Making PCs is a tough business, with low profit margins and cutthroat competition. To squeeze a few extra bucks out of every PC they sell, some OEMs cut deals to preinstall trial versions of software. On top of that, some OEMs feel compelled to “add value” to their hardware by bundling software programs and utilities that duplicate functions already available in Windows. This gallery documents the frustration I found after unboxing three new consumer notebooks.
Latest from Ed Bott
I keep running into a sleazy trick that some software vendors play, and I’ve finally reached the breaking point. Software companies large and small try to make a quick buck by tricking their customers into installing software they don’t need. I’m experienced enough to bypass this stuff most of the time, but many of my friends and family members aren’t. And guess who gets the call when some add-on or toolbar has slowed their system to a crawl?I call it foistware, and I’ve decided it’s time to name and shame the worst purveyors of this plague.
Apple has a long and checkered history of using its Apple Software Update program to push unrelated programs to Windows users. But I was floored today when I was offered an iPhone configuration utility as an important "update" on a system that has never had iPhone or even an iPod plugged into it.
Sony is finally taking on its crapware problem. For the past two months, I’ve been using an astonishingly light and agile Sony VAIO notebook and loving every minute of it. The best part of all was that this machine was absolutely, completely, unequivocally crapware-free, which meant I was able to be productive within a few minutes of unboxing. Sony's Fresh Start delivers exactly what it promises: a crapware-free PC. In today’s post, I show you why this VAIO is different from its predecessors and explain how Sony plans to widen its selection of crapware-free models.
Yesterday, Steve Jobs announced that Apple's Safari browser would be available for Windows. Analysts are asking: Why would any Windows user want or need this? Wrong question. What they should be asking is: Why does Steve Jobs want Windows users to run Safari?
I've been tagged, and it would be downright churlish to refuse to play along. So, here's my contribution to an Internet fad that is rapidly turning into the online equivalent of The Wave.