Accidental Personal Tech Change

6

Change can sometimes be planned and sometimes accidental.

For a number of years my home devices have been governed by a distinctive Microsoft slant. Going back 5 years my TV was connected to my old Xbox 360. I rented movies from the Microsoft store. I used Microsoft apps on the Xbox 360 for catchup TV. I used my Windowsphone for Groove Music (was Xbox Music) and Podcasts etc. Cortana was the digital assistant I used on the move. Maps were from Bing. Onedrive looked after the photos and was particularly appealing because of the Windowsphone bonus space for photos. Eventually an Xbox One became the living room device when I bought an Xbox One S for gaming.

Basically the digital services part of my life was Microsoft-centric. 

I didn’t really make a decision to move away from Microsoft. I really didn’t. However, my wife needed a music service and it made financial sense to get a family plan. So Spotify became the music service. The Xbox DVD reader often failed to read my DVDs so I bought a cheap Sony device for that. Windowsphone was killed so I got an Android device then it made more sense to use a Chromecast. My Spotify connects to home speakers and, in the UK, there are no Cortana home speakers. So I got an Amazon Echo to work with Spotify. 

Google gives me unlimited storage to look after my photos and there is no Bing Maps app for Android so Google Maps are the default.

The other day I looked around my personal technology and realised that, apart from my PC, I have gone Microsoft free. I never decided to do that it just happened.

I don’t think I am the only one.

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Accidental Personal Tech Change”

  1. Paul Thurrott

    Yep. I feel like I've been documenting this kind of change for a few years now. Microsoft is pretty much now just work/PC stuff. Well, that and gaming for me at least.

  2. jumpingjackflash5

    Yes, Microsoft today is unfortunately forgetting and underestimating the synergy effects which it once understood and promoted really strong. Maybe they'll notice and fix it (they surely can), or they will lose their relevance to home users in the near future.

    • jumpingjackflash5

      In reply to jumpingjackflash5:

      That said, MS is trying even now. Office 365. OneDrive. Software for Android and IPhone. But it lacks that "sparkle" that it once had. And I think that sparkle has been and shall have been Windows. Microsoft should get Windows back on track. Correct the errors we have been speaking here about. Make some controversial things optional or selectable. Focus on stability, reliability, dependability. Do not innovate that rapidly and forcefully. Etc ...

  3. Daekar

    I just hope that they don't do away with the Groove app. It's really great to be able to access my OneDrive tracks from various devices, but if they drop the Android client, for instance, the value of having those files in OneDrive drops considerably. Not that there aren't other ways to achieve the same thing, but I'd be willing to bet some people wouldn't bother with them.


    They need to stay heavily invested in gaming. If another platform becomes the premier PC-form-factor venue for games, it is REALLY going to hurt their sales.

  4. wright_is

    It is similar here, although I have to say, the hardware has changed, but the services remain the same...

    I switched from Windows Phone / Windows 10 Mobile to Android, but I use the Microsoft launcher. I also have Office 365, so I use OneDrive to store photos, documents music and everything else. Google doesn't store my photos.

    I switched from Google for search to Duckduckgo.

    I used to use Windows Phone for voice activation in the car. I now have all voice activation turned off (company policy), as is location awareness.

    (On company devices, like the company laptop, location, advertising ID, cameras, microphone and pretty much everything related to Store Apps (including the Store) is disabled.

    On my private accounts, on both Google and Microsoft accounts, I've disabled all application telemetry, and on Google also search history, YouTube history and everything else I can.

  5. North of 49th

    Ten years ago I purchased a Dolby/DTS receiver that was touted as future proof. One of the functions it has is Microsoft 'playsforsure' capability which now in 2018 seems a little humorous given where current content is coming from. It is still a good receiver, but over the past 10 years I've gained a little more wisdom in what future proof ought to mean.

    If I had to repurchase a receiver (which to take care of 4K I will have to soon), I think my purchase decision will be less about built in things like 'playsforsure' and more about having a lot of connection points for other devices.

    Like you, compatibility with Microsoft services was a decision factor 10 years ago. Now to be future proof for the next 10 years, I think I need less tie in with specific companies and more ability to be modular and agile.

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