Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft

from Medium Backchannel

When I became a technology columnist in the mid-1990s, the public Internet was just beginning its first big surge. Back then, I advised my readers to avoid the semi-political, even religious battles that advocates of this or that technology platform seemed to enjoy. Appreciate technology, I urged, for what it is?—?a tool?—?and use what works best.

So why am I typing this on a laptop running GNU/Linux, the free software operating system, not an Apple or Windows machine? And why are my phones and tablets running a privacy-enhanced offshoot of Android called Cyanogenmod, not Apple’s iOS or standard Android?

Because, first of all, I can get my work done fine. I can play games. I can surf endlessly. The platform alternatives have reached a stage where they’re capable of handling just about everything I need.

More important, I’ve moved to these alternative platforms because I’ve changed my mind about the politics of technology. I now believe it’s essential to embed my instincts and values, to a greater and greater extent, in the technology I use.

Control is moving back to the center, where powerful companies and governments are creating choke points. They are using those choke points to destroy our privacy, limit our freedom of expression, and lock down culture and commerce. Too often, we give them our permission—trading liberty for convenience—but a lot of this is being done without our knowledge, much less permission.

More here.

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40 Responses to Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft

  1. Andrew Aguilera February 26, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    In “Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft” Dan Gillmor addresses the negative privacy aspects of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Gillmor explains how he came to no longer using their products and softwares. His main reason is that he does not trust the companies. He thinks that they distribute private data to random parties and we do not recognize it. However, it is a fact that some collected data on our computers are sold to certain entities in order to make advertisements pertain to our particular interests. Gillmor explains how he uses a laptop running GNU/Linux, and Cyanogenmod on his phones and tablets.

    Although I do agree with how it is crazy how I see internet advertisements that relate to things I like, I do think that Gillmor is being a little too dramatic. After all, he did say at the end that he still does use some of the applications made by the three companies. Moreover, it is no secret that the best applications and functions are on products and softwares made by these three humongous companies. By simply boycotting the three companies, one is missing out on the best services available. Privacy is definitely important and I definitely understand everyone’s worry about their privacy on the internet. I personally have not been a victim of any unfortunate incident regarding my private information through the internet so I do not see the “extremely negative” aspects of my privacy on the internet. In the end, I did like this article because it had me thinking about my internet privacy. And although I think Gillmor is making a stretch, he presents a valid position on a very lively topic of our generation.

  2. Joseph February 26, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

    I thought that this article was extremely interesting and had a lot of good things to say to the general public. This article speaks about how the big technology corporations such as google, yahoo, Microsoft, Apple and Android to name a few are over taking almost all of the competition and in a sense taking control of the technological world. The article speaks about going against the grain and helping smaller companies that may be less known. The main message that the article wants to get across to the reader is that we should use technology that is based off of community values and not corporate ones.

    From a personal standpoint I thought that it was very interesting when the author said that he does not and even refuses to use the brand technology names that are overtaking the rest of the competition. The authors phone does not run on apple or android but GNU/ Linux and his computer operates on cyanogenmod. Despite the fact that these operating systems may not be the brand names, the author proclaims that they run just as well. He is able to play games, surf the internet and complete any task imaginable just as he would be able to on a apple or android, mac device. The message that I got out of this is that you do not need the name brands to be successful. The smaller companies that are fight to stay relevant are just as good.

    This article makes me reevaluate the way in which I look at products and not just technological devices. I think that it is time that people give the smaller name brands a hand and try them some more. Apple, android and all of the other devices are essentially run by two companies which have access to so much of our big data. By opening ourselves up to new companies not only are we fighting the big data problem but we are also raking a stand and giving the communities a chance and not just the corporations.

  3. Dylan Walko February 27, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    In today’s tech world we are stuck in a culture that restricts the market on what we are allowed to choose from. Even though society may believe it has a variety of choice customers are generically stuck between two operating systems for each device. Laptops: Windows and Mac. Phone: iPhone and Android. Each has had its period of technological innovation and revolution but all have fallen flat when it comes to keeping the customer first. All have given into lower grade operating systems. As well as establishing sub-par privacy settings that assist with minimal aspects.
    Yet there is still hope for a new generation of operating systems that can give power back to the customer with worthwhile applications that replicate the big names, without the big hassle that comes along with them. Products such as Linux (the computer operating system) have had success with ThinkPad products that even have the system already preloaded in some cases. They are not nearly as flashy and to an extent they still lack the sophistication of Apple and Windows, but the user looking liberation should look no further at this point in time. Also, the operating system Cyanogen that can be downloaded onto older Google devices offers a much stronger default and encryption for the privacy.
    The greatest insecurity when looking towards the future is when these off beat companies will want to expand to the fame of Apple and Microsoft, as seen in prior situations CEO’s have no issue abandoning good moral ethics that look out for the consumer if it ends in a larger salary. So in the end its either deal with censorship in certain ways or try to liberate to a minor league system that may in fact turn into a Grade A product in the near future.

  4. Guillermo Garcia February 27, 2015 at 10:39 am #

    I found this article interesting, its true that more and more we are hearing about facebook, google, etc. tracking users searches for “marketing” purposes or whatever the reason maybe. I never realized that there was such a movement trying to run parallel to Apple, and Android or Mac and Windows, trying to be more private and less dependent on these “Giants”.
    Truth is I always thought it was just one or the other and that everyone pretty much had just picked a side. I never realized that there was enough of a crowd that actively was trying to go against the bigger corporations that Apple & Windows have become…
    I personally have never thought of using other programs because I personally am not really into technology and barely use it. I might listen to music all day, but other than I barely text or use any other features on my phone, I’m not big on gadgets, I text, call, might use twitter every now and then, but to be honest I do not personally use electronics and gadgets enough to look into all these other side companies trying to make a rise, and do things different than the major companies…
    Ill keep an eye on them though in the future, there obviously seems to be a growing market in that area.

  5. Jeremy Galvis February 27, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    When I read “Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft,” I thought the author was coming off as a bit pompous. He writes about his experiences with various operating systems throughout his career as a technology columnist. The author went on about bashing how Microsoft “outsmarted and/or outsleazed” other companies into market dominance of the 90s as well as mentioning that Apple has a “control freak” nature despite having one of the best products of the market. He loved the underdog story of Apple, but when the company dominated the technology landscape and was overwhelmingly popular he decided to change his tune and stated his dislike of some of the features that made Apple unique to begin with. There was also the “hipster-esque” remarks he made when he mentioned how he worked with Apple products before it was popular, and again with his Linux. I’m not a fan of opinionated reporting, and this piece just reeked of a self aggrandizing author.

    In regards to the author’s view on privacy, what he is referring to is how there is software that tracks your internet traffic and sells that information to advertisers. I personally think that this is a great idea. Nobody likes the annoying ads on the internet, but at least there is an attempt to make them relevant to you, so if you have to sit through a 15 second ad before you can watch a video, then it should at the very least be something of relevance. According to internetlivestats.com, there are over 279 million internet users in the U.S. alone. Does the author honestly believe that a person will actually see any of his search history? There is too much data on everyone for this to be a legitimate concern. This is self importance mentality is what slows down progress for the rest of humanity.

  6. Nelson Valerio February 27, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    In this article the author Dan Gillmor is addressing the issue of privacy within our own computers and how the Linux is the new software to go with instead of what Microsoft and Apple offers us. Our world of technology has gotten to the point where many people would give up their privacy for more convenience while searching the web. People in todays society don’t have much patience, so most of the time they only care about finding what they want in a quicker amount of time. It has come to the point where privacy is almost nonexistent especially with all of the terrible things that happen in our world. These tragic events need to be prevented, and if it means giving up some of our privacy then that is a risk many people are willing to take.

    In regards to the computer debate between Microsoft and Apple, these are two of the biggest companies that dominate the computer market. In some cases it doesn’t really matter what kind of privacy you have as long as the product you are buying satisfies your needs. Although these two companies technically aren’t a monopoly, as a consumer looking to purchase a computer, these are usually the two companies you would choose from. So even though Gillmor wants us to stray away from Microsoft, Google and Apple, I cannot see that happening in our near future.

  7. Shelby Brown February 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Everyone knows or has heard of Google, Microsoft and Apple but I do not believe that any of us really know about how these companies came about or what liberties they are taking with the control they now have. The person who wrote this article understands all of this and so much more. This author has been around long enough to witness the beginnings of Microsoft and to openly call them out on the horrible tactics that they used to get them to the top. He now refuses to use their technology and does everything he can to avoid it.

    This author understands the importance of paying attention to the ethics of a company and believes that we should not help aid companies that are going about their business unethically. He also realizes that many companies, such as Android, give no regards to a users privacy. He uses varied versions of all of this software to get any of his work done and only resorts back to these companies if he has no option.

    This author believes that consumers giving up this technology anytime soon is quite a lofty dream. He believes that more people will learn about it at some point and then have to make their decision, as to whether or not they will keep using these products. It will only be possible to change this trend if everyone realizes the ethical and privacy issues that these companies cause. Once this happens, maybe a majority of people will change the way they use technology, but I do not think that they will. Many Americans are lazy people and we want things done quickly and with the best technology, no matter the ethics or breach of privacy.

  8. Gustavo Gonzalez February 27, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    The article above poses interesting rationales as to why someone would refuse to use services offered by companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The author starts by introducing themselves and their relevance to technology and the tech industry. “Appreciate technology, I urged, for what it is?—?a tool?—?and use what works best” – says the author about technology and how we as consumers should be using what is available to us. There are some aspects of the authors’ theories I do not agree with and there are some in which I find admirable and even patriotic.

    First off the author is opposed of using big name company products and services because they feel that these mega corporations are impeding the rise of smaller new companies offering similar products. This is true because of the well-known case surrounding Microsoft. They were being prosecuted in the U.S. and in Europe for antitrust laws. Along with the hindering of competition these companies do the author also states how they mentions how some of these companies how sleazy yet brilliant yet ugly business tactics. The fact that Microsoft underwent such trial, the authors mentions, allowed for a truly innovative company to emerge. The company was Google. Now we all can agree that the emergence of Google and its application to everyday life, work life and student life has positively impacted all of us.

    Now, on the other hand I do not agree with the author when they sight these corporations as having a part with the government in restricting our first amendment rights. The author states that these companies and our government are use choke points on us -“They are using those choke points to destroy our privacy, limit our freedom of expression, and lock down culture and commerce. Too often, we give them our permission—trading liberty for convenience—but a lot of this is being done without our knowledge, much less permission.” As interesting as this notion may be I cannot bring myself to agree with it. Haven’t we seen, with the help of the products and services these corporations provide, the expansion and facilitating of freedom of speech through articles such as these that can be found through google. Furthermore we haven’t seen a more controlling government in my opinion but a more understanding government due to the fact that the number of well-educated constituents have been steadily increasing, with the help of these corporations. Lastly they are the sources of an abundance of jobs and they have created platforms for which emerging companies can follow.

  9. Kevin Dorward February 27, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    In this article, the author expresses his thoughts on the products and software of big name companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. He thinks of these companies negatively because of their lack of privacy settings that would allow for him to feel safer when using the software and products. He advocates for the use of free software operating systems for the benefits of better privacy settings. Also in this article he explains the many changes in software in which he switched to and from as well as explained how big companies are using the data collected from its user for profit.

    In my opinion, the author of this article has a great point that our privacy is being invaded by these companies and we are better off switching. However, switching to these free software operating systems can be a hassle plus they might not be as easy to navigate through. This is a major concern for the future because Google, Apple and Microsoft will continue to dominate while invading privacy. The author does insist that change is being made as he has seen Dell start to run Linux for certain Laptops which allows the customers to skip the hassle of getting it on their own.

    All of this does not escape the fact that we are giving away our rights to when we are using these operating systems run by companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple. We are allowing them to use our personal information for their benefit mostly because they are the easiest to use and are supported by many devices. With the way things look today this issue of privacy will only get more heated as technology pushes forth.

  10. Catherine Gbogi February 27, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    This article talks about Dan Gilmor’s quest to ultimately find internet freedom. He has been around since the internet first started and has paid great attention to all of the changed that have been made and it’s safe to say he doesn’t quite like all of the changes. As different operating systems have gained more momentum and the internet has become immensely profitable to our economy and perhaps invaluable in our world today it has started to become corrupt.

    Gilmor addresses how companies like Microsoft and Windows basically gained the power and leverage to do what it wants with it’s user’s data and information. He sees how the search for power in this mildly competitive market of operating systems has led companies to take away the freedom from their users.

    Gilmore has been finding ways to move away from it and find more user friendly things like Firefox instead of Google Chrome, Linux operating system instead of Apple or Windows, etc.

    I agree with Gilmore that we have sacrificed our internet freedom for convenience. I am an example of that. For example, Facebook has changed its privacy settings a billion and one times. Even though a lot of it makes me angry like the fact that if we post anything on our Facebook, it is now there property to use. I still use it anyway because it’s the easiest way to keep in touch with everyone I know and might have talked to that one time. However, it doesn’t mean that I approve of or am okay with the amount of power that they assert over their users and this is just one of them.

    Gilmore also mentions that he is afraid that the operating system he is using now, once more revenue and popularity is gained, will follow the patterns of it’s predecessors and start slowly taking away freedom from its users. That is a reasonable worry. Recently, the website Tumblr has been bought by Yahoo. Before this, Tumblr was ultimately run by the users. The CEO, David Karp, is an extremely user friendly CEO. He paid immense attention to it’s users and didn’t and still makes sure that its users maintains the bulk of the control. Once Yahoo bought it, users were afraid that the Tumblr atmosphere would change. So far, it hasn’t changed too much because David Karp is still watching over it but as time goes on, what happened with Apple could also happen with this as the pattern continues.

  11. Marlon Gonzalez-Perez February 27, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    Dan Gilmor advised his readers to use the tools of the internet as a utility for forum, thought, and advancement. There was a genuine belief that with using the internet would lead to the innate understanding of it with caution and entitlement. The organic belief that one would be accountable for content in their name. The case was not to be, the internet created a gateway of opportunity alongside the resources to create disparities and platforms for hate and terrorism. It is not that fault of the tool but those whom wield it.

    It is also imperative to note the big companies which run the majority of platforms and software being used today. The average consumer does not associate the value of privacy with the purchase of an apple or Microsoft product, that used to be a simple assumption. But, now it is quite clear that the profitability of data mining and the basic invasion of privacy through cookies are more important than the fundamental concept behind privacy. Dan does not use apple or Microsoft, not in an effort to damn the two giants, but to take back that sense of privacy once assumed. This article stresses the opportunity of third party platforms which offer many of the same portals and resources as apple and Microsoft without the dangers of cookies or data mining looming as an inevitability.

  12. Michelle Suarez February 27, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Saying goodbye to Apple, Google, and Microsoft sounds insane especially with the way technology is advancing daily. This article brings up many interesting facts and the one that mostly sticks out is the fact that powerful companies and governments are creating choke points that most of us don’t even realize, because we either don’t read what we are agreeing to or we simply aren’t paying close attention. “Too often, we give them our permissions trading liberty for convenience but a lot of this is being done without our knowledge, much less permission” which is annoying and scary to hear about. We tend to think that we are in control when it comes to our personal information, but little do we know if the government were doing an investigation for whatever reason on anyone they can get into all personal information without you ever knowing. Companies make a lot money while selling your name and email address to those that need to make money off their advertisements.

    He is trying to get as many people as he can to follow his lead and allow us all to stand together when it comes to our rights. We might of heard of situations like this before but never really paid any attention to it. He talks about changing his ways in order to abide distance from corporate and government control which makes perfect sense but seems so hard. He now uses Ubuntu support and many computers now come with preloaded Linux and he uses LibreOffice which is great for sharing documents with others.

    While he tries to educate us all about the world and the hidden secrets about Apple, Microsoft, and Google we all most likely wouldn’t be able to or know how to work without these products.

  13. Andrés Linares February 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

    This article is very interesting. When talking about technology is very accurate in the points it talks about. Making reference of how the big technological companies as Microsoft or Apple, Samsung or Yahoo, and all the others are taking the technological world, the actual world is accurate. Here they are inviting us to step back from it, step back from the big “names” and look a little into the smaller ones the ones that probably have not make a name still but they have quality and good quality.Community is not the same that a corporation, and we are making the mistake in what sense we are looking forward to technology.

    Who said that macintosh is better than Windows? or that iOs works better than android? No one. Maybe computer scientist will know about this field properly to talk about it but not us, the majority, us the majority just go to what looks nice, and to here the advertisement, here the money, because money is what makes this company sound all over us. Linux is an amazing operative system that can be run in a phone in a computer in a tablet, and that is what the author said here, and shows that he is not doing things as everybody else is doing he is doing everything in his own way, and that has not stopped him from not doing things that others can, he navigates exactly as we do, he texts exactly as we do, and he plays games exactly as most of us do. Wait one second, there is one thing he is doing different, being different, not going with the mass, and spending a lot less more than everybody else, that just wants to be as everybody else that follows a stereotype.

    This article is very interesting and does makes me think if the tools I am using are the correct ones that I should be using? Are this tool the better for my field? How do I know if they are the better? maybe I have to reevaluate the choices that I am making in technology because I might be wrong and just spending way more money for nothing, I could also be doing the right choice and maybe because of that is that this companies have made a name for their own, because in one moment in their history they were also small, and they made it to be big.

  14. Hongzhi Feng February 27, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

    According to this case, the author suggested his reader to avoid semi-political and religious battles during the Internet generation, because public internet is just a tool, what should people do is just use its best. The major reason of the author use this application is he can use it to do his job better and he can also play games. What’s more, government always use their power to control public’s privacy. What he wanna do is to enhance the use of tool to expand the community values. In order to make sure that’s fair, people should defend someone who want to control the market. When the Clinton administration aware of they should give the freedom to these internet company, some website such as goole have opportunities to emerge.

    But many years later, the author pointed out he prefer use windows rather than use mac system. The major reasons of he made that decision are:the expanding power of Apple and a new generation of tech giants, a reassertion of his own social-justice geekery and solid alternatives. He need every software is available for Linux because he didn’t wanna under control of computer, even if mac system is better than Linux. All he did is because he don’t wanna rely on the center power, he just wanna do by himself.

    In my personal opinion, it’s dangerous to rely on compute. Many people have ever saw the movie called “I, robot”, when people rely on computer, internet has never been to a tool to people, they will try to control human being. So people shouldn’t just focus on comfortable, they should use internet as a tool and try to against the control of government and protect their privacy.

  15. Deniz Yalcin February 27, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    It has become a bloody war between tech companies in the past 8 years ever since the iPhone came out. The politics, spoken about in this article, are true. For instance, some people are die hard Apple fans who truly do not believe in any other hardware or software. Same goes for Android users, who believe the open source platorm that is provided by Google is the best choice. And then we have some Microsoft lovers, who do not want to get caught between the war of Apple and Android.

    The problem some Consumers have with Apple is that they do not allow the user to customize their experience. There are no options on iOS to provide different user accounts and other customizable features within the user interface.

    The problem some consumers have with Android is that there are too many versions. Each company, like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola each use a different skin within the android operating system. This provides inconsistency within the brand and also many older devices can’t upgrade to a new version of android, or at least months after it was released.

    Therefore, some, but very little, choose to go to Microsoft, where they have a completely different user interface and feel to their software. Their software, to the majority is considered the worst out of both Apple and Microsoft. However their voice helper, cortana is the most advanced out of all companies.

    Though, based on this article, it is best to stay away from the major market and join the less talked about software. Linux has been around for a while and is meant for the consumer who likes to be in charge of their software and cyanogen is the cleanest version of android that doesn’t look like android. Overall, it is the best alternative to avoid all the politics that the big companies share within each other.

  16. Robert Morrison February 27, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

    Saying goodbye to Apple, Windows, and Google would be a challenge most people would not be up too if they were presented with it. These giants have worked to dominate the technology market, and stand to cement themselves as the three permanent pillars of the technology industry. For some, this is a step up and people look forward to the continued evolution of the devices and software created by each of these companies for many years to come. Others, including technology columnist Dan Gilmor see this as a sign to discontinue supporting these companies in fear of them inflating to too big and abusing the powers that come with holding a large stake in a very exclusive market.

    To replace the big three, Dan Gilmor turned to third party and free operating systems, for both PC and mobile computing. He currently uses the Linux operating system for his personal computing, and is the choice he made after he became with the control-freakish nature of Apple in recent years. He also sought to distance himself from the Google driven Android operating system, and began using Cyanogenmod as the mobile operating system on an older Google driven mobile device.

    Gilmors choice to switch from big box companies to third party and often free to use operating systems is not necessarily a downgrade, though. As more and more people begin to desire the customability and greater user customizable interface of these systems, the developers of software are given greater incentive to develop better and more stable versions of these software. Also, computer manufacturers, such as Dell have began to offer Linux per-installed on computers saving their customers time in the process of installing the system to their new computer. Also, software designers have began to make more of the popular software available to the third party operating systems, and the gap between the capabilities of mainstream operating systems and third party systems has began to close. If this continues, the computer market is destined to be less controlled by big companies and open to more competition.

  17. Christopher Fowlkes February 27, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    It has become increasingly apparent that major companies are bending the rules little by little for their own benefit. As the article points out, we are the ones who allow them to do so. I have an iPhone because of the convenience it provides. Same goes for computers, I have a Windows operating system because of all the features. Convenience is a very powerful influence because in modern society we try to have everything as simple and quick as possible. We decided to collectively fall in companies hands.

    There have been several occurrences where one company has pure dominance over something, like Microsoft and word documents. People decided to go along with Word since everyone had it, which provided convenience for sharing documents. Taking the initiative to try and use non-mainstream software and devices takes away some of the power large companies have. The companies might of had good intentions at one point but too much power causes corruption in many forms.

    Secondary devices and software seem like they are miles behind popular devices. This may be a result of advertisements that convince you over time that a certain device is the best. When people try out new things, they realize that they can be a much cheaper substitute with less stipulations, but trying is the only way to find out. If people do start to make a switch, our privacy may not be as severely infringed upon as it is by major companies with excessive power.

  18. Constantine Kodersha February 27, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    According to “Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft,” Dan Gillmor expresses his interest in liberating himself from established technology providers. Due to his viewpoint on the politics of technology, he argues that consumers are losing control over tools that have previously guaranteed equal opportunity in innovation and speech. Gillmor attests to the underlying concept of such powerful companies utilizing choke points for consumers in order to destroy their privacy, limit their freedom of expression, and lock down culture and commerce altogether. Because of this realization of consumers giving these companies permission too often in a way that switches liberty for convenience, Gillmor has decided to engage in the tools based on community values rather than corporate ones. Despite his various prior uses of major companies such as Microsoft and Apple, he now chooses to rely on an operating system known as Linux.
    From a personal perspective, this article is extremely engaging and serves as a great exemplifier of what technology has succumbed to. As consumers, our level of privacy has become relatively limited on account of providers requiring knowledge of almost anything that they are able to ahold of. Whether this type of enforcement is intended for reasons that will better their marketing strategies or fulfill lawful procedures, it is difficult to measure how secure our given information is and the real reason for companies’ procurement. I don’t personally believe that these security concerns will yet deter the market’s majority from using companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft mainly because of their immense popularity and enhanced credibility. However, with specific regard to Gillmor’s comparison of technology and its capabilities between the mid -1990s and now, I do foresee a point when enough will be enough.

  19. bonghwan kim February 27, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

    First, I was surprised that he is using same laptop as Seton Hall’s. Anyway, I did not know there are that many minor software before I read this journal. Even if I read this article, I may think they have worse performance than major programs such as IOS, Window, or Android. However, it was not true! I am really going to try those software someday. The Google map had issue about the privacy problems few years ago. In addition, Apple had similar issue with the GPS and some other things. People are depending on the technology more and more as time goes by. They put their important information and things on their smartphone or personnel computers. They think it is more safe to use major company’s software, but this article strikes that.

    Like author says, it is true that many consumers do not even try beside Apple, Google, and Microsoft. We have to recognize there are plenty of programs that might satisfy our taste. We should surf market to have broad choices.

  20. Caroline Strickland February 27, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    Ask a class full of Seton Hall students who has a smartphone: everyone will raise their hand. Okay, that’s really not all that surprising. I’ve seen teachers do this a few times; it still makes a point. Amazingly, someone pointing out the so-glaringly-obvious facts are sometimes the most eye-opening. Probably because they’re the facts that we sweep under the carpet and walk over everyday. However, the implications of that act, the entire class raising a hand, is that not many people who give the fact casual thought usually extend their thinking to the physical product and the operating system on which it is running. The long-standing feud between Apple and its competitors–in that order–is bloody. . . and pretty well publicized. In fact, a lot of workers have made a pretty good tip putting out an “Apple” jar and a “Droid” jar and letting their customers have their say. However, most people wouldn’t know what the third jar should be named. Nobody really knows about the “little guys” because all of the frenzied focus is centered on the rockstars. That’s a shame too, according to this author, because the big guys might be–probably are–shining the light at just the right angle, just so we’re blind enough to see the glitter, but not the nasty parts of their practices. The buzz word here is security. There have scandals and breaches of the laws in a lot of areas in the tech world, as the information age settled in and elbowed around for its due territory. However, as fond as we are of calling banks too big to fail, when will we start assigning that name to the tech companies? If they keep up as they are, we might need to start doing that–quickly. People today are less and less afraid of what they put online. If it can be typed into a keyboard it’s out there. And its permanent. Not that that’s any news, but people still seem to forget it frequently. Unfortunately, it’s not just prospective bosses that may be seeing this lapse in judgement, but an information gathering company who lumps you into an aggregate of people and sells that bundle of information to a company. That is the reality our author presents us with, and that’s scary. But it might not even be enough to abandon those big companies.

  21. Anthony Barley February 27, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    This article is important because it gives us a new look on our privacy in the hands of Mac/Microsoft. Upon reading this article I was baffled by the title and its credibility. I didn’t see the importance of allowing a new operating systems have opportunity to thrive. The effects that are taking place is a perfect example of providers of the different service introducing its advancements.

    In the article Dan is not forcing anyone to give up Microsoft and Apple but simply invite others to experience new software’s. It is true that Mac, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are defaults that cut off any competitive company on the market.I like how he gave his personal account about each software. This gave more insight especially form a person who has seen and dealt with change.

    Giving these computer system companies your privacy rights will take a toll on us. We settle for what’s available and sell our privacy rights in the process.These companies are given too much power and allowing new ideas in will benefit the industry. If it weren’t for tech enthusiast such as Dan, we wouldn’t have diversity in our options of system.

    Thinking of these systems as tools will give you a better idea as to how you should be working and behaving, It is always important to keep your mind open to knew tools that will help you make your job easier/ constructive. It will be up to us to explore beyond the default and learn new software’s. I believe its worth your while to give it a try. The worst that will happen is that you will not like the new OS and will go back to the default product.

  22. Chun C March 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Nowadays, some dominance tech corporations actually make us restricted, like Google and Apple. The war between Android and Apple has started for several years. Yet, there is no clear result of this war. Both operating system has their own advantages and disadvantages. iOS is easy to use but limit users’ customization, unless customers do jailbreak. Android is a partly open source which allows customers to customize their interface while sometimes Android will perform some actions without users’ consent. The author uses GNU/Linux and Cyanogenmod as his tools which are clean and under users’ control.
    The main idea here is getting control over the tools not getting controlled by the tools or, says, any dominance corporations. In the business perspective, fair competitions should not include monopolies. However, in today’s business, some powerful companies and governments are creating choke points and destroy our privacy, limit our freedom of expression, and lock down culture and commerce, as noted in the article. Hence, we as consumers, need government’s support, such as laws and regulations, in order to ensure our protected rights. Additionally, the personal willingness of take control for consumers ourselves which might be the most important point.

  23. Cameron Quisenberry March 3, 2015 at 9:03 am #

    I am one of the people who has succumbed to the pressures of using these three large companies of Microsoft, Google, and Apple. I have no doubt that the alternatives to these products and services are just as good as these three conglomerates. Mr. Gillmore provides a very strong argument as to why he has switched from these big companies, and the services they entail. I have not ever had any experience with the alternatives Mr. Gillmore described, such as Linux or androids. However, I have friends who do have androids and they absolutely love the platform on which an android operates. I have not talked to any peers who use Linux as their primary source of an operating system. In fact, only 2.5% of the Internet users use Linux as their primary operating system, which is a significantly low number.

    One of the issues Mr. Gillmore touches upon is that of privacy when using Google and Apple. Mr. Gillmore claims that Apple and Google have stripped our right of privacy right out from under us. I am torn on this issue. I agree with Andrew’s comment (first comment) about how I personally have not been severely negatively impacted due to the implication of privacy; however, I know that Google and Apple contain a plethora of issues with privacy. I have noticed some of the impacts of privacy being over looked, but it has not been a major impact on me; it’s just scary thinking about the potential these companies have with privacy rights. There is a kicker, though. Android devices also have some privacy issues. Both Apple and Android devices are able to track your location when your phone is on your person. However, with Apple, the location is approximate. With Android products, the location is exact. Privacy will always be an issue when new technologies are being made. It’s our job to stay informed with these issues. There is no turning back on the technology obsession we have today, technology is turning into a necessity rather than a utility.

  24. Brendan Lloyd March 4, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    This article starts off with the author as he states to the readers his feelings and thoughts about companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft. First off he states that he does not have a positive view of these companies for one reason in particular. He believes that these companies lack privacy for their users and don’t allow for them to be safe and secure while using their products. In order to enable better privacy for users the author promotes for free software operating systems. Since he has seen the internet evolve from its earliest form he has seen how the changes that have been made over the course of many years has had a negative effect on the user using the products of these big companies. These companies have become so powerful that they have begun to get ahead of the customer and do whatever it so chooses with their information. According to the author he sees this change as a way of taking away the freedoms of the users.

    In order to take down the big companies and diminish their power Gilmor says that more people should operating systems such as Linux like himself. He believes that if many follow his lead that the people can slowly regain the freedoms that they have lost over the years from these companies. Some may seem these smaller parties as not as reliable as the big companies such as Apple but that is not the case. As more and more people begin to use this software, it will allow for the creators of the software to make changes necessary to better improve their product. The best thing we can do according to Glimor is to get away from the software but forward by the big companies because they are only doing it for their own personal gain. The customer is no longer the priority in this field and that’s something the people must take back. If the people can help the smaller parties expand and grow it will take away much of the power of the bigger companies in control.

  25. Dakota Best March 6, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    This article gives a perfect example of how easily we sign and give away our private information. In the examples of both Apple and Android, that we buy their over priced products, and when we do, we immediately give away all of our personal information that we try so hard to keep secret. Also when we “read” all the terms and conditions no one hardly does that, so we possibly and probably are signing away our privacy. And Apple and Android are doing that by collecting all of our personal data and are creating a hold on us in doing so.

    This also brings about the topic of name brand, and buying for the name. Backchannel gives the perfect example of running on Lixus for browsing and word processing, and on Cyanogenmod as a phone. This is showing that when we buy Apple or buy Android, that we are paying for the name, all brands have essentially the same OS and the same features. So when you buy apple, you are buying the name and the sleek look that comes with it. And when you are buying Android, you are buying the battery life, and durability. So when the topic comes up of android or apple, the choice could be either, or neither you can always opt out and save yourself the hassle down the line of privacy.

  26. Walker J. Mondt March 6, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

    First of all, I must applaud Mr. Gillmore on his success in detoxing himself from the giant technology companies that control the market. To do something like he did – separate oneself from companies like Google and Apple – takes courage and determination.

    He has an excellent point in his actions. These huge technology companies tower over the industry and crush any new founts of computer businesses. Of course this is unfortunate. A part of the problem is that so many of these huge companies do not even need to try that hard to control the technology market. These companies products are so ingrained in the common lives of Americans that they are accepted by society as the only options.

    The question that arises is how to go about spurring a change. Many peopel would run to asking the government to step in, but that would only make matters worse. According to Mr. Gillmore, the answer is that the country needs to follow his lead. Move away from Apple and their Iphone. Reach out and try different products. Give smaller companies a chance. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, the Iphone and Google have become a part of society. Plus, consumers are happy with the products. This is a crucial thing that Mr. Gillmore leaves out. If consumers are happy with the service and product, then there is no reason to fight them. Until the technology giants start to oppress the consumer in obvious and ignorant ways, nothing will change.

  27. Jazmine Robles March 6, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    This article demonstrates the reality that with the rise in mobile technology, our privacy is jeopardized. Many times we do not realize that since we are transferring so much of our personal data through these servers and allowing for it to be leaked. We do not realize that while smartphones make our lives easier, we are allowing for the providers to have direct access to our personal conversations and credit card information.

    Gilmor sets a perfect example of the evolution of technology when he exemplifies how dependent we are upon it. We do not realize that while we have the world in our hands with our iPhone’s and Androids, it comes with a price and that price is letting them have hold on us and our private information.

  28. L.E. Baron KJP March 6, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    As a big fan of technology (mobile especially), the title of the article caught my attention right away. Knowing about the trio that dominates the tech markets, I already had an idea on what the author would discuss when he wrote that he was saying goodbye to them. First and foremost, I am a big fan of all technology. I always thought that it is always in the best interest of the consumer to have more options. Even within the Google Apple and Microsoft triangle, I made sure I was involved in all. Windows has always been what I have used on a laptop, but I fell in love with the open source of Android and the myriad of possibilities it offered. Of course, like everyone, I had to go through the Apple phase. After my first Android phone I switched to an iPhone, which I was in love with. However, it only took me a few months to realize its limits, and how the closed garden mentality restricted my tinkering with my device. Evidently, I turned to the next logical thing to do: jailbreaking it. This ties in directly with the author’s community outlook, seeing how the jailbreak community is flocked by developers who make great additions to the system. I did the same with my Android phone at the time, flashing different custom roms such as Cyanogen and Odin. The open source is great, but as the article puts it, we always end up within the sphere of the Trio.
    The privacy vs convenience concern has been there for quite some time, and is becoming even more relevant these days. With companies such as Google introducing smart assistants that predict your need before you know you have them, it is no surprise that the convenience is appealing. How much data do they collect on us, and how is it used? We don’t know, which is as scary as it is intriguing. After all, Google would only use our data for commercial use, no? Also, why would Google look for my data, out of the 7 billion people on the planet? Some of us don’t really mind, claiming to have nothing to hide. Others almost seem paranoid at the idea of companies tracking them. Are we putting too much faith on the companies or are we being too cynical? I personally am not sure what the answer is. I sure love the convenience that comes with using those products. I am an avid Google user. However, I also encourage the use of protective software. I may not be sure how it works, but extensions like Adblock make life a lot easier, with the endless trackers that inhibit every website. I may not be at the point where I want to steer away from Microsoft Google and Apple, but I certainly love the open source.

  29. Ashley Scott March 6, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    Saying “goodbye” to Apple ios software would be extremely difficult for me. Dan Gillmore made it very hard for me to believe switching to another platform would provide me with secure privacy. Gillmore starts off his article by saying, “Those values start with a basic notion: We are losing control over the tools that once promised equal opportunity in speech and innovation—and this has to stop.” I wouldn’t say we are loosing control privacy, but only putting faith in others. If we don’t take the time to read our privacy rights we shouldn’t be able to put blame on these companies.

    I do believe we can protect ourselves better by limiting what we give companies access to. If you don’t want your information published online then limit your social activity. We must be the ones to take action against our own information. I have noticed on my Iphone that certain applications will ask permission to post on Facebook on your behalf. The catch for those applications only appear if your deny access. The app will not let you continue. I believe in certain situations these privacy issues do pose a hindrance.

  30. Kuba Babinski March 6, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

    In his post, “Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google, and Microsoft”, Dan Gillmor addresses the issues that exist as a result of having a technological oligopoly. He specifically targets the problems associated with the software that the three tech-giants provide when speaking in terms of consumer privacy. Gillmor has grown increasingly opposed to the way that the corporations limit freedoms of the consumer. It is known that they are keeping track of the people using their services as well as limiting the ability of the individual to create what they would like with the technology. He also does not approve of the business methods used by the corporations and therefore advocates a movement of ‘freedom’.

    This movement, Gillmor says, can be compared to the movements of people trying to reduce their carbon footprints. It is essentially a battle against the existing dominant system, and I cannot say that I do not agree with it. Although a little dramatic at times, Gillmor presents the idea of the battle very well. He has found an alternative to the systems already in place, in this case it is GNU/Linux, and even mentioned the fact that it is an option that is still flawed. By saying this, he is not mindlessly ranting about a superior alternative that guarantees the freedom that Apple, Google, or Microsoft do not; instead he is simply presenting a new option that he admits is not perfect, but has great potential to succeed. All that he wants to do is urge consumers to strive for more than what is given to them. He believes in greater freedom in the tech-world and presents a plan that will achieve that.

  31. Andres Arcila March 21, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    Apple is a huge industry that has been controlling the smartphones, tablets and laptops market. Apple’s characteristic is quality in both, phone like an object and software that it uses. Apple also designs beautiful phones, and is so powerful that can design different versions of the same edition, varying size, color, etc. and one of the characteristic that retain the most of the people to move to other companies is the simple fact of having to manually pass all the data to the new phone while being able to stay in apple and pass the data with few ‘clicks’, but all tastes are different and some people have not even try and iPhone, like me until few months ago.
    Now that I tried both iPhone and Microsoft phones I do not have a big preference for iPhone, actually I like more some features of the other phone such as customization of it. IPhone do not let you customize it a lot as the other phone but I feel like people do not want to try the other phone because of the advertisements that say iPhone is way better than all competitors and it is not like that. give it a try and then decide!

  32. Manon Pellet March 23, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    Why is Dan Gilmor “saying goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft and putting more trust in communities than corporation”? The main reason why Gilmor is doing it is because of a basic notion: “We are losing control over the tools that once promised equal opportunity in speech and innovation—and this has to stop.” I personally use Apple and Google a lot but this doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with Gilmor. Because yes, the frightening truth is that companies and government are using these tools to destroy our privacy, limit our freedom of expression, and lock down culture and commerce. Problem is, most of the time we give them our permission, without even knowing that we are doing so.
    The author went back and forth during his career using Microsoft then Apple Macintosh to be now one of the few people who are not using a Mac but who uses harware based on community values, not on corporate ones. The journalist has now a ThinkPads T440s using Ubuntus, which supports lots of hardware. Microsoft office is remplaced by LibreOffice and Gmail Google by Mozilla Thunderbird. Basically, the author shows that all the functions that we are using with Microsoft or Apple have substitutes in these other hardware.
    The author shows evidences that, even though there are substitutes for Apple and Microsoft, we collectively seem to prefer convenience to control. The author finished the article by asking one last time for people to make an effort and embark on this journey with him to find ways to take control for themselves and their privacy. His article and request made me think. I understand the message that the author is giving and even though I am not ready to make such a transformation at the moment, I do believe this is definitely something to think about. It is more and more complicated to control the access that many entities have over private information.

  33. Christopher Auer March 26, 2015 at 2:15 am #

    Gillmor does bring up some good points in his article, but at some points it feels like he is taking things a bit too far. He seems like he is forcing this idea that Apple, Google, and Microsoft are programs and operating systems that we should not use. They are great and reliable, but do restrict the user. I do not think it is a good idea to disregard them all together and say goodbye. It is possible to limit ourselves with how much we decide to share with them as users. If you feel they are asking for too much and are being controlling, just back off. No one has to give in to the powerful grip that Apple, Google, and Microsoft has on society, but it would be very hard. They are dominant companies that, in the end, provide reliable services

  34. Bridget Tighe May 21, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

    Dan Gillmor expresses the negative aspects of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. He explains why he no longer uses their software. He talks about how he uses a laptop that runs on GNU/Linux, and his phones and tablets run on Cyanogenmod. His main concern is the privacy issues and that he does not trust these companies. Gillmor believes that they sell users private data to other companies and argues that the general public is blind to it. This is false because it is a well-known fact that collected data on our computers and smart phones are sold to companies in order to make a more personal advertising campaign. It is also easily avoidable by making adjustments on your computer and phone and clearing out your cookies on your computer.
    I honestly always thought that you either got a Windows phone or computer, or you got an Apple. I never realized that there were people who aggressively opposed the larger name brand companies. I personally have never thought of using other programs nor do I want to. I have a MacBook and I absolutely love it. I have an iPhone and absolutely love it. Even if other softwares do the same things, there is a reason that Windows and Apple made it so big. It is because their technology is better, plain and simple. Yes other softwares can do the same things, but they cannot do it as well.
    I think that the author is being a little dramatic in his article. Yes it is true that companies can track your data usage. But they are at least gearing their marketing efforts to a more personal level. The ads may be annoying, but that is the price you pay for using data and the internet anyway. So why not see an ad that actually might be relevant to you. Also, like I said before it is also fixable. Privacy is important, but the Internet and data usage were never meant to be private. They are meant for sharing information with people around the world, and now companies have just found a way to utilize it too.

  35. Edward Rebmann November 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    It is interesting that Mr. Gillmor starts his article by saying how he always urged his readers to avoid articles that fervently promoted one operating system over another, but then goes on to write a lengthy article about his preference for one operating system over others. Personally, I prefer Windows but I am not aggressive towards those with other operating systems. It appears that Mr. Gillmor shares my sentiment that it is fine for others to use whatever suits them best, but unlike me Mr. Gillmor’s tone is more derisive towards users of other operating systems. He repeatedly states that this is simply how feels about the state of technology, but then continually reminds us that these businesses mine our data due to our ignorant use of Windows, Apple, and/or Google products. The point that is being made, however, is that Mr. Gillmor prefers to use Linux over the traditional operating systems.
    I know extremely little about Linux, in fact much of my knowledge comes from this article, but it does sound interesting. A free operating system made for and by people is an interesting and exciting prospect, but as Mr. Gillmor points out it is lacking in some of the functionality provided by Microsoft, Apple, and Google. As far as I have been able to tell Linux has mainly been popular among people like Mr. Gillmor who are very involved in the world of technology and understand coding and programming, although this is clearly a generalization. I believe Linux may still be too new to become mainstream, but with proper support to bring the increased functionality of other operating systems to Linux it is possible that one day it will rival Microsoft, Apple, and/or Google. The only question is, if Linux becomes mainstream, as Mr. Gillmor hopes, will it become the same type of operating system that he has tried to avoid?

    Gillmor, Dan. “Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft.” Medium.com. N.p., 25 Feb. 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015. .

  36. Jtantalean November 1, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

    I am an Apple product consumer. I find that the Apple Mac OS software is very convenient and provides little hassle to control. Most people look for ways to be more efficient because it makes tasks easier and in some cases can lower costs, especially for businesses. I respectfully disagree with the author because why would people want to go through more trouble than they have to in order to install a Linux software? Some people will look at the cost benefit analysis of using their time to set up their Thinkpad versus using their time to do another task.

    It definitely depends on the consumer’s preference, but there is a clear rack of choices that are mostly chosen from. Those including Google, Apple, and Microsoft technological devices like laptops and phones. They have worked hard to get to where they are now which is why they own a large market share. That is how competition works and free items just isn’t cutting it anymore. It has to be good to be worth buying.

  37. Aaron Varghese November 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    I personally disagreed with the assertions made by the writer of this article. The article made a bunch of assertions that basically said that the forerunners of technology were not the true revolutionaries of this era. The truth of the matter, though, is that they were. Whether or not you may not be fond of their format or certain features does not take away the fact that companies like Apple and Microsoft pioneered the way for new technology that revolutionized the modern world. To say you like your lesser-known brand cell phone is a blatant opinion. However, there is fact in saying that Apple was the prime forerunner in the evolution of the smartphone. And now right behind Apple is the growing Samsung. Both companies deserve respect and commendations for their revolutions in the mobile phone industry. Of course, there are other noteworthy companies out there but elevating them at the expense of sacrificing the deserved credit of Apple and Samsung is not appropriate. The writer of the company clearly had a resentment towards the company, Microsoft, and its monopolistic ways in the early years. The writer claimed that the company excelled even when it was doing poorly with some software and hardware features. This was probably because of the fact that even when it was doing poorly, it was still miles ahead of the next tech company! There were anti-trust policies eventually put on Microsoft, and justly so, but the point of the matter is that Microsoft was the major innovator of that time and took advantage of that time. The writer of the article clearly had some sort of ill-founded bias against Microsoft and took every opportunity to “liberate” himself from the tech-monster he called Microsoft. I did not understand the writer’s reasoning behind doing this at all. By trying to avoid Microsoft products you do not benefit anyone and only hurt yourself in reality. If you choose not to take advantage of the benefits of Microsoft Word, Excel, or Powerpoint, then that’s on you. They are incredibly practical and useful pieces of software. To claim they are simply monopolizing that area is not necessarily a false statement but why should that concern a consumer unless you were dumb enough to try to compete with such a vast company. Even if Microsoft was half as powerful as it was any company who sought to compete would enter knowing they would never be as big as Microsoft anytime soon. The writer even takes a shot at Apple by saying: “As mobile computing has become more dominant, I’ve had to rethink everything on that platform, too. I still consider the iPhone the best combination of software and hardware any company has offered, but Apple’s control-freakery made it a nonstarter. I settled on Android, which was much more open and readily modified.” Even though he’s complementing Apple, he’s calling the company a control freak, which is not true at all considering the fact that Apple is incredibly innovative and creative, which is why they have been able to come up with so many appealing new features for each release of the iPhone. Overall, this writer was just bitter towards the success of innovative tech companies and felt that he was making some sort of positive statement by intentionally refusing the services of these products. In my opinion, this writer is only coming across as a difficult person to deal with.

  38. Parth Parikh February 11, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    The author of this article, Dan Gilmore, brought up many good points in this article and as a spectator of the technology world, not necessarily getting too involved but being in the loop of what is new to the technology world and where technology is headed, I agree to the points he brings up. The first point I agree with is when he mentions how Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS are now so big that the government uses them to follow us online and to invade our privacy. Most Americans have either Android or Apple devices so to find someone by looking for their electronic devices will prove easy for the government. Another point that I agree with is his belief, and a point made by another student who commented on this article, that the Apples and the Googles of the world have not completely changed the technology world as we know it. I agree wholeheartedly with the student who said that Apple and Google have changed the world because it is fairly obvious to see what we can do now thanks to the innovation and creative minds of Larry Page, Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. Touchscreen phones do not exist without them, the idea of a self-driving car may have still been in many innovator’s drawing boards if it wasn’t for Google’s pioneering of the idea, and overall technology would not be where they are if Google and Apple didn’t change the face of the technology world and the way we look at it. But we must understand that back in the day, Apple and Google used to be small and unknown and with the chance they were given, they made the most of it and became the tech powers they are today. Companies like Linux and Unix have been players in the market for decades (I remember my father telling me as a kid about how he used to work with Linux and Unix and how his knowledge of the two operating systems were key to his arrival to America from India), yet no one knows about or are aware of what the two systems do and their impact in the world. Companies like them have most certainly made an impact on the technology revolution and the author make a fine point, that I also agree with, in showing that it categorizes as having community values and not corporate values. Instead of asking for money to keep the program upgraded and to keep the company afloat, Linux and Unix are lesser-known yet free systems whose primary purpose is to put their product on the market and to let the customers explore the Linux and Unix systems. Many people use Google and Android but with Apple charging money for iTunes use and Google charging for application purchases but Linux wants their operating systems like Ubuntu to be more commonplace and more accessible in the market. I can personally say I was very fascinated by the Ubuntu software having prior experience with it. Back in high school, one of my computer class projects was to uninstall Microsoft from the machine and to add another operating software, which my partner and I did, installing Ubuntu into our computer. The remarkable fact is that Ubuntu was most definitely faster and quicker than the original operating system and the new look and feel of the system was eye-catching at first sight. Of course, growing up in a Microsoft household, I could not see myself using Ubuntu or Macs for that matter for a very long time, but if anyone were to feel bored or wanted to try another operating system, there are many more options out there than just Apple’s Mac and Microsoft’s Windows.

  39. Sheikh Elahi March 25, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

    Tech liberty is almost impossible to achieve when using the more popular operating systems such as Microsoft or Apple. These powerful companies breach their users privacy and monitor exactly what they are searching and or doing. These breaches are occurring without our knowledge and our permission. However, with the power that these companies hold, they are able to do this without us knowing.
    Linux however, is a much more secure option for people. It is said that if you really know about computers, you use Linux. Linux allows you to have more freedom than other operating systems. With Microsoft and Apple applications like iCloud, Photos, and other applications, the information you save can be easily accessed by the companies. However, in Linux there is a bit more privacy. The writer of this article says that he made a personal “Declaration of independence” from the software company. I completely agree with him in this. In my experience, Linux is similar to these other software’s however, it is a much more reliable and private software. If people can understand how to process Linux, people would be granted more freedom in online surfing. With these mainstream operating systems like Microsoft and Apple, it has become more of an advertising system.
    Privacy seems to be a huge concern in today’s society. Using these typical operating systems is still very useful. However, if you want to keep more private and have “tech liberty” using Linux is a better option.

  40. TJK April 10, 2016 at 7:52 am #

    This article discusses the author’s choice to move away from Apple, Google and Microsoft. This is a shift could never ever see myself making. I use all three of these applications and sites basically every single day since I learned to operate a computer. I find them safe and reliable. As I type this in a Microsoft Word Document on my Apple Macbook Pro I realize that I couldn’t see myself without these companies. Yes, I understand that the author wants more control over his “tools” and he believes the systems he operates on now are governed by community values instead of corporate values. I respect the authors decision but personally feel no confliction when it comes to utilizing these big corporation’s products. The iPhone is one of the greatest tech gadgets of our time. The ability to integrate the Apple iOS and platform onto a phone changed the game. Imessage, iTunes and many more specific applications separate Apple from their competitors. I have also used Microsoft for basically every publication in school since I was young. Powerpoint, Word, and Excel are programs that I have learned to master with my extensive use of them. Overall, I respect the author’s decision to move away from the products of big corporations but I will not be changing my habits at all.

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