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10 Google services you can live without

As Google expands its reach, many users are looking for alternatives to its services. Can you live without Gmail? How about YouTube? Check your needs against this list.

Over the last few years, there has been a fair amount of backlash against Google for a variety of things, most notably its use of personal data with advertising. A lot of people say they want to stop using Google's services, but they don't think they really can. Google is, after all, quite pervasive and makes itself easy to count on. Here are 10 Google services you can leave -- some with more effort than others -- and three you may not be able to abandon even if you want to.

1: Google Search

At this stage in the search game, Google's lead in results quality has largely evaporated. Independent tests show that Google's search quality is not significantly better than its competitors. Google Search's position as the big favorite has also made it a favorite target for the scammers and spammers looking to peddle their adult entertainment and malware. You can easily switch to any of Google's competitors without sacrificing quality, losing Google's behavior tracking along the way.

2: Gmail

Plenty of other free email systems are out there. Is Gmail good? Some folks seem to like it, and it is well integrated into various phones. But Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail are viable alternatives, and you can get an equally good link to a phone with any ISP's IMAP or Exchange mail service. Gmail's big advantage (lots of free storage space) was matched by competitors a long time ago, too.

3: Picasa

Picasa was bought a while back by Google, when stand-alone photo sharing sites like Flickr and Photobucket were also growing big. While Picasa does have some useful tools, other services can do the same work. If you are trying to go without Google, moving off Picasa is possible, though it may take you some time to move the data.

4: Android

There are three perfectly good alternatives to the Android operating system on the market: iOS, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry. Windows Phone 7 may not be very established, and BlackBerry appears to be on the decline, but it is hard to argue that iOS is a "niche vendor" in the mobile market. Unless you have a deep commitment to the Android ecosystem or have a requirement to use it, it is pretty painless to switch to one of the alternatives and not have to worry about just how much of your personal phone data Google may start feeding its advertising beast.

5: Google Talk

Google Talk has never been a major player in the IM or VoIP space. Your best bet is to use Skype, which has more or less become the de facto winner in this market.

6: Google Docs

Google Docs is a decent tool, but that does not mean you are married to it forever. Google Docs already enables you to get the documents out, so it is not too hard to download your work and either move it to a Google Docs competitor (like Microsoft Office Online) or use locally installed applications instead. Even if you do not want to or can't spring for the full price of Microsoft Office, lots of free and open source suites -- like AbiWord and LibreOffice -- can fill this functional role,

7: Google Maps

A lot of other mapping services are available to replace Google Maps, and many do not come with the privacy concerns Google Maps does.

8: Blogger

There are quite a few equally good blogging systems out there. Some are free, some are paid, and others offer a freemium model, where a membership fee will get you additional features. The big player is, of course, WordPress. It has the added advantage of being an application you can install on your own server if and when you want to have total control over your data.

9: Google Reader

Google Reader is a simple blog feed aggregator, and there are lots of other services out there that do the same thing. Because your subscriptions can be exported in the standard OPML format, it is trivial to pack up your bags and move to another online or locally installed news reader.

10: Google Checkout

Google Checkout is a great example of a space Google tried to break into without much success. PayPal is still the go-to vendor for these services, with Amazon Payments being a viable alternative with more market penetration (who doesn't have an Amazon account?) than Google Checkout.

Three Google services that are hard to live without

1: YouTube

Unless you are willing to forego the overwhelming majority of online videos, you won't be able to get away from YouTube. Everyone seems to use it for everything when it comes to "free content," with the exception of TV shows on Hulu. Even product tutorials and instructions are hosted on YouTube now. Good luck trying to permanently block it from your life.

2: Google+ (maybe)

If you are a content producer, Google's recent changes to push items that are linked to on Google+ to prominent positioning has meant that like it or not, you need to cross-post content to Google+. This is the kind of move that makes folks resent Google, but there is not much you can do to fight back.

3: AdWords (maybe)

AdWords is another "must-use" Google service for companies. If you have a Web site you need searchers to find, AdWords is your best bet to getting there. No one likes having to pay for AdWords, but Google's dominant position in search means you have few options.

Your take

Are you trying to disentangle yourself from some Google services? Which ones do you think you can ditch (and which ones are you sticking with)?

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

319 comments
loissoll
loissoll

I've had enough of Google too. Got rid of Gmail and Chrome. When uninstalling, I was told I'd lose YouTube also, but I can still access that. Maybe I didn't manage to get rid of everything to do with Google. I have a question - when trying to get to a site I'm often told that googleleadservices can't connect. Can you tell me how to get around that?

serwis gsm
serwis gsm

probably many of us can live without 80% of tchem but everyone make live easier, Google maps is really good navigation tool and street view as well

Widget123
Widget123

Really? An ISP is the worst place to encourage someone to setup an email account. In a year when price changes or a faster service shows up in your area then your tied to your ISP email.

EvilNSaint
EvilNSaint

I use what is right for me... Some of mentioned Google services are just what i need and i'm not looking to run away from them.. If i'll need something else not provided by those mentioned, i'll then start looking for a worthy alternative.

JWahl
JWahl

Isn't the entire point behind an article debate? You would to present something you feel is either Editorial or informative, and you give what you believe to be facts if you have sources that all seem to agree. I live and breathe Microsoft, but I adore some of the Google applications, and most of the ones I cannot live without cannot be in my opinion replaced (at this time). So I guess I'm with a few others, I don't believe there is a viable replacement on my desktop or on my phone for Gmail for example, if I had an iPhone then certainly but I gave that up for fees, proprietary apps and a lack of developing ability for a far more locked down OS than droid. I feel there is no speed comparison at all for any of the options on the droid platform, they are utterly slow, or lock up, or are storage hogs based on design, not my usage and as a developer with tools I can dig in and see where I believe the bottle-necks lie. There is no competitor who has the speed or stability of Gmail through my personal experience. Recent attempts to try others have been painful, and everyone knows pain tends to make us shy away from trying again after a simple patch, it may take years. ;) Search would be another, I really don't care what they track, nothing is faster or has the same advanced features as Google Search, I have it integrated all over the place for not only search itself but other search related services. Bing shows tons of hope and as an Microsoft coder, I'd love to use it but it's just not there yet. Once again this too is my opinion, but when you try other brands and don't prefer the coffee you always go back to the one you love. ^_~

LaurieHead
LaurieHead

We quit using Adwords altogether and it did not impact our Internet traffic. We decided to hire another sales rep instead. I can live without Adwords. - Laurie Head, VP Marketing, AIS Network Cloud Hosting (http://www.aisn.net)

waltharvey
waltharvey

Even better, just eliminate Google in its entirety.

Sunwukong68
Sunwukong68

Yahoo is not a good and safe free email provider alternative to Gmail. It is one of the most vulnerable email providers I have ever utilized. As far as not using Google Docs...have you ever tried teaching non-tech people how to save OpenOffice, OfficeLibre or any of the other "free" productivity suites in a way that would make them readable for people who used MS Office? Google Docs is user friendly, and it is easily compatible with MS Office, without having to use the 'save-as'. How about that Bing...do you like getting a bunch of results with so many bells and whistles it actually slows down your browser? I don't. Google Maps for me has been wonderful...on my Android phone. The gps apps I have tried from Sprint, Verizon, ATT and MetroPCS do not compare to Google...most of them have had outdated information, and their traffic warnings are useless. When I discover errors on Google Maps for business locations/directions, I contact Google with the correct information. It doesn't take them long to make the corrections. They do verify and send emails back to let you know they've made the corrections. I am not afraid if Google knows about me...everyone else does. What about that Microsoft? If they are on the majority of computers around the world, what makes you think they don't know about you...they can turn off your computer or wipe your hard drive from remote locations...They can make your computer crash with an instant update that is no longer compatible with your video card or motherboard bios...as an IT Professional, I know about back door vulnerability...don't you think Microsoft knows and has access to all of those computers too? Android apps are like PC software when comparing to anything that has an i in front of it or it grows on trees. There is more of it, and less expensive. I'll keep my Android thank you!

toni.bowers
toni.bowers

I've been seeing a lot of nasty comments from people who not only love Google, but apparently want to marry it and have its baby. The vitriol is way out of proportion to the piece, even for the most ardent fanboys. Look, I couldn't live without Google search but that doesn't make me want to disparage the author or question the journalistic integrity of a whole site just because an alternative is offered. Looks like some kind of organized hate spree. How about some "full disclosure" on your parts?

GSystems
GSystems

Seems that your article proposes to live without Google... lol That's all well and good, I guess...however, GMail vs Hotmail? Gmail wins everytime, if only for free IMAP connectivity... I am still struggling with the idea of having to have a whole other native email client for my phone since Hotmail is my "legacy" email program, yet I don't have the convenience of IMAP. For my Windows 7 main machine, Windows Live Mail serves the purpose, but it would be nice to have something like Thunderbird work...or even Outlook for that matter...without having to double down on the Hotmail server to ensure that emails I put places on my phone end up where I left them on the server... lol Other than that...yeah...you're pretty much right (if you don't have an Android phone)...

thebaldguy
thebaldguy

I'd never heard of Justin James, I have now. My impression is that he is an anti-Google hack. Maybe he'll change my opinion in the future, if I choose to read any more of his stuff. If it's like this, I won't.

jjstone
jjstone

Clearly, you dislike Google because of its success in markets that overlap Apple. Better search results - really? Equivalent services - really? Your overreach reveals your awful bias. Please eliminate all bias, attempt some minumum of due diligence in regards to actual (i.e., real) research, then rewrite. Or attend a Google re-education camp and join the modern world instead of griping. Better, find another hobby.

tech4me
tech4me

Why should people switch from Google, except to satisfy their own misplaced paranoia about Google? Why do you think companies like Yahoo, Apple and Microsoft are more trustworthy? In most cases, alternatives were not provided. So it's quite useless in my opinion to say it's easy to switch from a Google service, without offering an alternative solution, and WHY the alternative solution is almost as good. The bottom line though, is you cannot offer a single provider for most of these services. For the same reason a lot of people enjoy the Apple ecosystem, a lot of people enjoy Google's full service offering. Single sign-on, easily transfer data between services, wide platform compatibility, ability to delete your account, reliable, fast, secure, extensive API's... Justin just doesn't realize a lot of Google's customers are educated users who choose Google because their offerings are simply better then their competitors. Heaven forbid if Google make too many good products though, as then we'll have to force ourselves to use inferior products to avoid Google mining our personal data and serving us tiny advertisements on their FREE services. Much safer to spread your personal data across a dozen different service providers right?

TWBurger
TWBurger

I use a large number of Google services and have been very happy with them. As another pointed out: Google Maps is fantastic and I can not go without. The others a nowhere near as good. Yahoo requires a paid version to use with a standard email client. GMail and Hotmail will work with clients. AOL will too. Yes, I do have an AOL account. Ironically hip douche-bags are made, not born. Now, if you'll excuse me I have to trim my soul-patch, get another tattoo for no good reason, and buy an old amateur sports team t-shirt from a trendy boutique for $90 they bought at a garage sale for $1 (Go Benning's Truss and Beam Hornets!) and a new wool knit cap to wear during the summer.

minstrelmike
minstrelmike

If I already use Gmail, why would I switch? (Same as why get off Outlook or Lotus or Groupwise or ...) You cannot get by without email of some sort and if you didn't jump onto Gmail initially, why not? I use google docs to transfer data from one system to another. It's faster than gmail (which is what I use to transfer files from one system to another). Are there alternatives? Yes. Are they better? I can't tell from this article.

Shyrlee
Shyrlee

Some of the afore mentioned Google apps I do not use. I've used both iOS and Android operating systems and I have to admit I'm in favor of the Android. My reasons: bigger screen on the phone, I like the 4.5 screen size and the iOS screen hasn't gotten any bigger; I find the Android system much faster. As for Google tracking our moves, that's a whole different topic for another time. That's my 2 cents. TechRepublic does a great job of informing its readers on what is going on in the IT world. No one said you had to agree with everything that is written; it is just FOR YOUR INFORMATION.

meetyoulater
meetyoulater

-I went on bing maps a few weeks ago and there was only 1 of the restaurants, of which there were 6 on google maps in my city. -people seem to be still switching to gmail; they say it is easier than msn which confuses itself with live mail. -never used google docs -I would like to know more about the security issues with google maps. -Anonymous got kicked off google blogger. -never used google reader. -google checkout seems to be synonymous with android (so no choice) -never used google talk yet, but because of the problems that skype had, people seem to be trying everything else. (Im still waiting for the p2p free version)

Spike_Needle
Spike_Needle

He is just saying that you "can" use alternatives that are imho far worse on functionality/speed and with the same company policy of the maker of that program. No reasoning why to use this or that, no other information whatsoever except spreading some fud. The least you can say about this article is that it is poorly researched and colored from a certain corner (microsoft partner). Question is here: would the same quality of article be accepted if it described alternatives to windows, ms-office, ms visual studio, ... Also without a simple comparison, but just: "you can live without, and you can believe me on my word" I can technically dive into a pit of lava, but that wouldn't be wise to do it. From a reporter I expect objective facts from at least 2 points of view, so that they tease me to think about something.

mlewus
mlewus

This whole article just shrieks of "duh". Of course you don't need Google. You don't need Bing, or Angie's List, or Orbitz, or Coupon Suzy either. But anyone who is not intellectually compromised understands that the reason most of the internet is "free" is that you are trading personal information, translated into advertising and marketing, for those "free" services. Companies have to make money to survive, and no one is willing to pay what it actually costs to provide these services. How about YouTube at $0.50 a video? Yeah, that would last about 10 seconds. So if you don't like that trade, turn the damn thing off. We need an article to tell us this?

ivomuk
ivomuk

It is really absurd that so many "IT Pros" have failed to understand why the article was posted and they have posted all these stupid comments.It is wise for one to apply Critical Thinking before they start assuming they have understood what they have read. The word used in the article was ALTERNATIVE and not BETTER ALTERNATIVE. James says they perform the same or similar web functions. Everyone making these stupid comments and insulting JJ should have noted that the alternatives being provided were for a specific group "those security-conscious enough to have reservations about using google-net". I am very disappointed by all these Irrational comments. People should read and understand before they start posting Irrational comments.

elizabeth
elizabeth

Whew, I thought I was misreading this. Google search is the go-to search. Yahoo is great and Bing seems to be reliable, but diss Google Search? And gmail, for its failings, has the best spam filter around. Maps is so easy, and Docs is meant to GET US AWAY FROM OUR DESKTOP, and not still be tied to it. Really...

InstructorJWN
InstructorJWN

Justin, You call that an "article", well this "ad for Microsoft" is something I can do without. Very poor analysis, though I agree that Google is not the "be all end all" (nothing is) of solution sets. Please keep in mind that Google's tools do work and don't burden you with frequent (often nightly) critical updates to boilerplate code (ala Microsoft Update). And Google Maps and Google Earth blow Microsoft's maps out of the water. Speaking of Microsoft, Microsoft is the "Big Blue" of the 2010's. They have tried and failed to become "THE main player" in the market, and now see the perennial "cash cows" of Office and Windows leaving once green pastures for the slaughter house run by Apple Google, Amazon, and a host of others. SO, why was market domination" by Microsoft OK, and what Google (and others) are doing not ok??? Microsoft essentially had "ads" for new products in the not commercial part of the nightly news! Remember when 95 came out, how about XP???? Microsoft is ALWAYS mentioned on the network news, and still they lose market share. Did LINUX get equal time??? How about Android??? Seriously, how about the leader now APPLE????? I agree now is a time for decentralization, but this is "unabashed bashing" of Google is undeserved, particularly when you: A.) Do not specify alternatives to anything! B.) Are not pointing out flaws of OTHER providers. C.) Seem to be only complaining and not actually saying anything of substance. I have read other posts, and yes I agree Google is by no means a malevolent entity and is indeed "Data mining", but frankly how many big companies are not doing that?? Maybe you should dust off a TRS-80 computer and hook up a modem to the BBS, and start writing new apps in well it would have to be assembly, as BASIC is probably co-opted as well Jim

perryhugo
perryhugo

Adwords (maybe) but not the search? and Google+? I'd say this article is 80% wrong on the first list, and 67% wrong on the 2nd list.

patpridgen
patpridgen

Yahoo doesn't have free pop3 and i don't know about hotmail, but i suspect not. I like the ability to just use my email reader instead of having to go online to get my email with a browser. This has worked well for me as I change ISP's, and still gives me the abililty to check my email via the web when not at my personal computer

bobwinners
bobwinners

I know I'm not catching everything, but, as far a Google is concerned, I'm a 'person' approximately half my real age who lives in the US somewhere, but not where they think, and ... what else? As for Facebook, I 'know' 30 or so people who may or may not 'know' me. Am I real? Or am I a Facebook entity... The cheapest advertising is that which gets into everyone's face for as little 'cost' as possible. Google doesn't get that.

lwetzel
lwetzel

Justin James! Who would miss such a lame article?

denzcam
denzcam

Guess the Google+ button is acceptable. My first comment seems not to have been acceptable. Will this survive?

Newcopia
Newcopia

Google don't force you to use their apps or search engine. When you install or upgrade IE the only search engine is Bing you have to go through several steps to add the search engine of your choice. I have moved to Talk after Skype was purchased by Microsoft. The Skype toolbar and adds are annoying to say the least. I no longer use IE or Skype because these programs keep hijacking my settings.

Anthony Rice
Anthony Rice

I'm not Google fanboy but I'd like to know what contenders you are talking about here because I have not found anything which returns the same level of quality in its results and I'm a librarian, not just a casual user. Bing is useless, Yahoo is beyond useless. I try and use DuckDuckGo as a Google Search replacement and I find it good most of the time but I sometimes find myself adding a !g before things to get decent results for more in-depth topics.

janajaf
janajaf

I really don't see the point. There are lots and lots of choices around and I think we should use all that work for us. I think anyone who relies just on one set of options will be in a bind. These things all change too quickly. I try to use whatever works from anyone and always have an alternative on hand. Google still provides the best search for me as do their maps. I use others but find them not quite good enough. I use gmail, but also yahoo and Hotmail and Verizon and mail.com. When one goes down the others are up usually. The only company I pretty much steer clear of is Apple because they make everything both expensive and proprietary. I think we can all expect that if we use computers at all - for anything - we are being tracked. Even when we exercise all the privacy options. If you don't want to be tracked by someone you had better use nothing electronic. So just pay attention to everything - all the time. That is the price of this progress. For that matter if you receive or send snail mail you are being tracked. If you bank at any bank you are being tracked. If you have a driver's licence, if you pay taxes etc.etc. The world of privacy is long gone so you had better adapt. The biggest problems are that all of our data is in the databases of companies who get hacked and then we can get compromised.

croberts
croberts

This is a typical case of someone wanting to just get noticed, by writing something that nobody else is writing. "Get rid of Google Search and Android", and, "Keep Google+"...? Um, other way around! You want to ditch the things that Google is killing the competition at but keep the junk that is useless? Sorry, not me, I like to be productive with my devices, and turn my phone into a free (and legal) hotspot withou having to pay extra to my carrier. I like to be able to just speak all my SMS and Email messages that get auto-translated into text so I never have to use the on-screen keyboard. I like that I can browse server shares from my phone, and remote desktop into any computer from my Android. Seriously, this author must live in a very static IT environment that never has any challenges. If all you do is send email, browse websites, and play fart sounds on your phone then sure, iOS is great for you!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

So I'm tied, big deal. I get a couple things back that I think are worth it. - My ISP's business affiliations allow me to log on to paid wifi services around the country for no additional cost above the $15/month I'm paying them for access. - Instant assumption of respectability from on-line entities. ("Hey, he has a real email address instead of a freemail address. Must be employed.")

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

Oh noes!1! Teh Googal iz eeeeeevil!!!!11! Kill itz wid fiar!!! i'm sorry but eliminating Google serves nobody and certainly isn't a constructive addition to the debate (rather like my sarcastic parody of your sentiments above- my apologies, it's been a hard day). If we really dislike what Google are doing that much then we can vote with our feet. Although I clearly disagree that the alternatives provided by the article are indeed as useful they are at least alternatives. One thing I will say though - if any of us believe that Google are the only people harvesting and selling our data for targeted ads, slaes or whatnot we'd be dead wrong. MS clearly do this. Apple clearly do this. Other entities do this. Google are just the most visible at this at the moment. A greater debate about what we're willing to let companies store and use regarding our Internet usage and personal details needs to be had because right now we're walking quietly into an Internet where any company has the rights to track what we do, what we buy and where we go. I admit, this has a chilling conclusion if we aren't careful.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

While your contention about MS is correct, there's an enormous difference: unlike google, they don't derive the vast majority of their income from selling your thoughts, predilections, biases, and even movements to advertisers, gov't, and spammers of all types. So there's that....

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

At the top of the thread, people are complaining that Justin didn't disclose that his employer is a Microsoft Partner. And here you are, essentially calling him an Apple fanboy. One more example of how different people will interpret the same words differently...

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

PayPal works perfectly well with Android. Checkout isn't required. That said, I'm not sure about the Google play store (replacement for Google Apps store)

jcurtis
jcurtis

"Well said that man". We all have our own opinions but I've been amazed at some (most) of the almost spiteful comments posted, and I've read them all so far. Disagree by all means but keep the vitriol to yourself.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

Something's wrong there, buddy; the rest of us all can.

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

You say, who would miss such a lame article, but the fact of it is, we've all commented and clearly read his writings. :) I guess the author wins. You know what they say? "No publicity is bad publicity" :)

Sunwukong68
Sunwukong68

That may be currently true, but the potential is there. Microsoft is not as intrusive or inquisitive...perhaps this is a trend that has not yet caught on. There are a few other ideas that are catching on with MS. Have you taken a ride with Windows 8? (Microsoft Certified Professional--with an open, but not yet paranoid mind.)

InstructorJWN
InstructorJWN

I get your perspective, and it is well taken. I think the difference is that some on here are "old school" people like me and have seen all this (i.e. the internet) grow from a curiosity to a part of daily life. Justin's comments to me at least reflect a very myopic view of the state of tech, and frankly probably align with many in the IT community today. I really enjoy creating solutions and have built lots of things that were very cool. trouble is that sometimes it is better (and cheaper) to use what is freely available to provide solutions or just to gather information. For what it is worth, search engines made the internet what it is today, and no company other than Google made that happen. Until google, it was quite difficult to find information. Yahoo had a search engine (which was later quietly replaced by Google) and other providers popped up. Fact is that Google has been in widespread use since 1995-1996 and the time for "mass panic" is long passed! Anything you post or say is "history set in stone" anymore that is probably true in real life as well. Good perspective! Jim

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

"Boo, hissssss!" at performance-robbing bloat-ware on brand-new consumer hardware. I disagree with you two on the obligatory(?) sub-topic of 'which is worse'; It's actually easier to rid a new machine of crap (there are great tools for that, often rated and discussed here) than to avoid Google's data-maw on the internet. Moreover, the initial scrub/configure of a PC is a one-time project. Fortunately, we all have the freedom to act on our own beliefs/world-views when we choose OSs, browsers, web-service providers.

Sunwukong68
Sunwukong68

Don't affect performance...bells and whistles, graphic ads, java, and flashplayer all use memory on computers. I agree with dl_wraith...the bloatware and crapware is far worse to deal with than data mining that Google and others do. I know on my Android based phone, in the new Google PlayStore, there is an option to turn off the "Google AdMob ads". I leave mine on because I prefer ads that might show me something I am interested in.

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

.....all you had to deal with on an OEM install was a couple of bookmarks and maybe the odd bit of Brand customisation. easy to remove it you didn't want it. These days it seems bloatware and stuff you don't need is pre-loaded heavily on every computing device you buy. I mean, look at the smartphone debacle. never mind Google data mining. How about we crusade against this crapware and campaign for devices we can use the way we want when we've paid for them? On an individual basis the time and productivity lost through the performance hit of vendor bloatware and to IT chaps removing the same is probably more costly than MS, Google, Apple or such knowing what sites you visit and what purchases you've made.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

That's the equivalent of the ads and trailers that often come on a DVD movie you'd buy, but not the ongoing pointed-data-mining-and-redistribution that goes on in the google-sphere. OMG! There's an ad (for the full suite) in your starter-ware!!! Better alert the media....

Sunwukong68
Sunwukong68

I forgot to mention...the Word and Excel starter editions that come with your new laptop or other Windows computer, also come with pointed ads.

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

Not sure I'd believe that. MS collect all sorts of data about us for sure and they do target ads at you through various of their services. They'll only get more creative with this data as time goes on - the M$ machine is so vast it's usually a little slow to turn, if you catch my meaning.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

..but there was already mayonnaise or something on the Metro touchscreen, so I passed. Thanks for the considered response. I infer that you got my point about Google's source of revenue contrasted with MS's. I don't think MS has a lot of 'potential' to try and shift their revenue source from software, servers, OS, et al "sales and 'service'(!)", suddenly, to "delivering gleaned consumer-data to advertisers, societal sculptors, market research, and the like" as does google (Sure, Bing sells banner and margin ads, and 'sponsored links', but that's not what we're talking about...). It's understood by most (I think) that, just like the phone co., MS can and will facilitate (if not supply) 'back-door' ingress into anyone's machine (that uses their OS) for the *authorities*....That's a totally different situation than google's; MS can snoop around in your hard drive, but it purports to happen only under the rubric of 'National Security' or 'high-level investigation', with appropriate warrant(s) and approval. At google, on the other hand, getting ahold of your 'life-data' and distributing it to their actual customers IS their very raison d'etra.... P.S. I'm doing just fine with W7 (for which I got over XP). I don't think W8's here to supplant 7; it's really for the tablet/mobile-sphere. The screen on my Dell laptop (1yr old, W7 64) died recently, and as I'm already sick of using my gaming-TV as a monitor, I'm looking at some new laptops. I'm certain that the one I end up with will not feature Windows 8. But I digress.... ;)