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How much you trust a company can determine how much business you’re willing to throw its way. You’re less likely to want to support companies you mistrust, and, subsequently, more likely to support companies you trust implicitly.

So, to help us all make better choices, we want to know which tech company you trust the most, and why?

Inbox Winners & Sinners

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “How Many Emails Are Sitting In Your Inbox?

Out of a total of 319 votes, 23.5% chose Zero, 34.8% chose 1-100, 16.3% chose 101-1000, 16.3% chose 1001-10,000, and 9.1% chose 10,001 and Over.

It’s difficult to draw any major conclusions from these results thanks to the combination of a low turnout and a very even spread of votes. But we’ll try anyway.

It’s heartening to discover the majority of our readers keep their inboxes clean and tidy 5 Action Steps For Curing Your Inbox Zero Email Frenzy 5 Action Steps For Curing Your Inbox Zero Email Frenzy Inbox Zero is one of the most popular buzz words. To truly solve your email issues you need to go beyond Inbox Zero and address the underlying problems. Read More , with a combined 58.3 percent boasting 100 emails or less. However, on the other end of the scale are the 9.1 percent who have more than 10,001 emails currently sitting in their inboxes. Which is sheer madness (or is it?… see Comment Of The Week for the case for keeping everything).

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email-inbox-poll-results

Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Andrew Kelley, Jerome Masson, and Bob Myers. Comment Of The Week goes to likefunbutnot, who wins a T-shirt chosen from those available through the catalog for this comment How Many Emails Are Sitting In Your Inbox? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Many Emails Are Sitting In Your Inbox? [MakeUseOf Poll] When it comes to email management, are you an inbox winner or inbox an sinner? Either way, we won't judge you too harshly. Read More :

All of them. All of them ever. At this time, 190,702 messages. Every non-spam, non-proprietary, non-automated. E-mail I’ve received since 1993 is in my inbox. That includes my entire time as an undergraduate and the employer provided accounts on almost every job I’ve ever worked.

How? I either forward them to a central account on a machine that I control or I’ve imported the messages from accounts where I could not directly do that.

The only folders I’ve created in all that time are for each individual account as I’ve imported it. My main inbox, the central account that I’ve been using since August of 1995, has nearly 100,000 messages in it.

I have a very good memory and I send a lot of e-mails, so my inbox is a de facto journal of my life since 1993. If I look back to a specific date and the messages that I received around that date, I usually also have a good recollection of what else I was doing at around the time I sent or read the messages.

Obviously, I’m doing this on a mail server under my own control. I access my messages with a normal IMAP client and I generally find that the search functions built in to the software I use (Thunderbird or K-9, most often) is sufficient for my needs. I do now use a Gmail account as my public email address for most purposes, simply because Google’s spam controls save me from having to fuss so much with local spam filtering.

We chose this comment because it reveals the one way in which keeping every single email sent your way can be a positive thing. By doing so, you have a digital journal of your life The Beginner's Guide to Digital Journaling  The Beginner's Guide to Digital Journaling  Maintaining a private journal is a great way to build your writing skills, spill out your thoughts, desires, worries, and reflections on paper. The very act of writing itself can often help you think through... Read More stretching back years, with clues as to what you were doing and with whom you were doing it. Which borders on genius, quite frankly.

In “…” We Trust

So, on to this week’s MakeUseOf Poll, which is all about trusting tech companies.

We previously asked, “Which Tech Company Do You Trust The Least?” Two companies stood out from the rest, with Facebook 4 Reasons You Should Never Trust Social Media 4 Reasons You Should Never Trust Social Media You just got burned in an argument because, once again, you quoted something you saw on social media. Why does this keep happening? Read More enduring 38.5 percent of the vote, and Google Why You Shouldn't Trust App Ratings on Google Play Why You Shouldn't Trust App Ratings on Google Play You need a new camera app; you open Google Play and find 50. Naturally, you install the highest-rated one. Guess what? You just got tricked. Read More enduring 31.4 percent of the vote. These two are therefore the companies our readers trust the least.

Now, it’s time to turn this question on its head. Forget the negatives, this is all about the positives, as we seek to discover which tech company you trust more than any other. To make it more interesting, we have retained the same answers as last time, but there is always the option to add another company you trust more than any of those named below.

Please vote in the poll above to indicate which tech company you trust the most, and then tell us in the comments why you trust that company above every other tech company on the face of the planet.

Remember, there’s an awesome T-shirt in it for the person responsible for the coveted Comment Of The Week.

Image Credit: wOOkie via Flickr

  1. Victor O
    October 1, 2014 at 7:58 am

    It's a toss-up between Google and Microsoft. Google is quite a friendly company, but they seems to be very interested in your personal data. Microsoft is as well, but Bing isn't working out so well for them. I actually trust MS more than Google, though the competition is pretty close.

  2. Manny R
    September 30, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    America has Patriot Act so none. My files are encrypted except for kosher ones like muo articles and recipes and the like.

  3. jo
    September 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Amazon (coupled with paypal) has a easy no questions asked return policy.
    It's not that I trust them but it the easiest to do business with.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Amazon certainly makes it easy being a customer, which is why so many people associate online shopping with that one company.

  4. Jack
    September 29, 2014 at 7:24 am

    thepiratebay.se

  5. Hildy J
    September 28, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Microsoft doesn't always get it right and they suck at marketing but they keep innovating and, at the same time, they keep supporting legacy systems (unlike some iCompanies).

    Smartphones? MS was there before Apple or Google. Siri or Google Now? Cortana builds on a decade of voice recognition research by MS. Tablets? I had tablet running WinXP Tablet Edition in 2003 (and, BTW Samsung, it had a stylus). Currently the Surface Pro 3 offers everything the Macbook Air does plus touch, digital ink, and the ability to ditch the keyboard. And the current Windows Phone, as an OS, is far better designed for small screens tha iOS or Android.

    Even more than that I trust their business model. Google makes money from selling me to advertisers (which I can mitigate by running Firefox with various privacy features). Apple makes money by selling me new hardware by locking me in to their ecosystem and stopping support of their old OS when the new one comes out.

    Microsoft sells software and they sell it by selling the improvements, not by forcing upgrades. They supported XP for over a decade. Old versions of MS Office are still supported. And if you don't want to use MS Office, you can run any number of alternatives. They make sales by being better in one way or another.

    • Dmitry T
      September 30, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Sadly things ,they are changing . That's why it's duckduckgo/yandex - not Bing/Google - and Firefox , not Chrome/IE i use. And 'microsoft accounts' in Win8 are signs on the wall...

      For now though legacy policies and that MS has a lot of huge clients that are old-school makes me still trust 'em more than any other _for_-_profit_ company (yes, if i were to stake my life and freedom on trust i would go with Stallmman and FSF or at least LF - thankfully that's not the case yet). Close second is Apple but i'm not in the [eco]system.

      Irony is that decade ago i was among people who thought MS was universal evil... while Big Brother was making his first baby steps.

    • Dmitry T
      September 30, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Oh, btw - smartphones etc. Didn't Apple Newton was first PDA commercially available to consumers?

    • Hildy J
      October 3, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Dmitry, for the record, no. Psion probably had the first PDAs and Grid had the first pen based tablet. What Apple, known for innovative marketing, did was coin the phrase "personal digital assistant."

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:31 am

      I love seeing a defense of Microsoft, which was for so long regarded as the most evil company on Earth. It's a different business model, for sure, but it's a matter of opinion whether it's one that's easier to swallow than that followed by Google or Apple.

  6. Cedric
    September 28, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    By keeping the question so vague you are probably looking purely for emotional responses. Simply asking: "Which company do you trust the most?", is effectively asking: "Who's your favourite company?" though it would be interesting to know how many people pick a company/device/OS on trustworthiness. On purely anecdotal evidence I would suggest that it would be a fairly low number. Perhaps trustworthiness would not even factor in the top 5 reasons people give themselves for choosing a company to support their technical needs. Of course, I am generalising here; there will always be exceptions.
    Anyway, in terms of answering which company is to be trusted, it is necessary to figure out how to measure that trust. One way I can think of is with reference to their respective Terms and Conditions. Under that measurement, I would venture that each of the companies listed can be trusted to act and operate under their respective T&C. As such this poll perhaps should ask: "Which Company's T&C do you like the best?", but who reads T&C?
    Even if we look objectively at service levels as a measure of trust, it is doubtful that there would be enough difference between these companies to come up with a clear winner. Once again I would venture that they all provide similar levels of service in terms of availability, performance, warranties etc.
    Safety and privacy of data? Well, that's mostly covered under T&C for each company. As far as security breaches are concerned, they can happen (have happened) to any of these companies but I think the past has shown that they can all be trusted to respond to such breaches as quickly as possible. It is, after all, in their own interest to do so.
    As I said at the start, this poll will result in an emotive response and will not provide a useful indication of which company is doing the right thing. The fact that Google is voted highly both in the most-trusted and least-trusted categories shows that only too clearly.
    Facebook on the other hand, is clearly not trusted, and when this result is combined with the actual number of people who nonetheless continue to use it, it says something about what importance people actually place on trust. This could potentially be the most useful result to come out of this poll.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Thank you for taking the time to critique this question. I disagree with your assessment, however, as I don't necessarily think people will name their favorite company here. I like Google and use a lot of their services, but I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them.

      On the Facebook result, you do have a good point. After the results of the last poll, I actually asked why people keep using Facebook. We got a ton of responses to that, and it was interesting to hear why people keep using something they don't like all that much.

  7. NA
    September 28, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Other - Mozilla

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Quite a few people have named Mozilla, which is telling.

  8. dragonmouth
    September 28, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    "Which Tech Company Do You Trust The Most?"
    That's like asking "What method of execution do you like the most?"
    The answer is "NONE." All those companies would do anything ethical and unethical to make a profit off their customers. Pox on all their houses.

    • likefunbutnot
      September 30, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      There certainly are greater or lesser degrees of evil of the options given.
      Google, Microsoft and Facebook are essentially advertising/data mining companies at this point.
      Samsung and Apple both exist to sell their own particular brands of substandard hardware and sue each other. Sony just wishes it could be 1995 again so we'd remember to talk about it the same way we do Samsung and Apple.

      I have no idea what useful function Twitter performs in this world. Apparently there's a huge demand in the world for publishing single sentences? I don't understand why we would even talk about Twitter in this context, but I also don't think it's evil because I don't actually think it does anything in the first place.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Do you not even have a pecking order for the companies listed? I mean, lumping them all in together because they exist to turn a profit seems rather harsh. Don't we all need to make money to get on in this world?

    • dragonmouth
      October 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      I trust my family, maybe my friends. Why do I have to "trust" a tech company? Or any company for that matter?

      As the old saw goes "In God we trust, all others pay cash."

  9. chromesucks
    September 28, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I trust companies all besides Google. Google is the NSA!

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:22 am

      That's one way of looking at it, I suppose ;)

  10. averyvh
    September 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    None. They all exist to make a profit off me.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:22 am

      If they didn't then they wouldn't be in business for very long. But does that mean you can't trust them even one iota?

  11. Nicholas Vine - Morris
    September 28, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Love how no-one so far has voted for Facebook. Guess WHY?

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:21 am

      In the end Facebook got just one vote. That's rough.

  12. Logan M
    September 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I trust Valve the Most

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:20 am

      That's a good shout. I like people naming other companies not on the list :)

  13. Paul Harris
    September 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Trust is something which has to be over a long term, with face to face contact, which doesn't
    usually occur with the large organizations listed.
    It is very difficult to earn trust long distance via phone/email/snailmail.
    I trust small business' with which I've had meaningful interactions over many years.
    Thinking of the best is difficult, but off-hand, I'd mention the BCAA (local auto club), whom I've dealt with for over 40 years.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:19 am

      I'm not sure I agree with that. I mean, yes, the trust you place in these large tech corporations will be more limited than the trust you place in a local company, but the intent here was to create a pecking order. So, is there no company on that list you trust even slightly more than the others?

  14. Sashi
    September 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Since Mozilla is not on the list for some unexplained reason, I'm picking Apple.

    Say what you will about Apple's business practices, but when it comes to privacy, they've got your back. I'm not talking about hacked celebrity nudes off of iCloud or anything. I'm talking about how Apple handles personal information and has no intent of selling it or making profit off it, unlike Google. Tim Cook even said on record that Apple will never have that kind of business model.

    • Mike
      September 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      I was also looking for Mozilla on the list, so I threw away my vote on the Other category.

    • likefunbutnot
      September 29, 2014 at 12:19 am

      Apple is only acceptable as long as you're willing to utterly devote your user experience to Apple's vision for how things should be. The minute you need to interoperate with technology outside of Apple's control, it's just an enormous headache to deal with, so as much as possible I prefer to avoid it entirely.

      Privacy is a huge concern, but for me part of trusting a technology company is its vision of the future is inclusive of technologies outside its own plans. Google, Microsoft and Amazon (I'm thinking more about Amazon, host of EC2 instances and less Amazon, predator of weak logistical chains) all score relatively highly in that department. Sony and Apple, not so much.

      I don't even know why Facebook is a listed option. I would hesitate to even call Facebook a technology company.

      Mozilla is definitely the first big tech organization that came to my mind that wins clear across the board.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:18 am

      I kept the poll options the same this time as last (when we asked which company you trust the least), hence Mozilla's exclusion. It wasn't really intentional, I just chose the biggest tech companies around, and Mozilla isn't particularly on my radar.

      Apple is a tough call. They're certainly better at not selling your data than other companies, but then they don't need that kind of business model when they charge so much for their products.

  15. Rick S
    September 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I'm not sure I can really put a finger on exactly why I trust Google the most, but obviously I do - and I'd better, because I am heavily invested in their products, services, and whole ecosystem. I use Chrome, Chrome OS, Android, gmail, calendar, Google+, all in all maybe as much as 40-50% of the things they offer. I've never had a problem that I am aware of, either from loss of data of their data about me - and I really like much of their stuff. Yes, I know they scan my emails, track my web usage and physical location, etc. to sell targeted advertising, but they also provide useful services and information from this same data. It seems a fair trade as long as I am comfortable with the stuff they know about me - and I am. I think they do, or want to do a lot of good things, and have really helped advance the tech world and will continue to do so. Does that mean I trust them or any other company blindly? No, of course not, even if only because mistakes happen - and I have a tendency to be very distrustful of all big companies in ANY field. But sometimes you just have to go with your gut and trust someone, occasionally even someone big.

    That said, I place varying amounts of trust in a number of other tech services as well - including Evernote, Dropbox, and LastPass among the ones I feel quite confident in.

    • Rick S
      September 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Ugh, that should have been "I’ve never had a problem that I am aware of, either from loss of my data, OR from their data about me". I think MakeUseOf needs to add the ability to edit your comments - or maybe I just need to proofread more carefully what I write before I hit the button.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 5, 2014 at 10:15 am

      A big part of your trust probably come from accepting the fact Google uses your data to make money, thereby providing services for free rather than charging. I think along similar lines to you. I would much rather use these services for free without having to pay. So what if the companies use my data to sell advertising.

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