Which Tech Company are you most Aligned to?

Mike Halsey MVP
Jun 28, 2011
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Apple, Companies

The computing industry is unlike any other in the way that it divides people into one camp or another. People sometimes become fanatical about the way they follow one company, and they can be completely scathing about others. The example you'll all be able to recognise here is Apple fans who will sometimes go to the ends of the Earth to defend the company, the brand and the CEO.

I thought I'd ask here if you are a fan of a particular brand and why that is? I'll start with myself. I'm aligned with Microsoft goods (though I'd never call myself a fan) primarily for a few reasons.

The first reason is that in recent years Microsoft good have just got better and better. Let's take Office for example, it's still the world's most popular integrated suite by a wide margin, even on the Mac. This is despite the much-derided Ribbon interface and the fact that every other office suite in the world uses traditional menus.

So why is Microsoft Office the world's best office suite? It simply can't be just because it sells more than its competitors. For this to happen people first have to believe it's great, so you can't just say it's based on sales figures. We need to understand what drives those figures.

It wasn't always this way though. It's only in the last year of so that Microsoft have demonstrated they've got their mojo back. Before this I was sat between the major camps, and criticising Microsoft as much as anybody.

There are problems I see with Google and Apple though too. With Google I've never liked that their online services, which are great, simply don't interact with each other in the way I feel they should. There's no joined-up thinking like there is with Microsoft's online services. I'm also angry that they are attempting to appeal to a mass audience while at the same time not taking malware seriously on any of their platforms.

With Apple it's even more basic as I feel that every aspect of their operating systems is designed to sell you things. I also don't like the iTunes lock-in, especially when iTUnes itself reminds me too much of Windows Media Player from ten years ago.

There is a lot to like about Google and Apple though. Google's products will appeal to huge numbers of people because they're firstly of a very high quality, but also because they're all free. People who use Google's products don't seem to mind being served up targeted adverts in the way they do, because even though they may get it more than the customers of other companies, other companies do it too, including Microsoft.

Google's give it away for free attitude is a good one. They're not seen as the big monopoly that Microsoft are, grabbing everyones money, and huge amounts of it too, for dishing up products that are insecure or unreliable. If there are insecurities in Google's products, well they were free and how much do you expect for free!?

Apple has even more to like, not the least of which is the hardware design, the easy and simple to use ecosystem and the trendy factor that comes with owning their kit. They are "the place to be" when it comes to modern tech. You can easily forgive that they're now the largest technology company on the planet because when you're this trendy, of course you would be.

So many of us have tech camps that we have aligned ourselves to, and we have our own reasons for this. It's good and even great that we do this. Competition is essential if we're to continue to get the innovation that we all crave so much, and that drives technology forward. It's essential that these companies (and I've only mentioned three here but let's not forget Ubuntu, Facebook and many other major tech players who have supporters of equal vigour) continue to compete with each other in the way that they do.

It's also essential that they continue to differentiate themselves from their competitors in the way they do with different business models. Google for instance will best take off in emerging markets, probably the world's biggest growth area and one that Microsoft is desperate for a piece of. Why would people in these markets opt for Microsoft though when Google's products are mostly free?

So which tech camp do you sit in? Which of the major technology companies do you support and why, or do you just find the whole thing a bit of a bore and can't understand why people get so excited all the time? Post your comments below.

Which Tech Company are you most Aligned to?
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Which Tech Company are you most Aligned to?
I thought I'd ask here if you are a fan of a particular brand and why that is?

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  1. wangxy said on June 29, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Canonical – Using Ubuntu as my default OS at home about 3 years ago was really eye opening and I never look back.

    OpenOffice/LibreOffice – perfectly suit all my needs of document processing. In fact, I find using MS Office an unbearable chore. It’s true that MS Office is popular, but that does not make it the best. We are in a business environment that often forces us to comply with the proprietary formats of MS. People who wish to make their document more open and compatible will ironically have to be willing to spend some extra time and effort. Dare MS make its document formats open to the public and encourage a more healthy competition that focuses on product quality itself?

    Mozilla – Firefox. My default browser on all platforms.

    Google – many of its online services. Seriously, without Google, where would you expect a Hotmail that is “20x faster”? Yet, Hotmail still sucks in terms of its usability IMHO.

    Lastly, if you criticize Google for its insecurity and instability, then you really have to ask yourself whether the way that MS operates its product lines can make thing by any means better. The past history has given us an unequivocal answer and numerous examples.

    1. Marxatax said on June 29, 2011 at 11:46 am

      In the tiny, low-per-capita-income, third world country where I live, most people use pirated MS software and do not have any kind of credit to make on-line purchases. Those of us strapped for cash but wanting to remain ‘legal’ use Linux; LibreOffice works well for most things and has acceptable compatibility with MS Office.

      Although Apple hardware is elegant, it is impossible to obtain apps, even free ones, (for the ipad at least) here.

      As for Google, Chrome works very well but does not provide the flexibility of Firefox (If one has no on-line credit one does not wish to be bombarded with advertising). Android is the OS of choice for phones and tablets because of its accessibility.

      Thus MS and Apple are deplored for their exclusive nature (for the rich only) and Open Source is championed for its altruism and availability. This reflects the politics, the ‘who gets what’ of software.

  2. Anonymous said on June 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Microsoft for majority of desktop software and Google for web searches and Mozilla for browser. It had stayed this way for years and I do not see reason to change.

  3. Roman ShaRP said on June 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    As a man from rather poor Eastern Europe country, I can’t really like company which wants money from me or tries to feed me with ads 24/7.

    So – never MS, never Apple.

    Many guys here favored MS Office, and you know what I want to tell you? If I want to work with some document on 4 PCs (work Win7, work Mac, home Win XP, home Win 7) I just _have_ to choose OpenOffice/LibreOffice, or pay bloody money in license fees (my company won’t pay for MS Office on our Macs).

    You may be surprised if I told you that job for well-known world-class brand was performed by me in OpenOffice, and I was saved to .doc only when sending to customer’s team. I hope OO will get even better, like Firefox.

    I like Google search, but I don’t trust them too much. Some of their choices aren’t good too.

    The companies I like are the companies I’m free from. Mozilla Foundation, Document Foundation (Libreoffice)… and many independent developers and teams working on free and opensource software.

  4. AC said on June 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Yeah I think I’m products more than companies.

    To be in love with a certain company I think you have to be pretty blind or naive because there is no one company out there that does brilliantly at everything.

    Microsoft = Windows and Office. This is what they do best. I must admit that I d use OpenOffice.org, instead of MS Office but that’s only because Open Office is completely free and for my personal needs, it’s more than adequate.I don’t like IE, Bing or Homtail, although I do have a Hotmail account, it’s not my primary email.

    Mozilla =Firefox. This has been my default browser for about 6 years now and that won’t change any time soon. I’m broderline being a fanboi but I can see that Chrome is an excellent browser and is the market leader in many respects and that Firefox is playing catch up in many respects. But not across the board. I find that stuff in the Options menu is still better than Chrome and I love the way you can customise the browser to have it run and look the way you want. Firefox may be behind Chrome at the moment but remember that Chrome started in September 2008 which is at least 15 months ahead of Firefox. So when you consider all the ground that Mozilla have to make up, they’re not really doing that badly. Apart from Firefox I have never used any other Mozilla software.

    Google – Chrome is installed as my back up browser although I rarely open it. Google Search is awesome. I also use Gmail as my primary email and I think it’s great. Regardless of what people say about marketing or security, the way it looks, behaves and the features it offers put Hotmail in the dark in my opinion.

    Chromebooks and Chrome OS? Wouldn’t touch them, simple as that.

    Apple – There are better products in every aspect of the market whether you’re thinking of iPad, Safari, iPod etc. The only one that I may be tempted to use is the iPhone but I couldn’t care less about my phone at the moment.

  5. AnonCoward said on June 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I guess you could say I’m aligned to MS because I’ve been using their OSes for many years. Though, it’s not like there’s an alternative that’d allow me to do all the things I can do in Windows. Namely graphics, video, sound editing, “audiophile music listening”, AND playing games.

    Having said that, I’ve never been a fanboi of anything. One should be able to use a product and even if they find it to be best to their liking, be able to notice and acknowledge its flaws. Personally, I can’t take people who fall in love with their gadgets seriously, to put it mildly.

  6. Dan said on June 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    While I use a Windows PC, I don’t consider myself aligned with Microsoft. Because, aside from the OS, I barely use any other MS products. I use Chrome/Firefox instead of IE; Sylpheed instead of Live Mail; Picasa instead of Photo Gallery; Akelpad instead of Notepad; Softmaker Office instead of MS Office; Altap Salamander instead of Windows Explorer, etc. Microsoft makes the best platform for me, but it’s just a platform, I work with third party apps.

  7. kalmly said on June 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    MS. I’m not cheering Microsoft, just saying: Don’t care for Apple products, don’t like Google. I’m a software junkie and all the good stuff is written for MS.

    @ techandlife: Yes and Amen! I’d like .rtf to be the standard so everyone can use whatever word processor they like. I work in .rtf, paste to (spit, spit) Word for submissions.

  8. techandlife said on June 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Yes that’s very well put Martin.

    Mike, I would argue that ‘popular’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘best’. In the field I work, publishing, there’s no doubt that MS Word is the industry standard. Most publishers insist that authors submit manuscripts in doc format (docx still hasn’t really caught on in publishing). As a result, authors, copy editors, etc have to follow suit and use Word. I suspect most publishers haven’t even considered or tried many alternatives like for example LibreOffice – I haven’t. So I don’t think we can say that Office is necessarily the best just because it’s ‘the most popular’. But I do accept that it’s easier this way rather than having authors submit papers in different formats. (Yes, I know that LibreOffice can export in doc format, but I understand track changes is still not fully compatible.) It’s just unfortunate globally that the industry standard is a commercial product from one company rather than say a free, open source alternative, which would help poorer authors in developing nations.

    The other problem with being forced along the Word route is that most of us have a product which does much, much more than we’ll ever need and use. A lighter, free product would suit many but until the commercial stranglehold is broken and companies stop insisting on using doc format then unfortunately great free alternatives won’t be adopted widely and Word will remain ‘popular’.

  9. Yoav said on June 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I’m with Martin.

    I want products that work, first of all, and save me time. Price is a factor as well and if all else is equal I will choose open source platforms over closed ones, so that I won’t be held hostage or sued by some hostile company just for trying to make the software that I bought to work the way I want it to…

  10. Paul(us) said on June 28, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I agree with Martin and i could add to that that i do not like company’s like Apple with there child labor products.

  11. Martin Brinkmann said on June 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I personally do not care about companies, I care about products.

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