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HP Software Technology

An Open Letter To PC Makers: Ditch Bloatware, Now! 609

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-this-free-trial-and-shove-it dept.
MojoKid writes "This is the final straw, the last stand. This is the year that companies have to wise up and realize that they're destroying the experience of the very machines they are marketing so vigorously against their competitors. We're talking about bloatware, and it's an issue that we simply cannot remain silent on any longer. The term 'bloatware' generally refers to any additional software installed on a machine that is not a native part of the operating system. 'Bloatware' is usually provided by third-party software companies, and can range from security suites to unwanted Web browser toolbars. It's most problematic, as these programs generally attempt to boot up first thing, right as the OS is booting up, before the end-user ever has a chance to launch the program on their own accord. It's time for manufacturers to take note: consumers do not want bloatware. It's a royal pain from top to bottom, and moreover, it ruins your brand. When people think of HP and Dell, they immediately think of just how infuriating it is that their last 'new' PC took over one minute to boot up and become usable. To these companies: why are you saddling your machines with software that makes it less enjoyable to use? The solution seems pretty simple. If you still wish to include loads upon loads of third-party software, stick it all on a thumb drive and include it with every new machine. Problem solved."
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An Open Letter To PC Makers: Ditch Bloatware, Now!

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  • Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by isorox (205688) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:09PM (#35131520) Homepage Journal

    To these companies: why are you saddling your machines with software that makes it less enjoyable to use?

    Because they get paid a fortune to do so

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Un pobre guey (593801)
      The question was ridiculous. How did such shallow crybabying get to a slashdot feature? Hasn't that poor schmuck ever heard of DIY computers and GNU/Linux? Most likely (like a lot of us), there's some have-to-have Windows software he needs, so he's screwed and has to get a cheap commercial Windows box. Bummer, man. That's the way it is.
      • Re:Money (Score:5, Informative)

        by hedwards (940851) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:19PM (#35131644)

        The problem is that you shouldn't have to do that with an OS that you're paying for. It's not that big a deal if you're intending to wipe out the OS in favor of something else, but the problem is that the bloatware tends to get included on the install media. Meaning that everytime you reinstall you're stuck with the same bloatware.

        I remember having PC-Cillin running at 99% immediately upon boot with my Vaio laptop. And because Sony insisted on not shipping a proper install CD it ended up being a real pain.

        • Re:Money (Score:5, Informative)

          by ScentCone (795499) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:29PM (#35131780)

          you shouldn't have to do that with an OS that you're paying for

          And, happily, you don't. You can buy PCs from any of thousands of vendors (or roll your own) without that experience. The OS is just part of what most people buy from a typical large retailer. If they don't like that experience any more than they like having an activated-for-one-year OnStar system in the car they just bought, they can shop for their computer (and their car) somewhere else. It's called a market, and it does offer more alternatives than you can count.

          • by joaommp (685612)

            Rule #1 when buying a new PC: HDD low-level format. It's the closest thing you have to sterilize it.

            • by pipatron (966506)
              I put mine on the highest mountain I can find, then I nuke them from orbit.
            • by magarity (164372)

              Rule #1 after the first generation of EIDE drives: Don't do a low level format.

          • by Machtyn (759119)
            It's the reason I stopped recommending HP computers to people. I tell them the best deal is a Dell business computer. Dell business computers come to as clean as you want them.
        • OEMs who don't ship stock windows media with windows-licenced PCs deserve to burn in hell; but it is hard to blame the PC OEMS, who all ship essentially undifferentiated product on extremely thin margins from trying to make a few bucks where the can(the comparatively competitive world of shitware vendors) to make up for the bucks that they can't make(intel, MS)... Particularly when, for the most part, they do have corporate lines that are unafflicted by the plague. Either you get the subsidized hardware, an
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          >>>you shouldn't have to do that with an OS that you're paying for.

          That's the thing - you're NOT paying for the Windows OS because the other bloatware from AOL, MSN, and so on is covering the cost. If you *were* paying for the OS, then instead of a $500 PC you'd be getting an $800 PC..... and at that point you might as well get a Mac. ;-)

          Personally I like the bloatware since it does subsidize my PC (my last one cost only $200), and it's easy to uninstall using the add/remove programs icon. Not a

        • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 07, 2011 @10:53PM (#35133584) Journal

          Do you want to pay $400 instead of $350 for the same machine? No, well say hello to bloatware! It isn't that these guys just decided "Hey,lets raise our support costs and piss off our customers but make a little scratch out the gate" no, it WAS US that demanded it thanks to the "race to the bottom".

          There are literally thousands of places online you can buy bloatware free computers, or you can stop by your local mom and pop shop and have a nice PC custom built to YOUR specs (just finishing up a nice $579 quad core for a customer here myself) but all of these will cost more than the bottom of the barrel HP or Dell, because the bloatware allows for lower prices by paying the OEM upfront to install crap. Last I head the profit margin on a low end Dell was something like $8, yet the bloatware netted $50, that is because the bloatware lowers the selling price thus letting Dell undercut everybody but the other giant OEMs. Of course I love it because people get pissed and bring it to me to clean it, thanks Dell!

          And OT but when is /. gonna fix these ^%$&^$&^$ comment boxes? The other boxes were perfectly nice and worked well (except for idle) and now I have to wonder now that the comments are dropping all over the place that folks aren't getting fed up like I am in typing and squinting when we have giant screens. C'mon /. you can do better! Hell if you can't hire one of the real coders here and they'll be happy to do it right!

        • You don't have to reinstall from that media. I never use it when I have to "format" people's computers, for that very reason. It puts back all the shitware. Using their product key on the sticker, I do a proper install of Windows and drivers, and I fix them up with free alternatives to things they may have had. (e.g. burning software for their dvd writer that may have come from the OEM, or OpenOffice). When they get it, they have a sensible, non crippling Antivirus program (Antivir is the one I mostly use)

      • Re:Money (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:28PM (#35131764)

        Yeah, he can just do what I've.. sorry, what we've all been doing since the 90s:

        Do a fresh install.

        Spend the $100 and get the Windows DVD if it bothers you that much and you have to have Windows, or install Ubuntu / Kubuntu. Your family is probably only using it for Facebook and email anyway, so you can add a dash of security by using an OS where you don't have to be admin all the time.

        The licence key that came with your PC is still valid, so if you've got a friend with a Win7 DVD, copy it and use the key. Edit / remove ei.cfg to choose the correct version for your CD key and you're golden.

        Shovelware (which is, I believe, the correct term for the bundled crapola; bloatware refers to programs that take up more room and memory as time goes by) will never go away because:

        1. You paid HP $200 for the computer.
        2. MacAfee paid HP $1.5 million* to install the 30-day trial.

        Thus, fuck you.
        *This number was totally pulled out of my ass but I would guess that it is n x $200 where n is any large number.

        Also, I have to ask why you're buying a branded machine anyway when you can get more power and a longer lasting machine for less money. I guess you have to with a laptop form factor, but that's really the only reason to not just pick up the parts and put the damned thing together yourself. And I'm saying this as a Canadian where I can't use the super-cheap deals you can get in the States.

        • Re:Money (Score:5, Informative)

          by Solandri (704621) on Monday February 07, 2011 @08:12PM (#35132266)

          The licence key that came with your PC is still valid, so if you've got a friend with a Win7 DVD, copy it and use the key. Edit / remove ei.cfg to choose the correct version for your CD key and you're golden.

          Actually, Microsoft makes the Windows 7 DVD images available for download [mydigitallife.info] as part of Technet. Burn it to a DVD (or mount it with VMWare/VirtualBox) and you're good to go. You still need a valid key to activate though.

          Also, I have to ask why you're buying a branded machine anyway when you can get more power and a longer lasting machine for less money. I guess you have to with a laptop form factor, but that's really the only reason to not just pick up the parts and put the damned thing together yourself.

          Despite the bad rap Sony gets here, I rather like their solution to the problem. The Sony laptop I staged a few months ago shipped with the crapware installed. But the Restore DVD gives you two options - a total restore (Windows + drivers + crapware), or a minimal restore (Windows + drivers) with an option to pick and choose which extra apps to install. I did the minimal restore first thing after getting the laptop, and it yielded a clean fully functional system with all drivers working, and no crapware. Seems not everyone at Sony is evil.

          • Seems not everyone at Sony is evil.

            False; they are evil by association, just like the contractors working on the Death Star in Return of the Jedi. Don't try and tell me they didn't know what they were working on!

      • because, majority of people on this planet - sorry - whopping majority of people on this planet, have never heard of DIY computers, leave aside gnu/linux.

        it is also their right to have a properly working pc with the money they pay, instead of bloatware. and hence, this article, complaint and the problem explained, are valid.

        try to think further than your horizon. think of other people too.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Rizimar (1986164)
          Most people I've talked to about computers are well aware that you can build your own PCs from scratch. The problem is that the "whopping majority" doesn't know how to do it. There are other options as well, such as having a knowledgeable friend help you to build one, buy a custom-made one from a local PC shop, buy a used computer from someone nearby that didn't come with bloatware or doesn't currently have it, or just uninstall the bloat when you buy the new computer that you want. It doesn't exactly requi
      • by Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) on Monday February 07, 2011 @09:38PM (#35133000)
        Linux was to me, the smart bomb for all that bloatware. It serves more than one purpose, however. Eliminating Microsoft software also reduces the chance that web developers will be enticed to program their site just for Windows. By using Chrome or Firefox on Linux, I'm "voting" for software freedom - freedom to use the software I want, and freedom from bloatware.

        This in turn will make Windows server software seem less appealing to those same programmers and their supervisors and the investors in the company. That could mean one less hideously expensive sale for Microsoft.

        Before I blew away the partitions on the drive, I made the install DVDs in the event that I would ever need them again for someone who really wants to use Windows if I ever give the machine away or sell it. But in my hands, this machine isn't going to run Windows. See? I believe in freedom of choice.

        I'm being a bit idealist here, I know. But I can dream a little, can't I?
        • by Kalriath (849904)

          Idealist, no. Batshit crazy, yes.

          Windows Servers have no bearing on what clients you can use to access them. An ASP.NET website can just as easily be accessed using Firefox on Ubuntu as IE on Windows. In fact, it's all built to spit out valid XHTML and CSS, and uses jQuery nowadays rather than some proprietary library. And you can just as easily access Exchange with Thunderbird or Pine.

    • by urbanriot (924981)
      It's ironic that people demand cheap, disposable $499 laptops yet complain that they're filled with junk. When Google pays a manufacturer $1 per every 3000 searches for setting Google as the default search engine, or Yahoo a similar deal, you're going to find such junk on PC's to help offset the cost of providing a low cost PC. It's also unfortunate that Microsoft changed their OEM distribution method of Microsoft Office, since 2007, so every manufacturer has to preload it, bloating the size of the images a
    • More importantly: Because the whitebox x86 market is a knife-fight-in-a-telephone booth.

      On the plus side, this means that you can get more computrons for your dollar than at just about any point in history, at any given moment. On the minus side, it means that what you buy will reflect the consequences of ruthless cost cutting(and bloatware is, in essence, a form of cost cutting...)

      Trouble is, as much as consumers hate bloatware, they'll chose the cheapest box on the shelf time and again. Ye olde laws
    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      It's not just "get paid a fortune..." Every bit of space is advertising and real estate to be sold. Some of it is to instill name recognition. Does the average end user really care that the CPU is Intel or AMD? Nope. Do they care if it has a nVidia or ATI video card? Not really. They care about the price tag, and does it show web pages. If you ask your average consumer what they use their computer for, they'll tell you they check their email, and look at web pages.

      The box and case a

    • by Cloud K (125581)

      Because they get paid a fortune to do so

      Precisely that.

      Although the OP seems to get a good flaming, it has a point, as not everyone is a Slashdot geek. And it just means that those of us who *are* Slashdot geeks get tasked by neighbours/acquaintances/co-workers-outside-of work-time to remove all the dodgy resource hogs, Norton Virus etc (and horrible floaty UI bullshit in the case of Toshiba laptops). Great if that's how you earn your living but a pain when you move on from it.

      The thing is, indeed, it's about the money. Duh :)
      Pre-built machine

  • Also get rid of that MS Works POS. Never used it in 15 years
    • by vux984 (928602)

      Your wish has been granted.

      Microsoft Works has been discontinued, and instead you get a defeatured nagware adsupported version of Office 2010 "Starter".

    • by Rifter13 (773076)

      I use works on my netbook.

      It's free, and I don't need a FULL version of office. It works great. I don't know why you have to apply the hate to Works. It does a passable job for what it is intended to do. Most of the bloat, doesn't. I tried to use Google Docs, but found my connection at school wasn't reliable enough. So, Works + Dropbox lets me have access to my notes everywhere, and backs them up on the fly.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Get rid of that MS Windows POS too.

  • The problem is that PC makers have pursued the lowest common denominator so long that their very slim profit margins probably only exist because of the third party software. I look at the price of some of the systems out there, and I can only assume that without 30-day Office 2010 trial editions and all the other crap they'd probably be in the hole.

  • Eh. Buy the business versions of computers instead. They're comparable in price to their home equivalents, and lack the trialware.

    I still remember when I got my first computer though. There were some demos preinstalled, but there were also full versions of software as well on CDs - a few games, Encarta, etc. Plus, it came with a thick book with detailed technical descriptions of the computer (keep in mind this was a "home user" system) that was comparable to a textbook. Good stuff.

    • Eh. Buy the business versions of computers instead. They're comparable in price to their home equivalents, and lack the trialware.

      I still remember when I got my first computer though. There were some demos preinstalled, but there were also full versions of software as well on CDs - a few games, Encarta, etc. Plus, it came with a thick book with detailed technical descriptions of the computer (keep in mind this was a "home user" system) that was comparable to a textbook. Good stuff.

      That requires informed consumers. What about all the people that "just need a computer" so they can go on Facebook or whatever? Although they aren't savvy enough to know they should get the business PC, they still hate how slow their new computer is, and it upsets them.

      Sure, slashdot users know how to get around the bloatware, but the article is talking about getting rid of it for everyone, for the sake of the PC industry. And its a worthy suggestion I think.

    • Yup, I had an original IBM PC and one of the coolest things was the manual came with the complete schematics and source code of the BIOS in the manual. I even used them to track down and replace a chip on the board. I am sure that helped jumpstart the early PC clone market :).

    • by RichM (754883)
      My first computer (a Sinclair ZX81), came with all kinds of neat stuff like port diagrams and information about how the CPU works IIRC.
      You'd never catch someone like Apple doing that these days, which is a bit sad really.
  • Software companies pay the vendors to include the bloatware. HP and Dell are making tons of money including all the extra bloat. How are you going to replace the revenue stream?
    • by hedwards (940851)

      Well, they could install it by default, but give the end user the ability to not install it in the future. Which is a pretty reasonable compromise, people that don't want it could just put the install CD in immediately and never have to worry about it. The main problem I have with it is that they would make it impossible to install the OS again without including the bloatware or going to ridiculous extremes to avoid it. If you're reinstalling the OS and you're opting not to install the bloatware, I think th

      • by pipatron (966506)
        Doing this would most probably give them less money from the advertisers (yes, that's what they are). The more intrusive they are, the more money it's worth.
  • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:12PM (#35131542) Homepage Journal

    Bloatware is generally on a computer to help subsidize the cost down to "commodity item" prices. Removing the bloatware will increase the price of a computer. As the majority of people would prefer a cheap computer (with bloatware) over one with no bloatware, this is something unlikely to change.

    That aside, and possibly also related to this, bloatware of certain categories helps fund the support marketplace. Most notably are things like trial antivirus software, that numerous computer purchasers let the trial expire and no longer receive definition updates, putting them at risk of malware infections. I've had a lot of customers come in with infected machines and tell me "but I had CrappyTrial 2011 installed" - at which point I find that the trialware subscription service expired 3 months ago. As sad as it is, I know it helps our business gain tech work. And I am sure it helps the big box places as well.

    Other options include having a machine custom built - which of course will mean paying more, since there are generally no bloatware subsidies. At least on a PC, it's pretty easy to remove the bloatware.

    • by jedidiah (1196) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:24PM (#35131712) Homepage

      Some of the cheapest machines come without any OS at all. It's also pretty easy to beat name brand OEMs with quasi-DIY sellers on the web.
      So the idea that all machines need to be subsidized through shovelware and bloatware is a little absurd.

      The OS itself plays a large part in this.

      Some stuff is just bloated by itself even if you install it off of OEM disks without adding any other nonsense.

      • Some of the cheapest machines come without any OS at all.

        But are pieces of crap I would not wish on my worst enemy. Virtually NO Windows machine built by any decent sized OEM comes without bloatware.

        It's also pretty easy to beat name brand OEMs with quasi-DIY sellers on the web.

        As I suggested. Though I beg to differ on the pricing - except, as noted, when one buys an el-crappo machine. I can build one for $200 - but it will barely run Windows 7 and decent sized apps like Office 2010 and say... Quickbooks 2010 at the same time. ;-)

        So the idea that all machines need to be subsidized through shovelware and bloatware is a little absurd.

        The OS itself plays a large part in this.

        Some stuff is just bloated by itself even if you install it off of OEM disks without adding any other nonsense.

        Because the OEM disks often include the bloatware slipstreamed into them. One notable exception, back in the day,

  • Apart from the obvious reasons, one of the things that vendors should take seriously is the initial impression a bloated system has on their reputation. Joe Average is going to get a bitter taste in their mouth when that fancy new laptop is bugged down with crap.

    What they should really do is have a Startup menu on first boot that shows a list of special deals & promotions with quick and easy download links for popular free and commercial software and/or have the installation files on the drive that one

    • vendors should take seriously is the initial impression a bloated system has on their reputation

      OK, upwards of 30 years past the beginning of the "microcomputer revolution," vendors are supposed to become aware of "the initial impression a bloated system has on their reputation?" What for? Who cares? What consumer gives a crap? Most consumers may even be pleased they're getting something for nothing, or the appearance of it anyway. Not being able to deal with bloatware is grounds for exclusion even from
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:45PM (#35131952) Journal
      I suspect that the one really pissed is Microsoft.

      The vendor, at least, gets paid, and all their competitors are doing the same thing; but Microsoft doesn't see the cash, and the bloatware makes them look pathetic next to OSX, even in areas where they don't deserve it.

      Slave for months getting Windows N+1 to boot really fast? Hahah, suckers, HP just signed a deal with 3 AV companies at once... Kiss your positive consumer perception goodbye.
  • Dear kid: No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blair1q (305137) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:13PM (#35131558) Journal

    We get paid by the vendor to put it there, so that's money to us regardless of the price you pay for the machine. You'll buy the machine regardless of what we put on the desktop, so there is no economic reason to remove it.

    You can remove it yourself using the normal software uninstallation process. You can remove the entire operating system if you like. People with opinions like yours have been doing that for decades, now, to put alternative operating systems on the machines. How did that affect our sales? It didn't. So don't expect it to now.

    The only thing that could make us change our ways is if it actually starts costing us money, and since boot time is your time, not ours, it doesn't cost us a thing.

    • PS: Once the bloatware chokes out the PC over time, most people will just go an buy a new PC, which means more money for us. So, there you go.
    • by cornjones (33009)

      The economic reason is Apple (and soon, linux. This is the year of the linux desktop, right?) I have lost count of how many people have talked about how much better apple is than windows and faster etc. (I don't want to get into a flame war about which is actually better, for my purposes here lets just say they are within range of each other; both w/ strengths and weaknesses.)

      I used to wonder why I never ran into any of the problems 'everybody' has w/ windows. I always blew away everything and laid down

    • by ewieling (90662)
      How MUCH do you get paid? I would not like it, but I would pay a "fee" to not have all the crap installed.
  • by jfengel (409917) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:14PM (#35131562) Homepage Journal

    Consumers hate bloatware. They also like getting computers for less than the price of the parts that go into it.

    Companies don't change their policies because of letters, open or otherwise. Companies change their policies when they see consumers buying something else. Sometimes that "something else" is a lower price. Sometimes that "something else" is a nicer set of features, which might just include not having bloatware.

    As long as the OEMs are being paid to include bloatware, they'll be able to score that lower price point. The bloatware may aggravate, but it's not driving the customers away fast enough to make it go away, either.

    It's much like web sites. You're getting something cheap because you're looking at ads. You don't like it, go elsewhere.

  • The first thing I do with a new PC is blow the HDD and rebuild. Yeah, all this bloatware is inconvenient for my parents and relatives (and thus me), but even that is only occasionally bothersome. I fail to see why the majority of the /. users should trouble themselves with this.

    • The first thing I do with a new PC is blow the HDD and rebuild. Yeah, all this bloatware is inconvenient for my parents and relatives (and thus me), but even that is only occasionally bothersome. I fail to see why the majority of the /. users should trouble themselves with this.

      The article isn't talking about doing this for the sake of Slashdot users, its talking about doing it to keep Joe Consumer happy, which is for the sake of the PC industry. Which is indirectly for the sake of the Slashdot user. Also, it means slashdot users don't have to fix our parents computers as soon as they buy them.

      Honestly people hate how slow their computers are, and there will be plenty of people who leave PCs for Macs for just this reason, I bet.

      -Taylor

  • by FrostDust (1009075) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:14PM (#35131570)

    The companies that put that bloatware on your machine pay to get it there. Without these deals, the manufactures and retailers will now be selling each machine for less profit, and who do you think they'll be passing the "cost" on to?

    On the other hand, feel free to buy a Linux or OS X machine. I can't remember hearing about "bloatware" for those.

    • Lots of 'Get Linux' or 'Get OS X' responses. But Windows doesn't mean that you have to have bloatware. Build your computer yourself, buy from a manufacturer that doens't include bloatware (you'll be supporting small business to boot!), or buy the cheap big brand computer and wipe the drive/reinstall the OS.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      "Bloatware" is usually spelled "KDE" or "Gnome" when used in reference to Linux.

  • I usually don't refer to something as "bloatware" if it comes preinstalled. That's one thing. It's quite another for preinstalled software to automatically start running crap in the background when you boot. THAT is what I consider bloatware, but connotative and denotative and all that. If the software doesn't start pissing away CPU time once the OS fires up, then it's pretty unobtrusive.
  • Are you saying that computers come with software installed?
    Huh. Who knew?
    I just always assume the disk is blank and do a fresh install.
  • by liquidweaver (1988660) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:16PM (#35131592)
    is PC Decrapifier. It's free, lightweight, requires no install, and just works. http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ [pcdecrapifier.com] It's not perfect, but it removes a good hunk of the stuff.
  • PC Decrapifier (Score:5, Informative)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:16PM (#35131598) Homepage

    Try PC Decrapifier. http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ [pcdecrapifier.com]

    Rather then cracking open that Add/Remove program list, just run this program and it will run through the process for you.

    • by n0dna (939092)

      Then you can go here http://ninite.com/ [ninite.com] to batch install the useful stuff you do want.

  • Build your own computer. Free yourself from bloatware.
    Otherwise, GET OFF MY LAWN!

  • Crapware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:19PM (#35131648)

    It's crapware, not bloatware. Bloatware is shit like Microsoft's apps which are huge and slow but are at least 'functional' in some sense of the word.

    Crapware is all the toolbars and trial virus checkers and other rubbish which is responsible for your machine taking 20 minutes to boot up and the drive light to never quite go out.

  • by KiloByte (825081) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:20PM (#35131650)

    They not only add the bloat, they do what they can to prevent the crap from being removed.

    Just yesterday I helped a cousin reinstall Win7 on a near-new Sony Vaio after their utilities decided to "helpfully" blow away the whole system including all data (fortunately, nothing vital was lost). I admit I have very little experience with Windows these days, but hunting down the needed drivers from Sony's website shouldn't take four freaking hours for someone doing IT for 25 years. They assume their recovery partition is the be-all and end-all and can never be wrong -- or perhaps, they are afraid someone may want to get rid of their precious crapware.

  • The U.S. Postal Service delivers my paper waste recycling material twice a week, in the form of "Coupons" and "Specials" and so forth.

    I made strenuous efforts to remove myself from the distribution list. Found the advertising agency's phone number, in the very fine print; called repeatedly; got no reply.

    Postal regulations provide a mechanism for "take me off your list, stop sending this junk!" ... but only when the junk mail is addressed to a particular household. In this case, the junk mail isn't add

    • by Maltheus (248271)

      What tics me off about the post office is that the government can mandate a do not call list and institute the can-spam act to keep businesses from harassing me, but then they won't play by the same rules. The 5-10 lbs of junk mail I get a week requires FAR more effort for me to deal with than filtering e-mails or hanging up on telemarketers. Especially since they don't require envelopes and everything is just one big mess. Sometimes I even miss legitimate bills because they get lost in all the junk. At lea

  • You pay your taxes in one way or another.

  • by flibbidyfloo (451053) on Monday February 07, 2011 @07:25PM (#35131730)

    Just shop at a Microsoft store (online or at retail). The PCs they sell are part of their "Signature" program whereby they remove all crap/bloatware and optimize the Windows install to run its best on that hardware.

    Of course it's a bit more expensive, but it looks like it's worth it for the performance improvements and lack of hassle that you get.

    No, i don't work for MS. I just think it's a good option.

      http://signature.microsoft.com/ [microsoft.com]

    • by deniable (76198)

      They remove the bloat, don't allow trials because they piss off the user, set up one anti-virus that doesn't need a subscription, will sort out your iTunes if you ask, make sure all of the codecs are installed out of the box, and get rid of duplicate applications that do basically the same thing. They make things "just work."

      In other words, they've reinvented the old school computer store. I give them a year or two before somebody 'improves' the experience. Before that, I'm going to look at what they're sel

    • by tapo (855172)

      I can vouch for this. Signature isn't exactly a vanilla install (Microsoft wants you to have the OEM drivers and some software) but it gives you no bullshit, Live Essentials, and Security Essentials, arguably the best AV program on Windows.

      If you're suggesting a friend buy a laptop or, don't want to deal with PC Decrapifier, I highly recommend it.

  • "stick it all on a thumb drive and include it with every new machine"

    To quote Neo, the problem is choice.

    The solution being proposed involves giving consumers a greater choice. The aim of bloatware is to discretely deny choice. In the eyes of the PC makers, the solution and the aim are incompatible.

    If I'm punching you in the face, me stopping punching you is not a solution I'm interested in. You need to start thinking about moving away.

    • If I'm punching you in the face, me stopping punching you is not a solution I'm interested in. You need to start thinking about moving away.

      I have a lawyer. You punching me in the face is, in the end, going to make her and I a fair bit richer at your expense.

  • Mr. Willington's fevered rantings. In fact please put MORE bloatware on new computers! You see, I'm a computer consultant, and derive a significant sum of money each time a neighbor/friend/referral asks me how to remove your products from his new computer. Since your software causes considerable delay at each bootup if left untouched, they are amazed at how it responds when I am through, and are very eager and grateful to pay my fees! If you could perhaps slip in a few easy-to-clean viruses or computer

  • You know the first thing people ask them when they buy a computer?

    "Does it come with MS Office?"

    Mojo kid may be annoyed but the vast majority of consumers who pay money for these computers don't expect to come with nothing.

  • I can understand where he's coming from, but wouldn't Firefox, Open Office, etc also count as "bloatware" under this definition? I don't know about anyone else, but I often find that a bare operating system isn't really all that useful. If it were, then we'd still be using MS DOS 5.0 or BSD 4.4-lite/System V UNIX. I like the idea of having a few essential utilities (SiSoft Sandra, 7zip, Lavasoft AdAware), applications (Mozilla Firefox), and eye candy (extra fonts and desktop backgrounds) preinstalled on

  • Don't blame the computer assembly company....blame the actual authors of the code. Put up a hall of shame and make sure that you are very specific about which tool sucks and why it sucks. And what personal problems the authors must have to create such monstrosities. If its phoning home, clearly document what its doing.
    When the refrain becomes "XYZ company sucks because this POS stuff they load on computers does this...", then they will fix their code. If your computer boots 15seconds faster witho

  • by pz (113803) on Monday February 07, 2011 @08:00PM (#35132108) Journal

    The solution seems pretty simple. If you still wish to include loads upon loads of third-party software, stick it all on a thumb drive and include it with every new machine. Problem solved.

    This is about as naive a solution as I've seen suggested on Slashdot in a long time. How did this story even get accepted? The suggested solution is to reduce the effectiveness of the advertising, thus reducing the amount of money the PC manufacturers can charge to the advertisers, and increase the cost of the delivered product by requiring an additional bit of hardware to be included that would also require a coordinated documentation for installation instructions and training for customer service.

    Right. That there is a top quality suggestion by someone who is savvy and experienced in the ways of the world.

  • by Legion303 (97901) on Monday February 07, 2011 @08:02PM (#35132138) Homepage

    The crapware is there because the crapware authors pay Dell/HP/et. al. to put it there, subsidizing your low hardware prices. Smart people don't bother booting the default config and just throw an install disk in the drive from the get-go.

    If you don't have an install disk and only "restore" disks, you're on your own. Disabling bloatware isn't generally hard.

  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Monday February 07, 2011 @09:14PM (#35132820)

    Microsoft tried this over ten years ago... Do people have no sense of history when it comes to computers?

    Go look up the monopoly case against Microsoft, a large portion of the case was Microsoft's restrictions on OEMs on what modifications could be made to the OS. Microsoft supported bootup customizations (logos, support info, etc.) but the line was drawn in the sand when Microsoft started requesting 3rd party applications to be something that the OEM did not load and instead the user could optionally install them.

    OEMs didn't want to lose this gravy the installed application money they received, and is why there was no lawsuit against Corel/Wordperfect for having the same contract that required the OEM to put Wordpefect Office on all systems sold, yet there was a lawsuit against Microsoft for the same contracts for both Windows and Microsoft Office.

    (OEMs only got a better deal of about $5 per copy off of Windows if they included Windows with every system sold, and the greedy OEMs that went along with this, were also the ones that later on were in court testifying against Microsoft for offering them 'cheaper' deal that they willingly took. Smart OEMs paid the extra $5 for OEM copies of Windows and didn't have to bundle Windows with each computer sold.)

    Anyway, this won't happen soon, as the money the OEMs make far out weighs the poor image of the crap that gets loaded on their computers creates about their computers.

    Microsoft is stilly trying to get OEMs to reduce or make the 'optional' software a user initiated installation, and has even created an installation platform for OEMs and 3rd party software to use so that people get a true Windows experience on first boot, and can add all the crap they want that the OEM gets a kick back for by installing or using the software which initiates the install. (Microsoft's own software even uses this with Office and even Live Essentials which was formerly OS applications are optional installs for users.)

    However, getting OEMs to stop taking 'bribe' money for loading crap, dream on... And with the Monopoly ruling against Microsoft, Microsoft no longer has any authority or say in how Windows is deployed. (Go read up on the lawsuit, why it really was a scam, and even people like the former CEO of Netscape later admitted it was a bad ruling, that he had previously testified and supported until he got to see the money and intent behind the ruling that came from the USA and the EU out of it.)

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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