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And talking of Yahoo. Please stop. Please stop trying to take over my email, my search engine, my home page. Please stop 'updating' your IM client to include more emoticons, animations, noises and whatnot — or at least have the good grace to produce a grown-ups' edition I can use at work without feeling like I should still be reading Smash Hits. And yes, when I ask to exit the software, that's because I really want to, not because I'm having a crisis of doubt.
And there is absolutely no point in a toolbar that just replicates all the options on your web site's front page. Not unless you want to come across as the sort of shrill, desperate, needy software company that makes big noises about user relationships but in fact knows less about its users than the Queen does about shopping in Lidl.
It's a little unfair to pick on Norton Antivirus and make it carry the sins of half the desktop malware industry — but only a little unfair. If ever a class of software deserved to be cast into the lower reaches of Hell and run on Satan's own desktop, it is this. Performance- sapping, space-hogging, noisy, irritating and prone to inducing just as many problems as they purport to solve, these horrible, ineffective, expensive lumps of digital thuggery keep entire platoons of support engineers in business and home users in tears. We know. We get the phone calls.
Preinstalled software bundles
After quarter of a century of the IBM PC, we still don't understand why so many companies feel obliged to create swathes of below-par software to install on the computers they sell. Notebook makers are the worst, and Sony the king of them all: the first job for any new Vaio owner is to strip out the layers of desktop 'enhancements', media 'managers' and system 'control software' that serve only to get in the way of doing things the way you know how to do them, interfere with other software packages and suck up such enormous amounts of resources on start-up that two weeks after you've bought one, you're still not sure whether it's broken or not.