But the only one I couldn't leave behind is Microsoft: In business they still have a few very entrenched products.e.g: Office. Despite all the alternatives it's what most businesses (big and small) usually end up using. In a business setting few dare editing Office format files with Libreoffice since they might not work on Office.
    At home I depend on Windows to be able to run my videogames. I could certainly buy a Playstation but I have lots of games that only work on Wi
  • by ichthus ( 72442 )
    Why isn't AOL on the list? I'm still rocking my dialup account on AOL, and I think it's all I'll ever ne(SAD&~~~~

    • by sinij ( 911942 )

      Why isn't AOL on the list? I'm still rocking my dialup account on AOL, and I think it's all I'll ever ne(SAD&~~~~


      Dear Sir,

      I hereby notifying you in writing that your post is defacing and infringing on my "no carrier joke on computer" patent. You will be shortly hearing from my la`+#$%NO CARRIER

  • Nothing is irreplaceable. At the moment, several would be inconvenient. I use Amazon for shopping, Google for personal email/shared documents, and Microsoft for my work OS / Office suite. It's not saying that these couldn't be replaced, but would be rather annoying to train everyone at work on Linux and to use something other than Excel, I wouldn't have one centralized space to buy stuff - but that is easily remedied. However, iTunes can burn in hell.
  • I need air, water and food, in that order.

    Next stupid question.

  • The cementary ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by houghi ( 78078 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @12:02PM (#54393071)

    is full of indispensable people.

    The same goes for companies. Life existed before them. Life will exist after them.

    What is even funnier is that all the examples are companies that do things that are pretty bad for the customers. So it is liker asking what finger or toe you would miss the least.

    Apple: Abuse of copyright and trademark
    Amazon : Abuse of workers
    Facebook : invasion of privacy
    Alphabet : Invasion of privacy
    Microsoft : They ain't GNU

    I am sure you can come up with a few more things they do. Yes, what they do is legal. That does not make it moral and are bad for the customer. So why would I favor one above the other if I would love to see them all leave?

  • I don't like Microsoft, but as long as I'm employed, I doubt I could escape them.

    I could use Android, but I prefer Apple.

    I'd really be hard-pressed to get rid of gmail, and I have a lot on Google Docs.

    I can't think of any good alternative to Kindle and Amazon rules online shopping.

    Facebook can FOAD. I have little use for it.

    • by Creepy ( 93888 )

      Also my answer. Work supports Android (Alphabet/Google) and iOS (Apple) mobile apps and we have both Azure and AWS cloud backends (Microsoft and Amazon, respectively). That means Facebook is the odd man out. We use Facebook, but losing it wouldn't kill any products or services we offer. The same information is on Twitter and other sources.

  • Microsoft: Not only do they make the OS's that we use, but they also make the business software that we use (retail point of sale). We're satisfied with all of them. If Microsoft suddenly went away, we'd have to choose from some not-as-good alternatives, and would hurt our business.
  • Can't live without:
    Apple: main computer for daily use (personal and work). Safari, Mail, Pages, etc.
    Alphabet: GMail (email used for various websites, great spam filters). YouTube. Chrome for websites that choke on Safari.
    Netflix: my only entertainment source (limited selection compared to the USA but still worth the price).
    Microsoft: only used for gaming. I don't use Office or anything else from Microsoft. It's just the OS that happens to be required for most games.

    None at all:
    Facebook: No account, I don't

  • I write code using an oracle-owned language, which I deploy on an Amazon-owned infrastructure, which interacts with Microsoft desktop machines (90% of my userbase). I use libraries developed by Google (less and less nowadays, but still I use guava sometimes) I certainly use google to find answers to problems.

    That is how I make 100% of my income. I mean, before Google and Amazon and java, I still made 100% of my income in software, so presumably I would continue to do so even if these megacorporations c
  • Alphabet/Google - Yeah, it's hard to not use Google
    Facebook - so far I haven't had a need to set up an account and don't feel like I have been negatively impacted
    Microsoft - I haven't used Windows in more than a decade, but I'm sure I interact with MS products via ATMs and things like that.
    Apple - as a consumer this one is pretty easy to avoid (see Android under Alphabet/Google)
    Amazon - I know a few people who still distrust shopping online and don't use Amazon. So it is possible, but it's so convenient!


  • The article says which one "can't you live without" and the poll says "which one CAN you live without" (paraphrasing).

    So, I predict other people will fuck up their answers like I did and pick the one they wanted to keep and not discard first.

  • Google
  • I'd miss Google Search and maybe Gmail but I could live without Alphabet AKA "Google's EU antitrust shield". Amazon is convenient but there are plenty of other places to buy things online. My life would be markedly improved if Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft went away.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @12:45PM (#54393467) Homepage Journal

    I could do very well without any or all of the above companies.

    None of them offer any services I'd particularly miss.

  • I lived perfectly fine before using their products, I could live perfectly fine without them again.

    But which ones would I be severely annoyed at losing? Spotify is probably the most important one, Youtube comes second.

  • I'm torn between Digital Equipment Corporation and Sun Microsystems.
  • I do a lot of Windows programming, so if Microsoft went away I'd take a short-term hit. But only short term -- I'd just switch to whatever took its place.

    The rest of them are entirely optional.

  • The problem with avoiding Google is that their search engine really is the best. I mostly try to use other ones that respect privacy, but if they aren't giving me the information I want I'll switch over to Google, because it really does work best.

    I don't own a Windows computer, but I sometimes have to use Windows at work. That's true for a lot of people.

    Amazon is easy to avoid. Anything they sell, you can also get from lots of other online stores.

    Apple is easy to avoid, as long as you aren't also avoidin

  • Of these 5, Amazon and Apple are now optional for businesses. Maybe Facebook too if you sell B2B.

    Anything Amazon sells in its web services is now also available from Google. Anything Amazon sells is available elsewhere for similar cost.

    Apple is only needed if you absolutely want to publish your own i-app. If you just do business through a website, though, they're a luxury.

    You still need Google for marketing your offerings, and you still need Facebook if you market to consumers (although other social med
  • by Tony Isaac ( 1301187 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2017 @01:13PM (#54393713) Homepage

    - Apple - don't use it at all
    - Amazon - I use it, but don't depend on it
    - Facebook - only check once in a while when I get a notification that one of my family members posted something. If Facebook disappeared, there are other services that work just as well.
    - Microsoft - I use Windows a lot, but these days, there are alternatives that work about as well. Who really cares about the OS, when all you do is browse the Web and check your email!
    - Google - Nobody can duplicate what Google does with Search. Not even close. I remember life before It was a lot harder to find out things I wanted to know. Google is almost magic. Bing and Yahoo don't even come close. MapQuest and Garmin don't come close to Google Maps and Navigation. Without Google, I'd be lost, figuratively and sometimes literally! There is no adequate replacement for what Google does.

  • I don't use Facebook or any MS product *now*, so that much is very easy.

    Apple... I do have a Macbook, which I like, but I could replace it with a high-quality laptop with a good Linux distro without any qualms. I don't use any software which doesn't run on Linux.

    Amazon would be tough. I buy tons of stuff from Amazon, including monthly subscribe & save items, etc. But i could do without it.

    Google, heh. I use Android devices (phone, tablet, watch), and Chromebooks, and Chromecasts, and Nexus Players

  • Facebook: Facebook not existing would actually make my life better because then I wouldn't have to hear condescending "Oh, you're not on Facebook" comments from... everyone ever.

    Apple: I don't use any of their products. (Though I like that they provide a check on the Microsoft and Google platforms.)

    Amazon: I'll answer this as soon as I'm done buying something on Amazon.

    Microsoft: Professionally, no getting around this. At home, the number of things keeping me on the Windows platform is vanishingly small. (B

  • The question presupposes that Big IT is desirable. The real questions are: Have I benefited from the lack of competition and choice? Is the slowness of innovation created by Big IT in my best interest? Have powerful corporations EVER served and protected me and mine?

    I don't believe that Big IT serves my needs or interests. It cripples my abilities. It limits my choices. It creates powerful political pressures that wish to enslave me.

    I don't need or want Big IT or any other powerful corporation. I would

  • I'll rank these companies by descending utility to me personally:


    Certainly, for most of my life I didn't have any of these services available to me. But those were the days when the news sites I used the most had to be printed out on big sheets of cheap paper and delivered house to house by small boys. When I shopped for anything, I had to drive around to different stores looking for the item and comparing prices. To look something up, I had to drive to a public building ca

  • I don't use Apple, Facebook or Alphabet.
  • Monsanto :(

  • Professionally, part of my job involves using Android, iOS, AWS and Windows. So, professionally I would be okay with FaceBook going away. Actually, I'd be fine having to support fewer platforms. As long as they give me time to migrate away, I don't really care which of them remain.

Civilization, as we know it, will end sometime this evening. See SYSNOTE tomorrow for more information.