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MS Will Remove OEM 'Crapware' For $99 474

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the i-thought-that-was-called-ubuntu dept.
walterbyrd writes about a program from Microsoft to clean up bloated base installs, for a price. From the article: "Microsoft even offers up numbers to show how detrimental this OEM-installed crapware is to your system. Microsoft claims that Signature systems start up 39 percent faster, go into sleep mode 23 percent faster, and resume from sleep a whopping 51 percent faster compared to their crapware-ladened counterparts. (A 'Signature' system is one without crapware). But now, Microsoft will offer customers the opportunity to give their Windows 7 PC the Signature treatment by bringing it to a Microsoft Store and paying $99, according to the Wall Street Journal."
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MS Will Remove OEM 'Crapware' For $99

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  • by vwpau227 (462957) * on Saturday May 19, 2012 @04:59PM (#40053355) Homepage

    I'm sure we are not alone, along with other computer stores in the area, we do a "wipe and reload" of the OEM Windows (XP, Vista, or 7) for $65 plus the applicable taxes, and we'll even load the latest service pack for Windows on the computer. It can make the computer run faster, but frankly I don't think it is really necessary for most new computer systems. The Acer TravelMate and Acer Veriton (business class) systems that we sell comes with very little in terms of additional OEM bundled software.

    • by Shavano (2541114) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:03PM (#40053375)

      I did it to my Dell at home for free.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:04PM (#40053391)

      I have a CD labelled "Ubuntu"

      • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:46PM (#40053647)
        I used to. Pre-Unity. Now I use Xubuntu.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I tried that, but it broke all my games.

        • by spd_rcr (537511) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @10:53PM (#40054935) Homepage

          I tried that too, it also broke all my games and all my productivity.

          Linux is a great idea and has many powerful tools, but for everyone who's not a comp-sci major, the OS is just supposed to launch the programs you want, and preferably do it fast.

          A $99 'lazy tax' for everyone who doesn't want to format their hd, perform a clean install, setup their drivers, and download a ton of patches, etc...
          meh, sounds pretty fair to me.
          Those same people could have avoided all that junk installed on their pc if they'd just bought a computer assembled by an enthusiast company or a local computer shop in the first place. Those low prices at Best Buy or many online retailers are subsidized by all the crap they pre-load the systems with. Complaining about the crapware on an HP is like complaining about the ads on a "Kindle with special offers".

          • ...is that they are even harder to kill than cockroaches. When the big nuke goes off in the sky and wipes out humanity, all that will be left are cockraoches and they will be using Windows because they think Linux is "only for comp-sci majors".

            Linux is a great idea and has many powerful tools, but for everyone who's not a comp-sci major, the OS is just supposed to launch the programs you want, and preferably do it fast.

            Using the "powerful tools" in Linux is not a requirement. My parents use a web browser, and email client and Libre Office 90 percent of the time. Ten percent of the time they play solitaire. and copy the pictures off their digital camera because they've filled thei

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by couchslug (175151)

        Works for me. I keep Windows contained in a VM, but don't use it much.

        It's really MORE convenient to run Windows in a VM. No malware problems and Snapshots anytime you want them.

      • by msobkow (48369)

        Last week I did an XP re-install to do the last testing on some mouse/trackball issues I've been having (after the system got nuked by another problem, making it "safe" to do an XP reinstall -- I'd already lost the system.)

        It took over 12 hours to install all the updates and service packs, core software, and I was nowhere near done with getting it ready to use.

        Having diagnosed and corrected the hardware issue (an infected "smart" device that was using USB protocols to autoload an infection), I gave Ubu

    • by Solandri (704621) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:58PM (#40053715)
      For all the crap Sony does, they get some things right. When I bought a Sony laptop for a client, I had to make system restore DVDs (it had a SSD and the restore partition was eating up too much space). During the process, I noticed a "minimal" restore option in addition to the complete restore. I did some reading and found that it's just the OS and necessary drivers. None of the crapware that normally comes preinstalled.

      So I wiped the drive, did the minimal restore, and it was exactly as advertised. Clean system, all drivers preinstalled, no crapware. Hats off to the Sony engineer or manager who insisted on that feature.
  • PC Decrapifier: Free (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sarusa (104047) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:03PM (#40053371)

    http://pcdecrapifier.com/ [pcdecrapifier.com]

    I tell everyone who gets a pre-installed PC to run this.

    • by Sarusa (104047)

      I guess I need to tediously make the point that the one I mention is usable for people who I don't want to play tech support for, don't care about free/oss, and have no interest in leaving Windows (and if they did would go to OS X).

      It's the guy who went to CostCo (or gawd forbid Best Buy) and 'bought a new laptop' and can't tell me exactly which one. I tell him 'go here, run this', and he's happy.

      Anyone who would wipe it and install Linux already knows what to do (as I did with my last server).

  • $99 !!!!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pieroxy (222434) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:03PM (#40053377) Homepage

    Oh my... Is this just like going to an MS store and buying an brand new Windows 7?

    Looks like MS wants to double dip here. They force feed Windows licenses to constructors that don't know any better than to crappify it, and then you have to go to MS again to de-crappify it?

    Thieves.

    • They get paid to crappify it (by the crapwear vendors, Norton, McAfee etc).

    • Re:$99 !!!!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by firex726 (1188453) <firex726@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:10PM (#40053429)

      MS does not force anything on OEMs.

      OEMs are the ones making deals with other crapware supplies to put their SW on the computers for money.

      Dell or whoever buys the bulk license from MS, Dell then goes and gets paid to put the crapware on their computers when they are sold. I fail to see how you can fault MS for any of that.

      Don't want crapware, well MS sells a clean version of their OS, and now they are also offering a removal service.

    • I would assume they did lots of research and concluded that people will pay that value for that service.

    • by Altrag (195300)

      More like refunding Microsoft (part of) the difference between an OEM version and a retail version. Of course some portion of that $99 will be going to the tech monkey who has to run the de-crapping software (possibly a large portion if they go to the trouble of backing up your data, installing fresh, and attempting to restore everything properly).

      And you probably don't get the cleaned install discs, so there's the added bonus that if you ever need to restore your laptop you'll have to pay them again.

      Or yo

    • MS doesn't do the crappifying, the OEMs do. Microsoft is offering a service to remove the crap that OEMs install on OEM systems. If you want the service, pay for it. If you don't want it, don't pay for it. This isn't a good/evil issue, it is a "is it worth it" issue. If you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at the OEMs for not offering a crapware free option (that would cost more).
  • Then you won't have a Windows OS. Is it worth $99 to have your OS removed? I dunno. But inquiring minds want to know!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by aklinux (1318095)
      The last Dell laptop I got, by the time I removed all the crapware, it wouldn't boot. Kept complaining about "no operating system found" or some-such. I installed Linux, and all was well :)
    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      So how much would MS charge for installing Linux? $199? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • I wonder.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Duncan J Murray (1678632) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:07PM (#40053409) Homepage

    I wonder if this will be a problem for linux, if linux on the desktop really takes off. Looking at android, I guess so.

    • by Altrag (195300)

      It already is a problem with Linux in a sense. How many users do you think really go through the entire package list and ensure they only install the things they need?

      At least Linux gives you the option, and most of the stuff wouldn't be classified as "crapware" in the same sense as those bloody 30 day Norton Virus trials, but it amounts to the same thing in the end for non-power users, which is the vast majority of all desktop users.

      • That's why I will never install Ubuntu or Fedora or any of the preconfigured distros. Arch Linux installs just the bare minimum needed to have a working (non-gui) OS, and then I can pick and choose just the packages I actually want to use. The package manager takes care of any dependencies, but it also doesn't install irrelevant crap.

        That said, I could never expect my technophobic friends and family to do any of that. They get confused finding the command prompt (or knowing why they would ever want to us

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Bring your brand-new car back to the dealer, and for only $1000 we'll put air in your tires so you can accelerate to highway speeds!

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:15PM (#40053463)

    And I thought it was a rip-off when an OEM offered to not install crapware for $15.

  • by Amadablam (516748) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:31PM (#40053551)
    Paul Thurrott discussed this on Thursday on Windows Weekly:
    http://twit.tv/show/windows-weekly/261 [twit.tv] (jump to 21:20 and watch for about 5 minutes)
    Paul thinks there was some pretty shoddy journalism with this story.
  • by Eightbitgnosis (1571875) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:31PM (#40053557) Homepage
    That's gonna cost extra, sir
  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:35PM (#40053593)
    GM announced that all new cars would be sold with holes in the tires and a low fuel mileage ECM program until you purchase GM select service.
  • by SirBitBucket (1292924) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:38PM (#40053609)
    First off, I build my own machines. So they are crap free. But all you gotta do is get a real windows install disc, not the one from the OEM which usually just reinstalls all the crapware, and reinstall windows from scratch. Sure you may need a few drivers, but Windows 7 usually handles that mainly automatically. It should take our windows key from the bottom of the machine... That and never runs 32 bit OS...
    • You are talking over $99 anyway. Losing battle as many places wont sell you the OEM and only the expensive $299 one which is half the cost of an OEM machine.

      If you build your own you spend hundreds more without a bulk discount that the OEM can get you. Many people struggling to pay the bills wont go this route if they need something to write documents and browse the web on. My Asus desktop also has custom software for lower fan speeds and a quiter experience with several EPU chips on the board. This wont wo

  • Surreal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dmbasso (1052166) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:41PM (#40053623)

    [I know I'm gonna be modded troll, but whatever...]

    People pay for a computer with an OS, then pay again to remove all the crap that come bundled. Yet it will still interrupt them in the middle of their presentations with annoying antivirus/upgrade/whatever messages, or keep them from using their computer for more than ten minutes when they had to restart, and the system becomes non-interactive updating itself*.

    Then these same people come and ask me: why do you use a free OS? It must be crap! [insert facepalm image here]

    [*true story, happened to my teacher during class. I guess it was deserved, for he had installed Windows in his MacBook.]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      True story that many have seen.

      I saw a world-expert who was invited to a plenary lecture at an international conference giving his talk (which was meant to be the highlight of the conference) - when he was rudely interrupted by a pop-up which caused the fullscreen presentation to lose focus. The pop-up was indicating that it was about to shut down to complete the updates, and had a timer from 15s. An embarrassed projectionist quickly clicked on the 'delay' 15min button in a panic. He would have had to ha

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @05:53PM (#40053693) Homepage

    The last time I ordered a desktop PC, it was from Central Computers [centralcomputers.com], a computer chain with a clue. I ordered it without crapware, and the invoice actually said "no crapware". Very nice.

    Central Computers, though, is a local SF bay area chain, based in Silicon Valley. They do mail order, but they assume you know what you want. The order menu starts with "select AMD or Intel", and the operating system menu has "No operating system" as an option, which reduces the price by $109.95,

  • I should do this with crack. First rock is $99, and I'll remove the rat poison for another $49. Your call.
  • Reminds me of the old SNL skits on the muck jumpers.

  • by Surt (22457) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @06:13PM (#40053791) Homepage Journal

    The best way to make money is to sell to both sides. MS sells info on how to make your crapware difficult to remove to the crapware authors, then sells removal service. Next up will be selling removal exemptions to the crapware authors.

  • Somehow I seriously doubt that any OEM is making $99 per machine in crapware profits, so what's stopping OEMs from offering a "clean" image install for $30 less than a crapware-laden one as a competitive offering?

    Sorry MS, but I fail to see the real advantage here in paying you when one SHOULD be able to eliminate the crapware step in the first place.

  • Just do it yourself for free.

  • by Kergan (780543) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @07:00PM (#40054015)

    At this rate, people will soon go buy MacBook Airs at Apple stores because they're cheaper than their Windows counterparts.

  • The "Microsoft Tax" or tribute to MS that every major PC OEM pays is largely responsible to why there is so much crapware in the first place.
    Now you have to pay to have it removed.
    Looks like a racket to me.

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @07:47PM (#40054213) Homepage

    Microsoft exerts control on their OEMs and dictates many aspect of the user experience, particularly allowing them to put various Windows logo stickers on their goods ("Vista-Ready" being a case in point). If Microsoft believes users will have a better experience without the crapware--$99 better--if they actually cared about their users, they would make crapware-free systems a requirement for using the Windows logo.

    Or, at least, require OEMs to submit crapware to Microsoft for approval to make sure it is a genuine option that doesn't degrade the user experience simply by its presence.

    Microsoft should definitely prohibit crapware that overrides decent Windows features that work fairly well. The biggest problem I have helping friends with their Windows systems is that when they want to know how to do something simple like burn a CD, I never know what to tell them--because their system has invariably had third-party crapware installed that takes over the Windows way of doing it, and does it in some entirely different way.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @08:02PM (#40054287)

    You paid for a Windows OEM license.

    There are clean Windows .isos available for free download from certain MSFT VARs.

    There are well-known loaders and OEM keylists to go with them.

    Do what you think ethical.

  • by SurfsUp (11523) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @10:38PM (#40054885)

    Hey guys, there is no longer any need to put up with this. Just wipe Windows, put in Linux, reinstall Windows to a VM under Linux, and go play. You will get your life back. Take your pick of at least three great open source VM solutions for free or pay a modest amount for classic VMware, an amazing product that is one of the handful of proprietary binaries I allow on my system.

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