Hate Google? There Are Alternatives

in BYOD, Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing, Productivity

i-hate-googleGoogle is one of those Marmite companies, you either love or hate.  The original Don’t Be Evil slogan has taken a bit of a battering over the years but it remain one of the most innovative organisations that have changed the way we live and work. The rapidly emerging mobile workplace is dominated by Google and Apple through their Android and IoS operation systems.  I know some people are worried about how much data is mined by Google, but I think the same behind the scenes antics are carried out by all the major players.  As the old saying goes, if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. So what can you do if you want to stay mobile in the cloud – read on…

Alternative Office – Try Zoho

zohoMicrosoft Office dominates the corporate office suite world and has been a bit slow in catching up with Google in offering its products online. One of the best alternatives to either company’s products comes from Zoho an Indian based start up that began life way back in 1996 as a network management framework provider for telecommunications and network equipment vendors.  During a slowdown in the Indian economy in 2005 Zoho looked at the SMB (small to medium sized business) sector and launched its Zoho Office Suite that matched everything Microsoft Office had and more.

ZohoWriterSo good is Zoho’s range of products that Salesforce tried to buy it but the deal never went through. Zoho’s interface has much more in common with Microsoft Office than the Zen minimalism of Google Docs, etc, as shown in the image of Zoho Writer (right).

I had a fair bit of interaction with Zoho in the Web2 and More days and they are a great company to work with. Check out their story story here. And just to show how mainstream Zoho has become it even has a Zoho For Dummies book to get you up to speed.

Alternative Email – GMX

gmx2If you’re hacked off with using web based Gmail and suffering the advertisements from Google appearing in the right hand of the page you have several choices. One, you can opt for an email client such as my favourite Mailbird or, two, you can look for a different service and I recommend GMX.

gmxGMX is a German company and the German approach to security is one of the most stringent in the world.  Although primarily an email service with mobile apps as well as the desk top browser approach, GMX also includes a contact management module, calendar and file storage. As you would expect, GMX concentrates on your privacy and strong anti-virus and malware scanning keeps the nasties at bay.

Although I have argued that email is not the way to send large emails GMX have shown me the error of my ways by allowing up to 50mb of “stuff” in one email!

Alternative Browsers

Chrome used to be super fast but over the years it has suffered from the bloat ware problem. The mainstream alternatives are Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. However, there are dozens of alternatives and some of these are listed in tis post from Hongkiat.

Possibly one of the most exciting alternatives is Vivaldi which has been developed by the people behind Opera. Check it out here. It’s far from a finished product but it shows tremendous potential.

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