Bing for a day: my fruitless attempt to avoid using a Google product
It is possible I've visited Starbucks more since its tax affairs became news, but those who have boycotted the chain (which has now agreed to review its practices because of "consumer pressure", the Treasury said today) need not look far for a caffeine fix. Is there really much to separate, say, a Starbucks latte and one from the Costa over the road?
What about Google, whose accounts face similar scrutiny? I'm addicted to the site and all its sons. Sad as it is to say, I couldn't do my job without them. But for one afternoon, I've agreed to walk past Google's door and cross a digital street to a new life.
First, my email, or Gmail, as it's been since I ditched Hotmail. I log back into my Windows Live account for the first time in years to find a message from a man who wants "urgent assistance in transferring $11.3m immediately to your private account" but little to inspire a return.
I'm a slave to Google Maps (I'm still refusing an iPhone software update simply to avoid Apple's mapping service) and ridicule my deskmate for her 1990s-era reliance on Streetmap. Sometimes she even prints out a map. (Imagine!) I do the same to locate a concert I'm going to tonight. I guess, if I don't lose it, I won't get lost, but it takes at least, what, three minutes longer? Time is money, people.
I've even cranked Microsoft Word into life to write this. The words somehow look nicer than on Google Drive, but being untethered from the cloud (I can access Google Docs on any device) makes me feel dizzy.
I can't find a way to search the web on my phone without Google, but on my work PC there is of course Bing or even Jeeves, if he's still around. I Bing, as they don't say, "how to cope without Google", but get nothing. Otherwise, however, Bing looks a lot like Google but seems to organise results less logically.
It's only late into my experiment that I realise I've failed to see the Google wood for the non-Google trees; I've performed most of my alternative functions on a thing called Google Chrome without realising. Switch to Explorer? I conclude, lazily and without much regard for principle, that Google would have to commit quite some evil for me to walk.
Life & Style blogs
Maytree charity: Sanctuary for the suicidal - one mother's story
WWE 2K15 gameplay trailer: First look at Sting, Triple H and Daniel Bryan in next-gen graphics
iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
iPhone 'Wave': iOS 8 hoax claims you can charge your iPhone in the microwave - you can't
First day of Autumn: Google Doodle celebrates 2014 Autumn equinox
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Cyclist in Russia narrowly misses being hit by car and lorry
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 What are your fingerprint words?
- 5 Gary Lineker involved in Twitter row after presenter rubbishes claims he will be warned by BBC over foul-mouthed tweets
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...
£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...
£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...