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
    squik, 6 Apr 2007 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't feel sorry for CEO's

    Now you've lost all cedibility.

    What else is new? I come to this blog to be regularly reminded of that. Of course, I disagree.

    There are many, many examples of CEOs getting huge BONUSES even while the companies are LOSING record amounts of money.

    Yes. There are many examples of good things happening to bad CEOs. They make for compelling news stories, which is why you know of them. Of course, they are not the norm. You don't hear about the thousands of CEOs who on any given day don't do anything destructive or evil.

    I find your assertion that the "average worker" is too stupid to even understand what a CEO does to be elitist and offensive.

    If you are going to get all pushed out of joint, then at least characterize what I said correctly. I said "the problems they (CEO's) have to navigate are beyond the understanding of the "average worker". It isn't elitist. It is fact, at least for any moderately complex corporation. I would even go so far as to state that many CEOs themselves have to navigate problems that are beyond their understanding.

    That said, there is a difference in skill set between a good CEO and an average worker. Ask the average worker at a supermarket if they know anything about corporate valuation, bond issues, microeconomics, supply chain management, corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, or any other domain in which the CEO operates during his daily job. You'll find that the average worker hasn't a clue about half the things the CEO must consider.

    Whether the average worker is capable of knowing these things is a different question. The fact is the overwhelming majority don't, irrespective of the reason they don't.

    Please note, I didn't say either average workers or CEOs was stupid. I'm not responsible for the emotional baggage you bring to the conversation, but I'm sorry if your misinterpretation of what I was saying caused you any distress.

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