My software co-dependent relationships!

My co-dependent relationship with google started in 1999, when I first discoverd their search engine. It's been downhill ever since.

I had one of the very first accounts of GMAIL amongst my friends in the spring of 2004 (remember, when the gmail invites meant something?). I had my first blog on blogger in december 2004. I spent hours checking out areas I will never live in on Google-earth. I wasted hundreds of working hours watching videos on youtube. I used google translate, I use google reader and my primary chat application is google-talk. And now I have donwloaded Google Chrome and am using it to write this entry. The only other software company that has a similar stake in my life is Microsoft, through their windows and office program (both I've been using for 14 years now), but you have to either pay or steal those, while Google is kinda giving everything for free. I am a personalized living example of the IT war between those two companies. A man-sized flowchart if you will. My co-dependence on those two worries me sometimes, but like every drug-addict, I justfy it by saying to myself how everybody else is doing it, so it's ok. 

Now, if you are like me, one of those whose loyalty is split down the middle between the two copanies, you can understand the panic I sufferd, when I started thinking about the day google releases their first free operating system and Office software. I mean, what the fuck am I going to do when THAT happens? Do I switch? Do I stay? Do I really want to be one the first people to try out the new system, or am I going to be one of those late converts, like I was with Chrome? Or am I going to stick it out with Microsoft regardless?

All the options kind of suck in a way..and let me demonstrate how using the "boyfriend" example. If You are a man, imagine yourself to be a woman for a second, and if you are a woman, well, good job, anyway..So, you are a woman, and you are co-depndent on your boyfriend Microsoft, whom you've been with  for a long long time. Now, Microsoft isn't a great boyfriend, actually, he kinda sucks. He takes away your money when he can, he is flawed, he is always sick, he rarely performs well consistently, and he keeps going through phases and incarnations that are making him worse by the day (i.e. his fuck-ups increase with age). But he has been there forever, and you are used to him: You know how he operates, you don't have to expect much from him, and when you want to push him to do things, he can actually be pretty good. But really, he is a project and a headcase, and nothing to write home about.

Google is a different boyfriend. Google is smart, Google is slick, Google knows exactly what you need and Google keeps improving day after day. Google is the helpfull sweet guy that surprises you every once in a while with a very helpful gift, and he only wants your grattitude and friendship. He is pretty out there with his ideas, but he follows through with them, and is pretty much self-motivated and driven. The problem with google is that he is too good to be true: You are not really sure why he loves you, or keeps treating you well, but you suspect that there is a malicious reason behind it all: That the moment you give in totally to him, and become totally dependent on him, his real face will show itself and it will be an ugly controlling one. And while this could be due to your low-self esteem, your belief that no one will really find anything to love in you the way google seems to and skewed paranoid thinking thanks to years of abuse on the hands of Microsoft, it doesn't help that Google seems to have a serious case of hate towards Microsoft, even if it's repressed and only shows itself occasionally. Actually, it only stokes your belief that Google is waiting for the inevtiable day when you leave Microsoft for him, so he can stick his tongue out in Microsoft's face while doing a lewd dance of victory. And what a horrible day that will be for Microsoft: dumped, abandoned and broke, after more than 20 years together. Would you have the heart? 

Personally, I have no clue what I will do on that fatefull day, and thus I hope the day doesn't come anytime soon (altough I do think I will probably dump Microsoft for Google, if everyone else did it as well :P ). And don't tell me that linux is an option. It's not. I am a simple-minded consumer, people. Linux needs learning. Maybe when it's dumbed down enough for me to use it, then I will consider it. Until that day, or either one of those two days actually, my co-dependent ass will keep firting with Google while being married to Microsoft, just like I am doing now.


  1. RocketRay says:

    Sorry SM, with Ubuntu you no longer have the “Linux is too haaard!” excuse.

    Get a live CD and give it a try.

  2. Sam, you still find new ways to make me laugh year after year

  3. Get a macintosh machine tnen.

  4. awesome post man. I can say exactly the same for myself. Miss you!

  5. Man get a macbook :) now I no longer use windows, and I didn’t even get office for mac (my arab mentality prevents me from paying for software)…

    But yes my dependence on google freaks me out. Besides search and email and blogger and calendar, I am also totally dependent on maps, I can’t imagine life without google maps, and I use google docs instead of office apps.

    But the important thing is, I already broke up with Microsoft, and so should you =P

  6. To help seperate yourself from Microslug, you might want to try Open Office. It’s user friendly, open source and free. I haven’t used Microslug’s Office in 10 years.

  7. Sam – there’s already lots of alternatives to MS office – including google’s “Google apps”. Word and Excel type applications all free of charge. And as Eric points out so correctly, Open Office is also a great alternative.

    MS is still betting on the old thinking that software you buy or license. Google’s idea is quite the opposite – and shares quite a bit with open source. The idea is that software doesn’t have any value. The services associated with the software does. So you pay google – right now via ads – to have them run the enterprise level systems. All you need is a browser and you’re set.

    I’m a great fan of some google apps, like google reader. But they aren’t the only game in town. Microsoft – as always – is playing catch-up. And they’re slowly loosing ground. Nobody sees the point in upgrading the OS every 3-4 years and reinvesting fully in new hardware software. Nobody sees the point in the new advanced office packages when Word 98 still serves them great. MS needs the public to keep wanting new and more flashy stuff – and being willing to pay for it. Google, Mozilla, Linux etc. are all players in that field – and they’re not charging ANYTHING for those features that MS needs you to pay for.

    The writing is, I guess, on the wall?

  8. thank you

    great for more

  9. I use Open Office to write all my projects and reports. The best part is that I can convert my document to PDF like a breeze. Open Office is getting more and more user friendly.