Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 at 1:39pm

Third-party software installed on new computers

Posted by Jordan Erickson

A recent story on Slashdot.org talks about something that has always bothered me – PC bloatware (or as some people more accurately dub it, crapware). When you buy a brand new PC or laptop, you will usually get a lot of third-party software installed on it that you didn’t ask for. Some computer retail outfits will offer to remove this software for you, for a price.

As Jerry Seinfeld always said, “What’s the deal??”

Why are we supposed to put up with software we didn’t ask for, that bogs down our brand new computer, bugs us about expiring trials, and eventually become completely useless? I’ll tell you why – because PC and laptop manufacturers subsidize the costs of their hardware by these third-party software companies paying them money for their “crapware” to be installed on every new unit they sell.

As Pink Floyd says, “Money is the root of all evil today.” And that, I guess, bleeds over into retail computer sales. I’m not sure about you, but when I buy a car at an auto lot, I would be furious if it came with a “trial” set of tires (with tread 3/4 of the way gone), because the tire place down the street pays them money. Eventually, a percentage of people who buy cars at that particular lot will go to the tire store and buy some new tires. But shouldn’t the car come with new tires in the first place? That’s what we’re seeing with new computers.

I demand that new PCs and laptops outfitted with Microsoft Windows come with FULL VERSIONS of antivirus/anti-malware software. That is the smart, sensible way of doing things. If it raises the price per unit, so be it – I’ll be paying for it anyway. Heck, I’ll even pay a bit more for PC manufacturers that offer a “clean slate” system, to offset the price increase since they’re not getting their cash from the third-party software companies. Just don’t waste my time with having to deal with software un-installations.


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