Moving to the dark side…


This is the sequel to Microsoft – So long and thanks for all the fish. Also, this is my journey, and I’m not suggesting for a second it would work out for anyone else (I’m nobody’s evangelist).

My frustrations with Microsoft finally came to a head with the axing of the Groove app for Android. I’d literally just dumped my aging Windows phone and moved to Android, but wanted to keep using MS services as much as possible. I’d just got it set up perfectly, and by far the largest volume of data on my OneDrive is music. So I was spitting feathers when MS dumped me yet again.

For now I’ve managed to Cobble together a solution using Google music whilst my data is still on OneDrive (though essentially only as a backup). I’ve never been a fan of Google, the old maxim about you being the product if you cannot work out what the product is seemed very pertinent. But you know what cheeses me off even more than lack of privacy? A totally unreliable supplier who capriciously withdraws their services at a whim (and yes, I am aware that Google have form in this regard as well…). So I’ve done it, I’ve gone to the dark side.

My red lightsaber of choice is a 10-inch Chromebook. I can honestly say that Chrome OS on it’s own would literally do nothing for me. But with Android apps the picture changes big time. I’ve now got a laptop with app parity on my phone (something MS used to be able to provide – no more).

And it’s great. I’m loving the light airy feel of the OS and the HUGE number of apps available (I’m actually playing a few lightweight games for the first time in ages). Will it replace my PC? Er, no. But before I was probably 30% phone, 70% PC. Now it’s more like 30% phone, 40% Chromebook and 30% PC. Is it perfect? Hell no! I cannot get the OneDrive app working at all, and I cannot map to shares on my NAS (even with the Google supplied extension for this purpose). And the start menu keeps losing my folder names and rearranging things whenever I restart. It does feel a little lacking in polish in places. But despite all that I really like it. Once the wrinkles get ironed out I can see my PC being relegated to the occasional heavy lifting tasks (maybe once a fortnight?).

My next task is to take Google office for a spin. If I can live with that offering, and once Google One with it’s more flexible storage options arrive then I’m gone. MS don’t deserve any more money from me for providing a shrinking service offering. MS will always be there (on my gaming rig for proper games if nothing else), but day to day I reckon I can do better than what are currently offering.

So I’ve finally got my answer to the question: what will it take for MS to alienate me entirely.

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