Groove Music, Windows 10, Cortana, Microsoft Films & TV, XBOX Games, and Office365 work together to allow me to happily interact digitally with my world. I even own a 950XL Windowsphone along with the adaptor so I can use it as a laptop and an entertainment device at home.
Then they cancelled Microsoft Groove on October 3rd and suggested Spotify.
I like the Microsoft Groove interface. I like the selection. I don’t mind that popular releases couldn’t be streamed until weeks after launch. If I wanted it bad enough, I could buy them from The Microsoft Store.
I didn’t think the switch to Spotify would be that bad. But wait. The Spotify app isn’t supported because the mobile platform is in maintenance mode because Microsoft cancelled their Windowsphone. The Spotify app for the desktop is terrible, dark and crowded. Music purchases can’t be shared across my devices and it doesn’t sync with OneDrive.
Tidal and even Napster looked promising – but I can’t play my purchased music and won’t share among devices or sync with OneDrive. Napster doesn’t even let you purchase music. Pandora isn’t available in Canada.
Looking deeper, I started to chip away at the bedrock of my electronic world.
Where do I go? Well, hello Google.
Google Music does what I want and more. I cancelled Spotify and bought a Google Music Pass.
Google Play Movies & TV is excellent and competitive. As an example, seasons of “Castle” are $19.99 – Microsoft Films & TV has each season for different prices. I can stream it all easily to my current DVD player, which sees Android devices and iPhones quite nicely (not so much with my Windows devices). So why am I bothering with Microsoft Films & TV?
I can save my purchases to Google Drive – $120 annually with 1TB of storage – and migrate data to it from OneDrive after I cancel my Office 365 subscription (the same price). Sure, I don’t have Microsoft Office anymore, but who cares? The Google Suite of programs isn’t bad and my kids use it every day with zero issues. I’m talking about my 6 year old son. It’s that simple.
My children have accounts for Google Classroom at their school. I can see everything they are doing and remain up to date without having to wade through their bags all the time to see what is going on with the various flyers and pamphlets and handouts the teachers have to hand out. Where is the Microsoft equivalent? OneNote? The app is unstable and I’ve lost notes when trying to sync across devices.
Why do I have a Windowsphone? I wanted to support an awesome product that I thought would make my life easier. But now, it seems that Microsoft is focusing more on boutique hardware – the ‘Surface’ stable – and trying to make their OS work. I can’t afford the Surface line of laptops for my family to use any more than I can afford the Apple line of products.
And now that the basis of my digital world is exposed to scrutiny, it makes me wonder- Why did I choose Microsoft at all? Well, for one, I really liked Windows 8.1. But even that is gone and unsupported.
My plan is to migrate away from Microsoft by March of next year. Groove will be cancelled by then and I will have transferred all of my OneDrive content to Google Drive. And then I will not renew my Office 365 account for next year. Hell, I might even play with Ubuntu for a bit as an OS.
I’ll change up my phone, too. A Huawai Honor with dual SIM so I can use it for work and personal. I’ll let my daughter decide what kind of phone she wants when the time comes to change things up. My son is too young now, but Windowsphone won’t be available for him by then.
I’m less than a nit on the appendage of a gnat as far as Microsoft is concerned. I get it. Whether I cancel or not means nothing to them.
There are Microsoft supporters who can detail what’s wrong with Google, and I get that, too. Although, I doubt they will take the time to address my concerns.
What I also get, in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing to someone else and I am making a mountain out of a molehill. But, damnit, I interact with my world on a digital level and I need to trust the infrastructure to support me. Microsoft isn’t doing that for me anymore, so it’s time for a change.