Barney's Blog

Blog archive

Flushing Crapware

It's been a while since I bought a new computer from a retail store. The last three times they were Macs from the utterly pretentious (and kind of creepy) Apple stores, and each time they went to one of my kids. And in no case were they loaded with a bunch of third-party crapware.

Meanwhile, I've had dozens of PCs that were loaded with this junk.

In the rare cases when they were thusly bogged down, I swiftly (but not always easily) removed it. This garbage clogs the desktop, clutters the hard drive, and makes your PC perform like it's running in mud.

Now, Microsoft is offering to remove the vileness for a mere $99 (can't they round up to $100? What are they, Kmart?).

My initial reaction: "It is charging to remove what they are responsible for in the first place?!"

Then I read the full article and the comments below, and was set to thinking. Microsoft may dictate a lot to OEMs, but it doesn't tell them each and every piece of software they can throw on a machine before it goes out the door. One article reader pointed out that he is often asked to get rid of all this software -- and it is worth more than $100 of his time.
If Microsoft can do a good job for that amount of cash and stand behind its work, my hat is fully off to it!

What is your take? Share your thoughts a dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 05/23/2012 at 1:19 PM


comments powered by Disqus

Reader Comments:

Fri, Jun 15, 2012 Lenny Washington, DC

Lenovo seems to be pretty good about not crapping the wares out of the system. Also, Sony (at least on PCs a few years ago) gave the option in the recovery process to selectively install the OS, additional drivers (a la carte), and/or thrid-party software. So if you do a system recovery at the outset you can run crapware-free! I wonder if other OEMs offer this. I discovered it on the VAIO's "by accident."

Mon, Jun 11, 2012 John Canberra Australia

But then you have the other side of the story. The Samsung slate comes with two DVDs - one for the OS and the other for the "bloat". Unfortunately the "bloat" disk also contains the touch-screen and other important drivers that don't seem to want to load properly, and going to their web site doesn't seem to help. #### Whatever you do - if you buy a Samsung Slate, use the "bloat" backup system to do a complete backup - than maybe - just maybe - you will be able to actually have a functioning slate when it dies shortly after the warranty has expired.

Fri, May 25, 2012 Steve

One word: Decrapifier

Thu, May 24, 2012

This is yet another reason why I build my own pc and install the software myself. Microsoft sells OS to OEMs which in turn put bloatware on it to try and take even more money from the customer then Microsoft comes in to take even more money from the customer and we wonder how we ever got into this mess... I'm liking Linux more and more each day.

Wed, May 23, 2012 Chris US

Seriously??? After paying for the OS, additional premium for MS Office, they then charge an additional $99 to clean up the crud installed by a vendor? This is what happens when all control is taken from the end user. They no longer provide installation disks on most systems, making it harder for the average end user to reinstall a clean system. I'm not saying they should offer it for free, although that would be nice. They aren't the ones who installed it in the first place. However, anything over $25 is ridiculous.

Wed, May 23, 2012 Chris Flordia

This never made sense to me. I saw PC's sold with small amounts of RAM, and literally 20+ startup items from third party crapware. Usually from the manufacture: Like HP or Sony, holy crapware batman. Why do they sell PC's that can't even handle the software they ship on it? System using more than double the installed RAM out of the box, oye! Now it isn't so bad today since most new PC's are a lot faster and with more memory. The crapware is still there but at least the machine logs in quicker than 5 min.

Wed, May 23, 2012

If MS was serious about this, they would change the contracts with the hardware manufacturers regarding adding 'junk' on the computer and the OS they just licensed. I am sure that MS could wield enough power to work this out with the hardware vendors... This is just

Wed, May 23, 2012 indy_mojo Indianapolis

In my mind (and experience), with OEM's calling that shot as they have for so long, they have stabbed themselves (and MS) in the foot with poor end user experience that MS has ultimately taken the bigger black eye from. In turn, hasting the exodus for many small business and non business users to a MAC. ...And then all other things MAC. The experience is what people are after . The newly converted MAC users all around me didn't distinguish between the PC and OEM's role in the past. They simply experienced the PC crapware effect with lamenting following shortly after, always understood as PC aka Windows. Compared to what users can experience today, taking the continued "we can fix it for a fee" model seems out out of step in our corner of the world.

Wed, May 23, 2012

The fee should be a bit more reasonable. For $99, I'll do it myself. But $49? They can do it.

Wed, May 23, 2012 Greg New York

I generally prefer to do a fresh install of Windows on a new system, because I've had problems removing factory-installed bloatware, especially the tons of security-related stuff that HP throws on their business-class laptops. I suspect this is exactly what Microsoft does, install the OS from scratch from an up-to-date source, and use the customer-provided product key. Microsoft offers tools for automating the install process, which if you're a business that does this more than a few times a year, can be worthwhile to set up.

Wed, May 23, 2012 Marty Winger Henderson, NV

Flushing Crapware...hey, wait a minute, BestBuy does the same thing. They charge $100 to remove this garbage too! Who started this insane thing? I guess it's "Corporate America" and the MBA's finding ways to ding us when we choose to do business with them.

Wed, May 23, 2012 Brian Alaska

Lets face it if Microsoft was serious about customer service they would offer the tool for free. Yes I know how long it takes to remove all that crap. And I tend to not purchase the software if they crapup a new computer. Marketing should realize that pissing off the customer is counter productive. Besides if I have to spend $100 to remove their crap that is $100 to Microsoft that they dont see any of

Add Your Comment Now:

Your Name:(optional)
Your Email:(optional)
Your Location:(optional)
Comment:
Please type the letters/numbers you see above

Redmond Tech Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.