Liberation from the "Frightful Five"

There’s an interesting NY Times article on our dependency on "Tech’s Frightful Five", which includes a little interactive assessment of whether you could liberate yourself, and if so in which order. I thought it would be interesting to document my own assessment.

  1. FaceBook. No great loss. I’ve only started recently and I’m not a terribly social animal. I also have my own website and LinkedIn. Gone.
  2. Apple. Momentary wrench. My only connection to Apple is my MacBook Pro laptop, which is a great bit of kit. However it runs Windows and I’m sure Dell or Sony could sell me a reasonable replacement, although I would really miss the large 16×10 Retina screen.
  3. Alphabet/Google. Harder work, but straightforward. There are alternatives to Chrome as a browser, Google as a search engine, even Android as a phone/tablet operating system. It helps that Google has a bit of a track record of providing something you get to like, and then without warning disabling or crippling that rendering it of reduced or no value (think Android KitKat, Google Currents, I could go on). There’s a bit of work here, but it could be done.

And then I’m stuck. Like Farhad Manjoo Amazon has worked its way into a prime (or should that be "Prime") position in not only our shopping but also our viewing and reading habits. Yes, there are options, but the pain of transition would be substantial, and the loss of content (almost 400 Kindle books, Top Gear, Ripper Street and the Man in the High Castle among others) expensive. Amazon probably gets 4th place, but don’t ask me to do it! Steps 1-3 would leave me with an even heavier dependency than today on Windows and other Microsoft products and subsidiaries for all my day to day technical actions, and unless we’re going back to the Dark Ages I don’t see good alternatives, so Microsoft gets 5th by default, but it’s not really on the list. Well played, Bill.

Who are you most dependent on?

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