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Living Outside of the Google Digital Dome: How to separate from Google

These days, it seems like Google is everywhere. It could even be said that Google knows us better than any other human person. It gleans our personalities by the secret things we search for. And it seems to know what we want even before we realize it. Think of YouTube’s Recommended Videos. Or the sudden appearance of holiday specials in your inbox when you mail a friend about how busy work is.

At first glance, it would appear that Google is acting as an assistant. But how much of our power are we actually handing over? One could argue that we’ve put our lives into Google’s AI-powered hands and let the tech giant decide where we go, what we do and even, what to think. The recent Facebook scandal is proof of how ordinary conversations and online activity can be used to influence the masses under the pretense of “targeted marketing”. Google’s global reach is far greater than Facebook. And it is safe to assume that the degree of manipulation could be greater too. The power of suggestion is subtle but strong. So, what can we do to unplug and take back this power?

 

It starts with our go-to apps that we use in our everyday lives. Remember that everything you do on a Google-based app will be harvested to be used against you later on. We must remember that there are some amazing alternatives that can replace Google-based apps. Google may have marketed itself as the only viable option for all online tasks. But, truthfully, Microsoft is a strong competitor that can stand up to them in several arenas.

Microsoft Word
the good

Although Word is built as a stand-alone application Microsoft has introduced Office online which gives internet access to the application features. The ability for the application to be run independently of the internet connection also gives Word advantages over Docs should you find yourself separated from the internet.
Google Docs
what you give up

Google's word processor was made and lives online so naturally this is where it shines. Its usability and access online makes it a powerful tool but serves as a weakness should you lose access to the internet or your account.
Microsoft Excel
the good

Excel has become synonymous with spreadsheets due to Microsoft software and today it continues to deliver top level features and usability. While some features are watered down in the online free version it still meets the needs of most users.
Google Sheets
what you give up

Google sheets again like its siblings strives in bringing its tools to life online from any connection. While its accessibility is enticing it stills is playing catch-up to Excel in terms of user interface performance for power users.
Microsoft PowerPoint
the good

Of the office suite PowerPoint seems to have the largest gap between its google counter part. With libraries of templates and high quality features, even novice users can create stunning content with ease.
Google Slides
what you give up

Again here the strengths of Slides comes largely from is accessibility and even that is being quickly caught by Microsoft. While accessing your slides anywhere is convenient the ease and power of Microsoft seems a clear choice here.
Microsoft Word
the good

Although Word is built as a stand-alone application Microsoft has introduced Office online which gives internet access to the application features. The ability for the application to be run independently of the internet connection also gives Word advantages over Docs should you find yourself separated from the internet.
Google Docs
what you give up

Google's word processor was made and lives online so naturally this is where it shines. Its usability and access online makes it a powerful tool but serves as a weakness should you lose access to the internet or your account.
Microsoft Excel
the good

Excel has become synonymous with spreadsheets due to Microsoft software and today it continues to deliver top level features and usability. While some features are watered down in the online free version it still meets the needs of most users.
Google Sheets
what you give up

Google sheets again like its siblings strives in bringing its tools to life online from any connection. While its accessibility is enticing it stills is playing catch-up to Excel in terms of user interface performance for power users.
Microsoft PowerPoint
the good

Of the office suite PowerPoint seems to have the largest gap between its google counter part. With libraries of templates and high quality features, even novice users can create stunning content with ease.
Google Slides
what you give up

Again here the strengths of Slides comes largely from is accessibility and even that is being quickly caught by Microsoft. While accessing your slides anywhere is covenant the ease and power of Microsoft seems a clear choice here.
Let’s look at some practical examples. Take the ability to collaborate on documents. Your immediate choice might be Google Docs. But in reality, Microsoft Word is a better word-processor than Google Docs, and includes great real-time collaboration features. For communication, a common choice would be Google-powered Gmail. However, Outlook is a clear leader in functionality and, perhaps most importantly, privacy. In fact, Outlook outperforms Gmail in many aspects. Deciding on cloud services means a showdown between Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. Azure is the way to go. They’ve been in the game longer and they cover more locations than Google Cloud.
Amazon Web Service

Amazon has been the biggest provider of cloud based solutions for over a decade and with that comes experience and resources. Part of that experience is Amazons ability to serve and handle large scale projects and big companies better than the competitors.
Microsoft Azure

Being a part of Microsoft, Azure leverages their knowledge and position to integrate Microsoft tools and software into their services which is convenient and easy for many users to pick up. This also allows them to leverage hybrid cloud solutions which utilize both on and off premise machines. Despite being a branch of Microsoft, Azure also offers open source support for other OS and data sources.
Google Cloud Platform

Google boasts its strength in its data and cloud based design to stand out of the crowd for cloud services and solutions. This is demonstrated by serverless "just code" functions.
Amazon Web Service

Amazon has been the biggest provider of cloud based solutions for over a decade and with that comes experience and resources. Part of that experience is Amazons ability to serve and handle large scale projects and big companies better than the competitors.
Microsoft Azure

Being a part of Microsoft, Azure leverages their knowledge and position to integrate Microsoft tools and software into their services which is convenient and easy for many users to pick up. This also allows them to leverage hybrid cloud solutions which utilize both on and off premise machines. Despite being a branch of Microsoft, Azure also offers open source support for other OS and data sources.
Google Cloud Platform

Google boasts its strength in its data and cloud based design to stand out of the crowd for cloud services and solutions. This is demonstrated by serverless "just code" functions.

But how do we escape Google when we need a search engine? Easy. Try Bing, the Microsoft-based web search engine. It’s powerful and gets you the information you need within milliseconds. To make things even more convenient, it is integrated into Microsoft Office products as a Research feature. You can find information without even leaving the app.

By now, it is evident that there is life beyond Google. And going off the Google grid may not be as hard as you thought. It is possible. And it is liberating. The whole point is to take back your power as an Internet user. Your information and your life choices should not be used to manipulate you. And Microsoft is your best weapon to free yourself from that control


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