April 18, 2007 4:00 AM PDT

PC makers walk fine line with 'crapware'

For years, computer makers have managed to wring a few extra bucks of profit out of each PC sale by bundling all sorts of third-party software.

While adding software, setting default search engines and including toolbars can all put money in PC makers' pockets, the practice has also alienated some consumers who say all such "crapware" is clogging their hard drives and bogging down their systems.

For the moment, computer makers appear to be trying to walk a fine line, tweaking their approaches slightly but hoping not to have to slay a cash cow. Gateway, for example, offers only one program in each category, while Dell has added an option for some models that allow a user to configure a system with no trial software.

"We've seen the evolution," IDC analyst Richard Shim said. "The desktop became kind of a billboard for Internet service providers and software. Now the pendulum is swinging the other way."

At one time, PC makers thought they might be able to subsidize the whole cost of a PC through a combination of advertising and bounties from signing up ISP customers.

While those dreams have largely faded, companies have continued to make money from including trial software, desktop icons and more recently, by agreeing to include a toolbar or other service from the leading Internet search providers.

Click for gallery

Despite some outcry from consumers, there's still plenty of software being loaded on new machines. In part, that's because the PC industry needs the cash that such deals offer. Even if the companies get less than $1 per software program that they include on a PC, that can still add up to $10 or $20 in revenue.

"On a $400 PC, that's a big thing to get," said Stephen Baker, an analyst at The NPD Group.

In one sense, such bundled software represents free money for the PC industry. But at the same time, if it adds up to support headaches or causes customers to shy away, such software may not be worth adding.

Samir Bhavnani, an analyst at market researcher Current Analysis, said one option computer makers should consider is letting buyers order a software-free system but charge a premium to make up for the lost revenue. Bhavnani figures an extra $25 should be enough to cover the company's shortfall.

"It would be so simple for them to come out with an anticrapware PC," Bhavnani said. "People would love them for it. The question is, who has the (guts) to do it?"

Apps overload
How do you feel about the amount of software that comes on new PCs?

It's overwhelming. I'd pay to have less.
It's a bit much, but if it shaves a few bucks off the price, it's worth it.
I like it. I'm glad it's there



View results

Apple, for its part, is playing off the growing outcry, highlighted in a recent column by Walt Mossberg in The Wall Street Journal. In a new ad that debuted this week, the "PC guy" played by John Hodgman appears so bloated he can barely move.

"It's all this trial software," Hodgman says in the spot. "They pack my hard drive full of it, all these programs that don't do very much, unless you buy the whole thing...it really slows me down."

For the record, Macs do come with trial versions of Microsoft Office and Apple's iWork, though all other included applications are full versions of programs, including the company's iPhoto and iMovie, as well as third-party titles such as Comic Life.

Plus, Bhavnani said, Apple systems sell for far more than the average PC. "They make more money on the box than (Hewlett-Packard) or Dell does," he said. "That's why they are able to do that."

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267 comments

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The Price Fallacy Again...
An entry level Mac costs under $600 without display. A Dell, after configuring it with equivalent features and software costs ... about $600.

If you think the Mac is more expensive, it's because you're leaving something off the Dell.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are you so sure???
I wouldn't be so quick to say that...

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&#38;cs=04&#38;kc=6W300&#38;l=en&#38;oc=bdcwafz&#38;s=bsd" target="_newWindow">http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&#38;cs=04&#38;kc=6W300&#38;l=en&#38;oc=bdcwafz&#38;s=bsd</a>

Dell has the Dimension E520 for sale at $519 with:
1.8ghz core2duo (don't have 1.6ghz as an option)
1gb ram (don't have 512 as an option)
160gb drive (don't have 60 as an option)
Intel X3000 onboard graphics card
Windows Vista home
Microsoft Works
1x year onsite service

That's lower than the lowest Mac Mini $599 price and has more memory, a bigger hard drive and a faster proc. Upgrading the memory &#38; hard drive to the same size as the Dell, brings the price for the Mac to $924

As you are probably going to complain, I'll go ahead and add to the Dell:
Upgrade to Windows Vista Ultimate
McCafee Anti Virus + Firewall
Which brings the price to $797

So side by side the Dell with all the bells and whistles is still almost 15% cheaper than the Mac and still has a faster CPU. The 1.8ghz core2duo Mac running at the same speed as the Dell after upgrading ram &#38; disk is $1,074 (25% more expensive). With that price difference, I can upgrade the ram to 2gb, upgrade the CPU to 2.13ghz, and upgrade the graphics to a 256mb geforce 7300.
Posted by insanegeek (17 comments )
Link Flag
Bingo.
Yes, you can buy a cheaper pc. You can make a cheaper pc. You can own a cheaper computer.

But the numbers show that Macs last longer in use. Macs are integrated so the software works together with the hardware not fighting it.

I have nothing against low cost PCs. I also have a friend with an old Harley. If you love to tinker with your systems, I say, "Go for it!". If you just want to use the system, then make a decision.

Back on topic, if a couple of bucks makes such a big difference, then accept the bloatware along with the lower cost hard drives, power supplies, etc.

If you are new to computers (then you are not reading this :-) ) then buy a Mac, learn to use the software not tinker with it.

JMHO.

EN
Posted by eldernorm (220 comments )
Link Flag
What if Your New Car were done this way??
And find out you need to replace motor, steering, tyres, windows etc just to get reliable, safe use ... See how unreasonable it is to need to rebuid your New computer and fill up with accys, just to start using it?
Soon, Very soon we all catch on, then fix root of problem, A new replacement for MSFT shall arise ...J Bo
Posted by jstacat (7 comments )
Link Flag
The False Apple-Facts Again...
With $600 I can buy a PC more powerful than an entry level Mac and with a monitor.
If you think Macs are as expensive as PC's, it's because you're a typical short-minded Apple fanboy who ignorantly refuses to face reality.
Posted by Fil0403 (1303 comments )
Link Flag
followup survey?
So they think people really want their computers running poorly?

Have they gone back to the customers 6-12 months after purchase and after the trial periods end. Most humans are cheap. All they see is "FREE". Unfortunately, few people remember that nothing is free.

Are customers smart enough to know why their computers run bad, or do they just think that's how a computer is suppose to function?

I've cleaned many machines with a standards Windows install CD. In fact, it's quicker to format the box than it is to remove all the Crapware! Most people can't believe how much faster their computers run! Most were even thinking their computer was too old and about possibly upgrading. I guess this could be a sales tactic by the manufacturers in the end as well?
Posted by danpfw (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Consumers penalized again!
"..letting buyers order a software-free system, but charge a premium to make up for the lost revenue."

So, basically, if you want a PC that is not full of useless software, you pay more. And yet they say they do this as an alternative to the consumer outcry? Somehow it seems that all pro-consumer alternatives in this industry seem to require that the consumer actually pay more. I mean, where is the benefit (for the consumer) in that?
Posted by Sentinel (199 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It used to be
There was a good time back in the late 90s when this trend was getting out of hand. Calling Dell you could demand they send you a PC with "Just Windows", and nothing else.

A friend of mine sent me all sorts of information on how to go about ensuring you were not going to get bogged down by things like Norton System Works, which I absolutely attest.

Sure enough, if you call a Sales Rep over at Dell, ask if you can record the conversation. Make sure he agrees to your "Just Windows, and no other software" part verbally. After I ping pong with Dell enough, they refunded my money but let me keep my shiny new laptop.

Don't accept their forced useless bloatware, and definitely don't accept partitioned HDD instead of a Windows Install CD... which is another item you should verbally get agreement on receiving instead of the "Restore Disc" with all the bloatware already built in.

Settle for more, not less.
Posted by CaesarsGhost (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
that may be a lot harder than you think
My gf bought a Compaq and I intended to put a vanilla copy of XP on it. I did and called Compaq because the drivers for the machine were not available on their support site.

They could not supply the drivers because the license for the drivers required them to be available as part of the restore disk.
Posted by CitizenX (522 comments )
Link Flag
IMovie not included
IMovie is not included with OS X Tiger. It is included in the ILife distribution which must be purchased separately.
Posted by sammie52 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iLife
iLife is included with all new Macs, however, older versions of iLife
that came bundled with older Macs, may not include iMovie.
Posted by Galley (55 comments )
Link Flag
iMovie does come with NEW Mac
&lt;eom&gt;
Posted by James Wojciehowski (19 comments )
Link Flag
iMovie IS included
with every Mac. My '03 PowerBook came with iMovie (and iPhoto,
and iDVD, and iChat, and iTunes) before iLife even existed. It
doesn't come with OS X because it's a separate program, just like
Word is separate from Windows.
Posted by qprize (237 comments )
Link Flag
Its simple, buythe cheapest system F/disk hard Drive
Whenever I buy a new system for myself or a client, I order it as desired, receive it, set it up and immediately partition and format the hard rive, I then use an OEM copy of XP or Vista to install the bare OS from scratch.

If a separate standalone copy of of the OS is not included with the pc. I then call the OEM and ask them for the copy I paid for to be shipped to me. If they say they don't ship them then I install an OEM version of the OS that the manufacturer installed at the factory. According to Microsoft you bought Windows on that PC, they don't care what disc you install it with as long as you have your little MS sticker and license number and you only are using the license on that PC.
Posted by Not-a-Blogger (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You can't get clean disks
OEM disks will automatically install the crapware. And you can't
get clean disks from the manufacturer. So, unless you order a
clean disk from Microsoft, can bribe someone in IT to loan you
clean disks - if they actually have them, or you have the ability to
do a module-by-module install (and 7 or 8 hours), you're stuck
with all that garbage.

Makes the Apple worth an extra hundred bucks all by itself. But I
am jealous that I can't get Corel for my Mac.
Posted by qprize (237 comments )
Link Flag
Almost as simple: Boot to ghostcast server:
Install away.
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Link Flag
I also do the same thing. Always clean reinstall the OS is a good thing to do. PC makers always screw things up with crapware, unwanted icons, numerous startup programs, and other nonsense
Posted by sixstorm (8 comments )
Link Flag
Crapware
Agree with Not-A-Blogger, buy the system for the hardware and your price range, format it and load only what you want.

Or better yet, build your own system.
Posted by DreadedOne509 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Free Google Machine - coming
How 'bout a free Google machine? Or $99 Google machine? Linux based, Firefox, Open Office, Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentation, Thunderbird email and lots more freeware?

Google gets $$ from you clicking on their ads.

thoughts?
Posted by veg4life (3 comments )
Link Flag
No one even uses this bloatware crap
I have been doing PC support work in various forms for ten years, and one thing I can very reliably say is, that people don't even use this bloatware crap. Unfortunately, most people are scared to go into the control panel and use add/remove programs to remove that crap. They either don't know how, know that it's safe too, or know they even should. They still go out and download or install the software of their choice, and leave all this crap there.

System builders, any of you that think that a brand new system should start up with twenty or more icons already on the desktop, YOU ARE F***ING RETARDED!!!!!
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hit the Nail on the Head!
Exactly! I cannot even count the number of family members, friends and collegues I have had to re-build machines. No one needs any of this CRAP...I always laugh at the 100;s of icons on users desktops, it really is insane. I've been Windows Desktop Engineer for years and just switched my home PC to a beautiful 20" iMac...it's heaven @ home and HELL @ work!
Posted by drosensteel (1 comment )
Link Flag
Agree with that. I always do a clean install on PC's I order from PC makers for my clients, or manually remove the crapware if there is not too much. Though I always install Windows Live by default, which in my opinion is not a crapware and should be bundled with Windows (they don't because of antitrust ********).
Posted by sixstorm (8 comments )
Link Flag
I don't buy Dell's exactly for this reason
As a Director for a large consulting company, I'm responsible for choosing and purchasing hundreds of PCs for years. I no longer buy Dells because they are loaded with all crap that we my techs have to remove. I switched to a custom PC maker company instead. You pay just a bit more but it costs more to take out the crap. No Dell, I don't want quickbooks trial, symantec block-all trial crap, google toolbar, AOL or earthlink. And no, we will not pay more so you don't include the crapware.
Posted by TTester (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Um, imaging?
Almost every large company that I can think of simply runs a mass-image on all their computers anyway (including my company). That means a single image file containing a hard-drive snapshot (which is based off of a clean install plus a few necessary hardware drivers + our proprietary clinical software) is blown out, identically, to hundreds of systems. We don't keep the initial Dell OS installation on any system that we use. And while this is a bit of a time-consuming process, it's much simpler and overall less time-consuming that actually removing the extra stuff, AND it has many other benefits in terms of having uniform systems that are configured from the get-go exactly the way we want.

You should look into that.
Posted by DraconumPB (229 comments )
Link Flag
I pity your clients
As director for a large consulting company you might do more research before spouting. Dell Optiples and Lattitudes come with only teh OD and drivers - not even acrobatr reader.

And in one sentence you say you will pay more, then later you say you wont. Make up your mind. Do you work for Deloitte by any chance?
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
image
a drive then. faster, simpler - especially if you purchasing hundreds of them. now you can save money - i expect my cut. :)
Posted by woodygg (110 comments )
Link Flag
image....
a drive then. faster, simpler - especially if you purchasing hundreds of them. now you can save money - i expect my cut. :)
Posted by woodygg (110 comments )
Link Flag
You Are Probably NOT a Director
Dell's professional lines, Latitude/OptiPlex and Precision DO NOT come with any "crapware" except Google desktop search and toolbar. And yes they are easy to remove and I always do it. These PCs are also supported from US Support personnel.

Dimensions/Inspirons are consumer machines and have to be cleansed. IMHO, they also are bad investments because they have OFF-SHORE SUPPORT(!), limited expansion opportunities and less-engineered motherboards leading to inferior performance.
Posted by pmchefalo (135 comments )
Link Flag
Dell does ship stand alone Windows CD though
So their pc's are even easier to just F disk and reinstall the bare os, you dont even have to enter a serial when using the OEM windows disc you got with your Dell PC. Granted a pc buyer should not have to do this but such is the cut throat business of PC retail. The good news is you have options and your hardware is pound for pound much cheaper then Apple. Ofcourse the best rout to go is always build it your self or barebones systems, none of the crap none of the mark up.
Posted by Not-a-Blogger (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Would you buy a car this way??
Hmmm, lets try this. If you were buying a new car, would you buy a car this way.

You car is cheaper but:
The back seat is full of car accesories such as car wax, car wash, seat covers, rainx, etc but all of it has that blister wrap on it and all of it quits working in 30 days. However it still takes up all that room in the back of your car.

IF you remove some of it, it may also remove your window, seat belts, radio, etc when you remove it.

Your engine runs slower, window is blocked, everything is harder to get to and remember, if you remove it and your not a technicial, critical parts of your car may be removed or broken at the same time.

Now, did you want that car / computer supersized with crapware? Is this a to go order? :-)

JMHO

EN
Posted by eldernorm (220 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Excellent analogy!
The one in the article (Google bumper sticker for 10% off the price of the car) was weak because a bumper sticker, while aesthetically unpleasing, doesn't affect the drivability in the way that crudware affects usability.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
Link Flag
You must have been in too many accidents.
Jeez, what a totally worthless comparison.
Posted by oxtail01 (308 comments )
Link Flag
Uninstallation Blues
got the big box open
turned the pc on
half an hour loading
stuff i wish was gone
so i sit here singing
uninstallation blues
while windows configures
crap that i don't use
Posted by dburr13 (117 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just uninstall the crap
I do not see what the big deal is? Just uninstall the crap and be
happy it saved you a few bucks! It takes what? a few minutes and
a few reboots to get rid of all that. Let's not forget the endless
updates for windows that go along with a new computer.
Talk about time consuming!! I own both Apple's and Windows
machines. Both require OS updates. Even Apple throws in some
Microsoft Office trials and such. That's what marketing is all
about.
If you do not want all that junk,go out and buy a no OS
computer and then buy a retail copy of XP or Vista and see how
much you will spend!! I would rather spend a small amount of
time and uninstall the crap myself!
Posted by jesmac418 (35 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"uninstall" does not remove everything
I just "uninstalled" a nifty program that did not quite work as advertised. Now, every time I start up, an error message comes up about part of my RAM not finding the associated program!

BTW, A friend of mine bought a Toshiba laptop at BestBuy. It took someone in th eGeek Squad 45 minutes(!) to remove all the crapware.
Posted by batavier (66 comments )
Link Flag
"uninstall" does not remove everything
As I said earlier, I just "uninstalled" a nifty program that did not quite work as advertised. Now, every time I start up, an error message comes up about part of my RAM not finding the associated program!

BTW, A friend of mine bought a Toshiba laptop at BestBuy. It took someone in th eGeek Squad 45 minutes(!) to remove all the crapware.
Posted by batavier (66 comments )
Link Flag
For a small business, it's a big deal
Since our office manager loves to buy from Dell, it's a problem we used to confront all of the time, particularly before someone inadvertently learned how to ghost new computers (and he's not even paid to be the computer wiz).

Small companies like ours often don't have the knowledgeable IT personnel who know about techniques like imaging and cloning, so we often end up wasting time having to strip new Dells or the occasional HP/Compaq of all of the bloatware they ALWAYS are shipped with. It might be different if we order several hundred desktops or laptops at a time, but when it's a half dozen Dimensions or Inspirons [i]at most[/i] at one shot...it's bloatware hell, baby. At least now we have a clone template for any new boxes we get.
Posted by make_or_break (3747 comments )
Link Flag
Or just format and reinstall
thats what I did ;)

And then you can TOTALLY get rid of the "crap". Luckily my computer came with an Actual XP CD, not those horrid Restore Discs, so I can fresh reinstall my OS **WITHOUT** the OEM junk, whenever I need (or want) to. :)

And I dont use Windows Updates (except SP2, which is on the CD) and NO problems.
Posted by meisinscotland (15 comments )
Link Flag
PC Users - Decrapifier!
Too much crapware. Poor PC users. Try this - <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://" target="_newWindow">http://</a>
pcdecrapifier.com/
Posted by machelpdesk (44 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But no Mac version
A shame that application you pointed out doesn't work on a Macintosh preloaded with all this unwanted software.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
But no Mac version
A shame that application you pointed out doesn't work on a Macintosh preloaded with all this unwanted software.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
WOW! Great link
Thanks!
Posted by chazzsubscribe (55 comments )
Link Flag
WOW! Great link
Thanks!
Posted by chazzsubscribe (55 comments )
Link Flag
No OS disks, now this.
The idea that PC makers were 'pro-customer' went out the window when they stopped putting OS system disks in the computer they sold you. Now they load the system with garbage that's worse than useless, much of it is actively bad for most computer users. And the idea that they should charge you for not putthing this crapware on your system just boggles my mind.
Every PC sold should have the OS disks, and if the makers want to include CDs to install programs (not pre-installed) that might be considered acceptable. Nothing should be installed on my computer without my consent.
Of course there's the legal issues that are involved in installing all those pieces of software. The computer maker has effectively entered you into contracts on your behalf by installing them.
Posted by feliusrex (48 comments )
Reply Link Flag
For the record . . .
"For the record, Macs do come with trial versions of Microsoft Office and Apple's iWork, though all other included applications are full versions of programs, including the company's iPhoto and iMovie, as well as third-party titles such as Comic Life."

That is absolutely true. The big difference, IMO, is the fact that trialware on a PC is scattered all over the desktop, fills up your Start Menu, and is likely to be popping up from time to time wanting a credit card. And, it's not always easily uninstalled.

OTOH, the trialware on a Mac many go completely unnoticed by a new Mac user. It's just something else in the Applications folder that you can drag to the trash if you don't want it around. You don't have to worry about craplet residue screwing up your OS or other apps.

You don't even have to reboot.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's an easy fix...
...just put a folder on the desktop labeled "CRAPWARE". If the EU
wants to look at then they can, otherwise its stock windows for the
looking!

Justin
Tech01
www.tech01.net
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Umm... Macs don't need this.
Unlike Windows which has a complex registry and thousands of .dlls, most mac applications are entirely contained in their folder inside the application folder.

An unwanted program can be removed by simply tossing the folder in the trash.
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Blah Blah Blah
Mac's also don't cost $399. Let me know when I can buy a Mac for under $400/500... not to mention the lack of software for a Mac also means a lack of crapware. Where's the incentive to advertise to 5% of the computer population, when you could spend your resources working on making money from the other 95%.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Link Flag
yes and no...
All of the personalized information is kept locally in the user
account though (~/Library). So you still need to clear all that out
(after finding it). Also, OS X does have the preferences DB called
defaults. A quick test with 'defaults read | wc -l' gave me 8483
lines. I'm doubtful that if an application sets a default it would be
automatically removed by moving the app to the trash.
Posted by rapier1 (2722 comments )
Link Flag
Really!!!
I wanted to uninstall GarageBand, iMovie, iWeb and iDVD. Because, I didn't use them and I needed the hard disk space I thought I could just drag those ".app" files to trash. Surprise, that is not how it works with Apple bundled programs, those rules apply only to third party software. These programs have over 10GB, that right 10 gigabytes of data sitting in complicated folder hierarchies. Guess what, unlike windows they don't come with an uninstaller. So, I had to download a neat little utility called Pacifist, open the receipt files these programs have written and go to folder after folder where this crap (for me that is) and delete those files. Oh boy..what a nightmare it is.
Posted by The_Nirvana (104 comments )
Link Flag
"Macs don't need this..., Macs don't need this..."
Always the same comment:

- Article about viruses: "Macs don't need this"
- Article about firewalls: "Macs don't need this"
- Article about crapware: "Macs don't need this"
- Article about ANYTHING: "Macs don't need this"

Please, we get the message! We know you are happy with your Mac! Be creative! Don't comment on every single article with the same "MACS DON'T NEED THIS"! PLEASE???
Posted by rbonilla (4 comments )
Link Flag
Once upon a time
Windows was like this. DOS was like this, but so were the pre-95 Windows. Some where along the line, Microblow decided that was giving us too much control over our own PCs.
Posted by Keenan (2 comments )
Link Flag
I will be happy to shell out 20$ more..
..to get a clean OS install without ANY crapware and so whole millions !!! In the long run adding bloatware is costing PC manufactures business. I don't want to buy a new PC and then have to go throught the effort of reinstalling the OS or trying to clean out all the bloat ware. Not sure why it is so difficult for PC manufactures to get this basic point. I personally would prefer buying from a PC vendor who provides this option and I am sure million of others would.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Customer's talk the talk
... but they don't walk the walk.

People will whine and complain to no end about stuff like crapware, but when it comes down to it, they end up with a choice:

PC-A: Loaded with crapware for $600
PC-B: Otherwise identical but no crapware for $620

And 99% of the time, people will buy PC-A. That's why the crapware is included, because people would rather have a computer that is slower and bogged down with crap but that costs $20 less than to have something that works right.

The same thing is true with support. As much as customers whine and complain about tech support being handled overseas by someone who can barely speak English, they sure as hell aren't going to pay more for their computer to cover the additional costs of better support.


Point being, if you don't like crapware, vote with your wallet!
Posted by Hoser McMoose (182 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Two Kinds of Customers
You say "customer's talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk." You say they will, according to your research, 99% of the time buy the bloated, but cheaper PC. I'd like to see your research on that matter.

What I see are two kinds of customers. The first time or naive buyer doesn't see the bloatware as junk clogging their new computer. They are happy to click a button to get automatic and continuing protection from some Internet evil they don't understand. Even if those customers didn't want the bloatware, they wouldn't know how to remove it. Those customers think paying less gets them more.

The other kind of customer is more experienced. Such customers know that they want little if any of the bloatware preinstalled on their system. They will go to the trouble of removing the junk, even making a backup of the clean OS (with updates) for later restoration. Such customers would willingly pay $25 to avoid those hassles.

As for the tech support issues you mention, I'm happy that I don't have to pay to subsidize the support costs of someone less knowledgeable than I. If I can't figure out my problem for myself, I'll look to the Internet, forums, etc. If all else fails, I'll contact tech support. *If* they provide me with good support for my problem, I'd be happy to pay for that. The problem with pay per incident support is that you never know just how good the support will be until after you've paid for it.
Posted by c|net Reader (856 comments )
Link Flag
This is why...
I have always built my own computers. Then I am in control and besides not getting a bunch of crapware I have no interest in (even if I had use for one of the programs I would never buy from a company that pays to crapware peoples new computer) I can make sure that I get top quality name brand standard components and not a bunch of cheap crap from Asia that has no names, poor support, and lousy drivers.

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DIY made in asia
So your DIY computer is made out of what? memory from Korea, drives from China, a motherboard from Taiwan, video card from Singapore what part of Asia did I miss?
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
Buy HP from Business Division
Just bought HP computer. When I went to see what software there was - they had installed a total of 12-15 items total. No games. No crapware. Nada.
Posted by veg4life (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The problem is drivers
I don't care what they do with the default install, I just want to reinstall a clean system. The problem some of them don't give you install disks and you can only restore off partitions. They also don't give you driver disks which limits using another copy of the OS. I'm staying away now from the big companies, especially compaq
Posted by noldrin (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How 'bout a free Google Machine
How 'bout a free Google machine? Or $99 Google machine? Linux based, Firefox, Open Office, Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentation, Thunderbird email and lots more freeware?

Google gets $$ from you clicking on their ads.

thoughts?
Posted by veg4life (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No Thanks Google Man
Free Google machine - no thanks!

Dude, all we want is the GD computer that we bought from Dell, Toshiba, Sony, etc. to NOT be loaded up with crap!
Posted by DecliningUSDollar (56 comments )
Link Flag
FORMAT C:
Reinstall the OS

Crapware gone.
Posted by law_hog (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
reinstall from where?
When was the last time you saw a retail PC come with an XP CD? Most only come preinstalled or if there is a CD its the OEM build with all the crapware. Of course, you could always download a version of Windows but then you run into the WGA.
Posted by TucsonAlexAZ (53 comments )
Link Flag
 

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