Mossberg Tells PC Makers To Cut The Craplets

from the the-ad-supported-PC-is-back dept

Anyone who has bought a new PC in recent years knows all about the rigmarole associated with getting them going once they've been taken out of the box. In addition to all of the preferences, the user is faced with an onslaught of what are basically software ads in the form of trial services. Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg, who has certainly seen more than his fair share of computers over the years, was nevertheless struck by how ridiculous things have gotten, after experiencing the joys of setting up a new Sony Vaio laptop. In addition to two dozen pieces of teaser software for services from Napster and AOL, the computer came pre-loaded with four feature-length movies from Sony Pictures. Of course the movies, which were taking up valuable space on the hard drive, couldn't be viewed without first paying Sony. The problem, as Mossberg correctly identifies, is that computer manufacturers act as if the computer doesn't belong to the user, but is instead some platform for them to pitch services. It could be argued that all of these pitches help subsidize the cost of the computer, or at least help defray the growing Windows tax (the fact that as hardware prices continue to drop, the portion of a computer's price that goes to paying for Windows goes up). But it's not surprising, then, that consumers are increasingly interested in alternatives, like desktop Linux, as a way of avoiding the whole mess.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2007 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Sony VAIO

    Hardware is plentiful and cheap. Manufacturers are selling at marginal costs and trying to figure out some way to make a profit.
    Oh yeah, things are just really tough out there for them. Not only do they have to make the computers, which is hard enough, but then they have to figure out how to put root kits on them, send private investigators after critics, and hire turf trolls to watch over forums. Man, the average worker just has no idea how rough the CEO's of these companies have it. I don't see how they do it on the little money they make.

    You are forced to remove the crap.
    No you aren't. In fact, it is not always even possible. When it is possible, it can be expensive. Next you buy a computer, try to get the seller to give you a fair market price for also removing all the crapware before delivery. They probably won't because the labor cost would be so embarrassingly high that you wouldn't buy the computer if they did.

    You'll have to live with it unless you pass a law against it...
    Good idea.

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