using a Windows computer and you use the internet, if you haven’t changed it, Internet Explorer (or, if your computer is old, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Windows Internet Explorer) is probably your default web browser. Remember MSN? It stands for The Microsoft Network. How about Hotmail and Windows Live? Microsoft. By the way, if you’re still using Hotmail, give it up already. You’re not cool. Go get a Gmail account. Also, because of the fact that Hotmail isn’t cool anymore, Microsoft is working on a new email service to replace it, Outlook.com. Need to search the internet for something? Microsoft has Bing to help you with that too (though, Bing has yet to become a verb). Tired of Facebook? Well, they just bought the social network, Yammer. So, give it a little time, and there might be a Windows social network. The company has even expanded beyond computers, productivity, and internet. They have the Zune and its related software and store if you want music. And the Xbox (360 (s)) for games. They’re even responsible for Age of Empires and the Halo series of games. And don’t forget your Windows Phone! Very recently, Microsoft has gotten into the tablet business with the really really cool (and expensive) Surface. I heard on a podcast the other day that apparently there’s an exclusive Windows App store now too. And of course, all of their various services are conveniently integrated into Windows 8, which can run on everything from your phone to your tablet to your computer, so you can surround yourself completely with Microsoft products, and they can always have a hand in your wallet.
people. Apple not only has its own operating system, but they also sell the (sexy and also really expensive) hardware it runs on. I’m pretty sure email addresses from me.com are Apple related. Apple’s iPod, pretty much, is the reason mp3 players became popular, and you probably know at least five people who own iPhones. All of those use iTunes and its tightly controlled store for music and apps. If you’ve never seen iOS, you probably live under a rock. And if you have an iPod (especially a Touch) or iPhone, when you finally break down and decide you need a tablet, you might as well buy an iPad since you already know how to use iOS and iTunes and so you don’t have to rebuy all of your apps. That’s a lot of i’s. And I’ve heard talk of something called Apple TV, but I don’t know if that’s a real thing or just a rumor. It’s also hard to switch from Apple anything to anything else because nothing is compatible. If you have an iPhone, it automatically saves all new contacts to the phone instead of your SIM card (if you have one), so if you get a new iPhone, no problem, there’s Apple software to transfer them, but if you get anything else, you loose your contacts, or you have to manually move them over. App store apps are only compatible with Apple devices, and only the ones that are new enough. And software made for Macs isn’t compatible with Windows or Linux. Heck, my Ubuntu computer had trouble with my iPod. That’s not to say that stuff made specifically for Windows or Linux or Android is compatible Mac or iOS or even with each other, though there is a little more cross over there, but at least with Windows, Linux, and Android there are a heck of a lot more hardware options. Also, Apple seems to have a habit of changing chargers, cords, and connectors every couple of years to keep loyal customers buying new stuff. Like I said, I’m not an Apple person.
Google as a verb, you probably also still have a collection of encyclopedias and use books in libraries for research too (just kidding, I still have a collection of encyclopedias and use books for research >.>),or you’ve never used the internet, in which case, you’re probably not reading this (or maybe you’re an Amish kid doing that whole living in the real world for a year thing. If you are, email me ’cause that’s pretty interesting..). It has pretty much made its money by advertising, not by selling software or hardware. Recently Google has gotten more into those fields, with the Google Chrome web browser, Chrome OS, Android mobile OS, Chromebooks (netbooks running Chrome OS), Nexus 4 (phone), and Nexus 7 and 10 (tablets). Oh, and Google TV, which does exist. Besides internet searching, Google offers a slew of other services, including Gmail, an office suite, and maps. All for free. Google also owns Blogger and YouTube. Did I mention the social network, Google+? It isn’t a popular as Facebook, but I predict if Facebook ever goes the way of Myspace, Google+ might be the one to take its place. Of course, Google also has its own music/book/movie/app store, but most of the apps are compatible with every Android phone or tablet, no mater who makes them, and the music and books don’t use crazy file types that only certain programs (iTunes, Kindle, Nook) made by the same companies who made the crazy file types know what to do with. And, did you know Google is building a fiber-optic infrastructure in Kansas City (both of them) as part of a broadband Internet service project? Google it. It makes me with I lived in Kansas City (either of them).