Michael Dell: Anti-crapware poster CEO?

Summary:Dell CEO Michael Dell, speaking in New York City at its Vostro launch, sounded like a man almost ready to rid the world of trialware, which we call crapware. And there's a good reason for that: Crapware costs Dell money on customer support.

Dell CEO Michael Dell, speaking in New York City at its Vostro launch, sounded like a man almost ready to rid the world of trialware, which we call crapware. And there's a good reason for that: Crapware costs Dell money on customer support.

"Customers really hated trialware," said Dell, who is speaking live at the time of this post.

Dell also made an interesting point regarding trialware--it's part of the reason customer service has taken a hit.

On customer service, Dell said "we have seen significant improvements last six to 12 months." "We want to do a lot more. We're putting a lot more technology in products to prevent problems," said Dell.

He also noted that "trialware is a support issue. "You click on it, it's not working and you call. Just take it all away and you don't have those problems."

That comment brings an interesting point in terms of costs. Can we quantify the costs to Dell based on trialware? And does that match what Dell gets paid to put this junk on a PC in the first place?

On the small business side, it appears the figures don't line up in Dell's favor. It removed trialware because it's one more reason for a small business to call support--and that costs Dell money. Remember Vostro is about buying a PC and services.

On the consumer side, perhaps the dollars Dell gets from trialware surpasses the customer support costs.

Frank Muehleman, vice president and general manager of Dell’s small and medium business division, said that trialware had been on home/small business PCs, but not corporate ones. On the consumer side, Muehleman noted that “some customers want trialware."

We'll see if that pans out over time. Updates to follow as Dell speaks.

Topics: Dell

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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