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 @ 8:17pm

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

    I think it is more than just a skill set difference

    There are personality differences also. Ignoring legacy cases, it takes a certain amount of tenacity and/or aggressive behavior to work one's way into the corner office.

    The people who become CEO's are typically from well to do families and have been involved with building social networks and investments most of their life.

    The "well to do families" stereotype is overblown. This isn't necessarily the case in technology, especially these days. Education is the stronger correlation. Thanks to social programs there is more liberal access to university education, so wealth does not correlate as strongly with education.

    This is not something someone from a the lower class could accomplish realistically

    This isn't completely true. Networking is a skill that is based partially on personality and partially learned. MBA programs at good schools emphasize the importance of network building. They offer seminars in networking. And they sponsor many social events to help their students and alumni build networks. Anyone who gets a business education will wind up having their network start at school and have the skills to continue building it.

    I'm not as pessimistic about a person's ability to rise as you seem to be.

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