Which of the "big 5" tech giants would you drop first? Rank them and see where you fit in


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/10/which-of-the-big-5-tech-gi.html


Facebook. I don’t use it anyway.
Alphabet. I use YouTube and search and maps, sometimes.
There are decent alternatives for all.
Microsoft. Don’t use their stuff, but my livelihood depends on their users.
Amazon. Convenient. But after all just a retailer.
Apple. Like the hard- and software and switching would be hard. Also, I just killed all contenders including surface and android.


First to go: Facebook.

Second: Amazon.

Third, Microsoft or Apple. I’ll keep Apple as long as I can continue to buy used (ie, affordable and actually upgradable) hardware.

Living without Google search (the only thing of Google’s that I actually use) or without either Windows or MacOS would be pretty hellish.


My list is almost identical to yours.

  1. Facebook: I rarely use it except when people use it to invite me to events.
  2. Amazon: It would probably be better for everyone if I switched to buying things from local vendors.
  3. Apple: I only have one thing produced by each of Microsoft and Apple: the former produced the OS for my desktop; the latter produced my iPod. As I can get a non-Apple mp3 player much more easily than I could learn to fluently use another operating system, Apple is third, Microsoft is fourth.
  4. Microsoft, for the reasons above.
  5. Alphabet: I am addicted to my Android phone. Plus Gmail, Google search, Google Drive… I’m waist deep in their ecosystem by now.


Apple: Don’t use Apple hardware or software anyway.
Facebook: Use it all the time but I could make do without it
Amazon: I’d miss Prime and not having to buy dog food at the store
Alphabet/Google: Ugh. Gmail, YouTube, search, and Androd.
Microsoft: Windows and Xbox.

  1. Facebook goes first, since I don’t use it and loathe it. I’m glad to see so many are willing to make it their first choice to drop.

  2. Apple goes next, but only because it’s not my main OS. I can see people switching it with my third choice…

  3. Windows – I could move to Linux easily enough.

  4. Amazon goes next – I like the convenient shopping and AWS and the company’s push toward innovation

  5. No way I’m going without Alphabet/Google, though




As a linux user it would be Microsoft, Really tho Adobe is the biggest pain in my side.

  1. Apple. I can get a new phone.

  2. Facebook. I don’t use it much, but I’d be sad to lose event invites and a few other things that keep me there.

  3. Tie – Amazon and Microsoft. I can shop elsewhere and dust off my Linux knowledge. Unfortunately, I do .NET development, work with SQL Server/SSIS, and am moving into more data work that would put me on either Azure or AWS. These literally affect my livelihood, and I only have so much time to ramp up on being a better Javascript programmer (on Linux using a PC at that point if you took away Apple) or doing big data stuff on another cloud environment.

  4. Oh f**k. Fine, I’ll give back Youtube, and Firefox isn’t as good but I can deal with it over Chrome, and while I like G+, it’s never really taken off. You will have to pry Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search, Drive, Translate, and Sergei knows what else anymore from my cold dead hands. And that’s even without an Android phone.


I refuse to take the quiz for fear that my responses will be harvested and sold to the companies on the list.


Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet.

I think most people would lose zero sleep over losing FB (including the sub apps and such they would lose out on).

I agree with the author that Microsoft would be a harder loss because of losing Office and XBox than losing WinOS now a days.

I also think his assessment of losing Amazon just means there is more RL retail swinging back again is spot on.

Apple would be tough for me. I love my iPhone and iMac and AppleTV…but in the end my life would go on.

Losing Google would be a hit I couldn’t make.


I almost completely agree with you, though it’d be tough to choose between Alphabet and Apple. I use gmail and hangouts (for video/audio conferencing) pretty regularly, and Boing Boing uses Google Domains and their DNS services, as well as Project Shield - basically, I’d miss their infrastructure bits I use DuckDuckGo for search, but I still think they reference Google (and others) when they have to, and we’d lose an entire burgeoning creator platform if we lost YouTube. Apple though is the center of my home media and productivity workflow, be it leisure or work, and recovering from a sudden loss of all of that would be incredibly frustrating. It’s a bit of a toss-up for me.


For me it was Facebook and apple first as I don’t use either.

Google would be hard for me to walk away from.


Agreed. That’s what it would come down to for me. Apple = I lose my hardware choices. Alphabet = I lose my software choices.

To be perfectly honest I think ultimately Alphabet represents the core of the internet as a whole. So while I would hate giving up my personal hardware preference…the reality is its a bigger loss to the world as a whole without Alphabet.

So…the REALITY is OFC if this situation ever came to reality the order would be exactly opposite. Alphabet gone, then Apple, then Amazon, then MSFT, and we’d all be using FB for searching and talking on our Zucker-phablets.

  1. Apple, don’t and have never used anything by them.

  2. Facebook, don’t and have never had a Facebook account.

  3. Amazon, could buy things elsewhere.

  4. Google, use Gmail & YouTube, that’s about it. Losing all the cool old music that’s been popping up there in the last year or so would be sad, the music recommendations are on point as well. EDIT: forgot about search (!), bing not as good, would be a shame.

  5. Microsoft, I’m a developer who mostly uses Microsoft stuff.


I use no Apple products (that I’m aware of) it can go with no pain.
I barely use Facebook. Wouldn’t miss it.
Amazon is heavily used, but replaceable. Would increase the inconvenience on several tasks my family does on a weekly basis. Their recent purchase of Twitch would cut some entertainment time.
The last two would be hard.
I think Microsoft would be next. I’d have to replace all of the PCs in our house and I’d lose large chunks of money on games I’ve purchased that don’t run on Linux (and I’ve already eliminated Apple). It would radically change my work life as Windows PC are used all the time at work.
Alphabet last. Would require updating my email everywhere, losing over a decade of my communication history, reorganizing large chunks of my entertainment time in watching Youtube videos, large chunks of data on Drive, replacing my phone plan. It would be painful, unless I was going to go live off the grid.


You can now easily develop for .net without ever touching windows. Even SQL Server runs on Linux now.


As I said on Slashdot a minute ago, this question presupposes that Big IT is desirable.

The real questions are: Have I benefited from the lack of competition and choice? Is Big IT’s slow, managed innovation in my best interest? Have powerful corporations EVER willingly chosen to serve me and mine when our interests diverged?

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 mega corporation. I would be better off without Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Cisco, and Oracle. I want to get rid of them, or break them up. If I can’t get rid of them, then I want them to be yoked by strong, effective regulatory processes to serve MY interests instead of their own.

But, in the modern political environment, Big IT yields too much political power to be restrained to MY interests. It is best if they are eliminated.
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Ugh, the quiz is an Apple fanboy post.

Other companies now make very well-designed phones and computers, but none of them run iOS or MacOS, still the best consumer device software on the market.


True, although .NET Core and SQL Server on any OS are still MS products as far as I know. I know there’s ways around that too, and same thing with avoiding Amazon. I could avoid it – just really hard.