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Bloatware Removal Threatens PC Industry Profits

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the like-an-ad-blocker dept.

Businesses 341

Anti-Globalism sends along a piece on how a consumer-friendly service is not so good for PC manufacturers. "Before they ship PCs to retailers like Best Buy, computer makers load them up with lots of free software. For $30, Best Buy will get rid of it for you. That simple cleanup service is threatening the precarious economics of the personal computer industry. Software companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars to PC makers like Hewlett-Packard to install their photo tools, financial programs, and other products, usually with some tie-in to a paid service or upgrade. With margins growing thinner than most laptops, this critical revenue can make the difference between profit and loss for the computer makers, industry analysts say."

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We call this the linux philosophy (4, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796153)

Thankfully, Linux comes pretty free of bloatware. I guess they don't like that artificially inflated revenues by shoving crapware in people's faces is now heading back towards "realistic revenues by giving people what they actually want"?

I seem to recall a time way back when some company actually installed gator with their pc's bloatware.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (4, Informative)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796251)

The people have already spoken. They want the best hardware specs on the side for the least money with little care about measures of quality that require a little more knowledge. When was the last time you heard of anyone buying an airplane ticket based on anything other than price and time?

Other companies already build similar computers without bloatware, but the prices are higher and they have fewer customers.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796343)

Uh... are you saying that there is any practical difference between airline flights (between the same two destinations) other than price and time? Should passengers be discrimating based on the technical merits of Boeing versus Airbus planes, or something? What's your point?

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (5, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796411)

Seat size, spacing, food quality, staff friendliness. There are lots of things on airlines that people gripe about, but will never pay more for.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796827)

not true.. i work for a company that does alot of travel.. and we do pay more for certian airlines because it is a better ride.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

griffman99h (671362) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797131)

which means that over the long run you get a better value for buying in bulk with the airline...

..Its alot like have a corporate account with IBM cause you're buying thousands of machines. which consequently come without bloatware in most cases.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797271)

I'm not going to take advice from someone who doesn't know that "a lot" is two words, you illiterate douchenugget.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (4, Funny)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797479)

I'm not going to take advice from someone who doesn't know that "douche nugget" is two words, you illiterate douche nugget.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797583)

That's mostly because if you upgrade to a more comfortable airline, it's your bum that enjoys the seat, but it's the company's money that pays for it. This is the whole point of 'business class' travel: most people are happy to spend someone else's money on their own comfort, but not their own money.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796987)

I routinely pay more to get mileage on a decent airline, giving me a silver card which allows me a greater baggage allowance, free domestic flights and class upgrades.

So, yeah, some of us pay more for that stuff.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796439)

In/around Europe there's a big difference between what you get if you fly with a budget airline for £25 or a quality airline for ten times that.

But I wouldn't choose between British Airways and Air France on anything other than price.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (2, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797069)

Like Ryanair where you have to pay extra for everything, even the permission to bring luggage - and then they dump you at some rural airport with limited connections which means that you will pay the price anyway, but on the ground.

Air France is a "no go" on my list. Rude behavior, bad timing, sleepover at hotel rooms that looks like they are rented per hour etc.

Iceland Air and Virgin Atlantic are currently on my positive list.

SAS is somewhere in between right now.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797155)

Any comments on Singapore Air? I'm flying ORD->Tokyo shortly on them.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797519)

Singapore Air is the best airline in my experience

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797555)

In my experience, singapore air is the gold standard of flying comfort, and you are a lucky dog.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797609)

A year ago at Atlanta's airport I shared a tram car for a while with a gaggle of their stewardesses.

Based on that, in my opinion, I'd fly Singapore Air anytime.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (2, Interesting)

Curien (267780) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797279)

Unfortunately, we don't have anything like that in the US. Our budget airlines are about half the price of the major ones. It's unheard of to buy tickets here for a couple bucks like you can on Ryanair.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796363)

Actually I know a fair number of people who won't fly particular airlines if there's any reasonable alternative available because of the bad service they've gotten from them. It's obviously not unlimited, for instance they might be willing to pay an extra 10% to avoid the undesirable airline but not an extra 30%, but they will pay a certain amount extra not to have to deal with something they've had problems with before.

Flying (1, Interesting)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796609)

I won't fly at all unless I'm flying to somewhere that I cannot reach by driving for 10 hours. This isn't because of the airlines; it's because of the federal government's insistence on security theatre. I'm tired of being treated like a potential criminal just because I want to get on an airplane.

Re:Flying (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797261)

I won't fly at all unless I'm flying to somewhere that I cannot reach by driving for 10 hours. This isn't because of the airlines; it's because of the federal government's insistence on security theatre. I'm tired of being treated like a potential criminal just because I want to get on an airplane.

Offtopic? Not if you consider it an analogy. Doesn't Windows and lots of other bloatware treat you like a criminal? Getting poked and prodded and moved along the airport assembly line while getting told this is what you need instead of getting what you want isn't analogous to getting your new computer preloaded with annoyances? Taking the car instead is a freedom thing, like installing Linux on your computer. The freedom to chose your path with cars are why in so many parts of the country that mass transit has never taken off and though the areas with lots of wide open spaces also influences that, those of us in some of those spaces are there because of the increased feeling of freedom we have there and one could say that it's analogous to more free space on your hard drive from not having it pre-stuffed with bloatware.

Parent, like those willing to pay to have the bloatware removed is obviously willing to pay more in costs as well as time to have some freedom. People voting with their money in either case, computer manufacturers and airlines as well as the government should take note.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796859)

Everyone want's to maximize their economy. If you're flying for experiance, you want 1st class on hawaiian. FAT reclining leather seats and food that was better than some 5 star restaurants I've been too.

However, if you just want to "get there alive" well no worries, because it's federally regulated, If the "hardware" doesn't work, you die. No one legally makes money when people die. For the best value on a plane, all you need is a seat, a place for luggage, and the lowest price available.

Computers are not the same, though bloatware is like the steward(es). If you have an ugly stewardess, you still get your midflight cheapo pretzel and 1/2 can of coke. If you have a cute one, you can watch her smile as she comes down the isle.

For the best value on a computer, you want proper cable routing, the most hardware for your budget, with matching parts i.e. a psu that can power sli if so equiped, also it should be delivered to your house w/ the latest firmware updates on everything, & the most up to date software.

We on /. don't care about anything but hardware because we'll just gut the software anyway. We know how to patch and update or flash firmware, hell we might even write our own if we are bored that day. The General publick want's it to work, right, out of the box, and not ever fail, until it's no longer seen as shiny and new by their peers. We computer geeks will repurpose our computer to an HTPC or a File Server or a Proxybox, or a blotto box (whoops how did that get there?)

Though I agree. People are greedy in general, and as my economy teacher loved to say, what's the best price of product x? The one that the majority in the market will be willing to pay.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797401)

I second that first class call on Hawaiian Air. Flying does not get better than that. For a good laugh, listen to all the people on the plane parroting "Mahalo" after it's said on the flight video.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796995)

Reasonable service is also a factor when buying ticket...

Flying is like sitting on a collective toilet for several hours. And considering all security measures etc. today you start to be willing to pay at least for some comfort in the chair. Maybe the security measures are promoted by the airline industry to make people more willing to pay for comfort?

As for bloatware - I always nuke the standard installation and make a clean installation of Windows whenever necessary. The security risks and performance issues with bloatware makes it worthwhile.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (2, Funny)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797463)

I would much rather fly in a toilet stall. They are private, rarely have screaming babies, no one reclines their toilet into your stall, and some even have private screens for watching adverts(better than most movies they show).

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

IncarnadineConor (457458) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797043)

I won't fly southwest because of their check in policy.

I am on the watch list so I have to check in at the counter. It doesn't matter how early I get to the airport, half a plane worth of cattle has checked in online already and they get herded on before me so I end up sitting between two fat guys because there are no other open seats.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797045)

Some people have spoken. 9% apparently don't want bloatware. 30% apparently care about money the most. 30% care about quality more than money, but less than bloatware. 5% apparently care for hardware specs above all.

Essentially, bloatware is really adware, and the reason the computers are so cheap is because of the adware. Remove the adware, and PCs go up in price.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797635)

Regular airline travelers who fly more than once or twice a year tend to pick airlines where they know they'll get adequate service. Some airlines treat you so damned poor, or nickle-and-dime you to the point that you'll never fly them, regardless of price.

However, the average home consumer isn't buying tons of computers all the time, so all they care about is price and specs like you said. And most of them don't understand specs.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796613)

the PC has become a revenue stream much like the store shelves at you local retail outlet. Very much of what is on the shelf and where it is on the shelf is paid to the retailer to get the product there. Customer product demands didn't do it, money did. The Windows PC is that way and has been for over 10 years. IMO, this is why you have not seen Open Office loaded on any of these Windows PCs. There is nobody paying to put it there and there is someone paying to put other applications there.

Good for Best Buy for making a business model from removing the junk customers don't want. After all, they are Best Buy customers first and HP then Microsoft,X,Y,Z customers next.

LoB

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (3, Interesting)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796821)

Like most nerds I build my own PC's, but I also help teach non-techie friends and family to order parts and assemble their own pc's.

They're all surprised when they find out it's not rocket science, and they end up with a better pc than they'd get at Best Buy for a fraction of the cost, custom built to their needs and sans bloatware. Many have gone on to build their next generation pc without my help.

I think that's a bigger threat to retail PC sales than removing bloatware, the current generation who are growing up with gadgets and computers will be even more likely to take on building their own computers. It really makes no sense to buy a retail pc, they cost more, they come with stuff you don't need, they're missing stuff you do need, they're little more than marketing in a box. I think the only reason people buy them is because they are intimidated by the prospect of building their own, or don't realize they're being gamed.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796899)

Of course they end up with a desktop, and that fraction may be improper.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796905)

I think that's a bigger threat to retail PC sales than removing bloatware, the current generation who are growing up with gadgets and computers will be even more likely to take on building their own computers.

In your geeky dreams. MOST of the people that go to Best Buy don't know a serial cable from a box of Wheaties. Maybe some of your gamer friends have been turned on to DIY and that's great, but the Great Unwashed doesn't want to be bothered.

Not to mention how hard it is to build a laptop from components.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797321)

lol you should be modded funny.

However, the guy is correct actually. There is a growing market due to the disparity between retail price and buying parts individually that is well over the cost of inconvenience.

I am seeing such interest increase actually, likewise I'm seeing an increase in the number of people interested in Linux as games are now being supported more and more (but not flawless, of course)

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (5, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796931)

If Linux was sold in retail channels and had marketshare like Windows, the same exact thing would happen. Quicken, Adobe XX, Roxio XX, Turbotax, etc. would all have Linux versions that would get preinstalled just the same (along with a host of 'update' programs from the manufacturer and those software vendors. It would be the same on OS X if they licensed it to 3rd party PC makers. It's just the marketshare and how Windows is sold that causes this, not Windows itself.

Re:We call this the linux philosophy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796941)

Linux comes with "do it yourself" Bloatware. If you want it, write it yourself. Macs are pretty free of it too.

Linux Bloatware (0, Troll)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797033)

When I look back at the lightweight Windowmaker/GNUstep environment I prefer, I'd say that the Gnome/KDE gigabytes of junk on most Linux desktops counts as "bloatware".

Okay (1)

Lucid 3ntr0py (1348103) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796165)

Well as a seasoned armchair economist I suggest they make better products.

Re:Okay (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797059)

Actually, the only real economic response is to raise prices to match costs. If the adware is removed, so too is the income from the adware.

Not sure how I feel about this... (4, Insightful)

Asmor (775910) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796197)

On the one hand, I think this is a sleazy practice and I'll be happy to see it go.

On the other hand, it's simple enough for someone who knows what they're doing to just reformat the computer with a fresh install of their OS of choice, so the discount you get on your PC for it is pretty nice.

I suspect that if this practice does die out, it'll mean the big guys are on slightly less uneven footing with the little mom & pop PC shops, so I guess that's always a good thing.

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (5, Insightful)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796375)

Speaking of Mom and Pops, I for one welcome this change (no memes intended).

I'm getting tired of having my mom and dad (not to mention the other umpteen dozens of people in my life who are in the same boat) call and ask what program xyz does, when I don't have their computer, have never heard of xyz, and can only make broad guesses as to the purpose of the program based on the name. I mean, sure, most are genuinely helpful, but it's not like computers come with big thick welcome guides anymore like they used to.

Anything that helps make life easier for my mom or dad when they get a new computer helps make my life easier as a side effect, and I'm okay with that. Plus, it helps us to figure out what's supposed to be there when we come over and work on their computers. Hopefully it will also be the end of my sister-in-laws complaining that their free game that came with their computer just closed on them and won't re-open... This always leads me to have this fun and exciting conversation

"Did you read the screen or did you just call me instead? ...
Uh huh, now read me what it says ...
Uh huh, so when it says you've played for an hour and you should now purchase the game, what does that mean to you? ...
Well I would guess that it was a free trial, to get you hooked, so that you will give them money. I would suggest that you get up and walk away from the computer though, as you'll need to come up for air instead of playing [the same bakery game with lots of different skins so it looks like a dog salon or whatever] ...
No, I don't know where to get the full version for free ...
No, I won't just 'make it work', you'll have to pay the $$$ ...
Okay, well I'm at work, bye!"

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796571)

"Uh huh, so when it says you've played for an hour and you should now purchase the game, what does that suggest to you? ..."

You had the option to make a funny Eliza joke. But you didn't. Pussy fucker.

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796457)

Anyone who knows what they're doing to just reformat the hard drive would be smart enough to know they could have gotten a bigger discount on the PC by just ordering all the components and self assembling. No one who knows how to get rid of crapware would ever need to buy a pre-assembled desktop. Laptops of course, are a different story.

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (2, Interesting)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796773)

That is only true for really high-end machines. For a commodity desktop you can often save hundreds by going with an older model HP, Dell, or whatever. Just make sure you wipe it first.

Wait a minute, that's what this entire article is about!

I have had enough trouble getting warranty support for DOA mobos, processors, power supplies, etc. that I generally don't bother building machines anymore.

For most people, it works best and costs least to buy a $300 closeout special from microcenter and if it doesn't work you can walk it back to the store.

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797127)

"I have had enough trouble getting warranty support for DOA mobos, processors, power supplies, etc. that I generally don't bother building machines anymore"

I have had great support from vendors like ASUS and EVGA. Infact I was so thrilled w/ EVGA's support that I will make them my #1 brand for videocards! Though I must say. I haven't had hardware die on me in a long time, and the one time I sent out a video card, it was actually MY fault. (I switched to graphical F@HOME for somereason, and it doesn't play well w/ games I normally turned it off before playing but didn't once and It hit me after I bought a new card!)

Not a chance for me. Reusing my case and pc P&C 750W psu saves me real $ and I am on this funky 2 year upgrade cycle. Every two years I upgrade 1/2 of my PC. either mobo, ram, and CPU, or Power, Case, Video card. HDD's get replaced as I need capacity but usually run raid 0 w/ backups on 2 drives for 3-4 years at a time.

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797249)

Are you implying that a person can't know how to install windows without knowing how to assemble a computer? That sounds pretty ignorant...

Even footing (5, Insightful)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796507)

I suspect that if this practice does die out, it'll mean the big guys are on slightly less uneven footing with the little mom & pop PC shops, so I guess that's always a good thing.

I think we've also hit on one of the reasons Apple computers cost more than similar machines from Dell, HP, Lenovo, et al: Apple doesn't load down their Macs with a lot of third-party bloatware.

Re:Even footing (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797061)

No, they just load it down with the core OS. At least, that's ho it was in the 10.1 days.

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796531)

On the other hand, it's simple enough for someone who knows what they're doing to just reformat the computer with a fresh install of their OS of choice, so the discount you get on your PC for it is pretty nice.

Oh? How's that? I buy a laptop for business use. I am keenly interested in keeping on the safe side of licensing because I don't want the BSA jackboots on my back. I haven't bought a boxed copy of Windows so do not have an installer disk. The OEM media restores my drive to the same state as when I first brought it home.

I'm an IT guy and totally happy with do-it-yourself; I'm typing this on a system I built from Newegg parts. Still, it's not at all obvious to me how I'd clean up that laptop without involving The Pirate Bay or shelling out for official installation disks.

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (3, Informative)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796879)

I call shenanigans. An IT guy that has never heard of the PC Decrapifier [pcdecrapifier.com]

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (3, Informative)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797085)

I do Unix. I bought the laptop to run Quickbooks and some industry-specific applications. I appreciate the link, but the point was that you don't have to be a complete babe in the woods to have these sorts of problems.

Re:Not sure how I feel about this... (4, Informative)

Scoth (879800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796573)

This isn't always true. My fiancee got a laptop a year or so ago that came with no discs whatsoever. It gave you the option of burning restore discs, which included all the bloatware. There was no way, short of buying a retail copy of Vista or going pirate, to reformat/install without the bloatware. Fortunately most of it uninstalled fairly cleanly, but "just format and reinstall!!" isn't always an option.

My wife bought a Lenovo laptop $400. (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796897)

it's kick-ass and runs great even with Vista Home. When I got it, I cleared off over a gig of crap software AOL trials, Quickbooks & other Intuit shit, MS Office Intro (I already had a license), and stuff so lame that i don't remember. And in removing much of it, I got a huge performance boost too! And then installed: Firefox, Thunderbird, and Office the license I have. She was very pleased.

I think it's a win/win. We got a laptop a lot cheaper than it would normally sell for, Lenovo, I'm sure, made out better, and sucky software makers got screwed.

Your failed business model is not my problem (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796233)

The phrase 'Adapt or die' applies to corporations, too. The fact that people will pay $30 to have this crap removed should be telling you something.

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796271)

That they don't mind a trip to the store that costs $30 to save $100 on their computer?

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796275)

It's pretty appalling that they have to pay at all to get rid of it. "Awfully nice OS you have there... Would be a shame if anything were to happen to it, eh?"

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797343)

No, it isn't appalling at all. Best Buy didn't put the crapware on, why should they take it off for free?

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

Arc the Daft (1340487) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796323)

1. The bloatware makers have to market their software, so they try bundling it with new PC's. 2. The manufacturer benefits by receiving payments from the bloatware makers. 3. Best Buy benefits by convincing customers that this bloatware needs to be removed at a price. 4. The bloatware makers catch on to their failing attempts to actually market the software, and stop paying the manufacturer. Business as usual?

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796497)

My guess is that number 4 is actually something like this: Bloatware makers whine to manufacturers about this, manufacturers require contracts with retailers stating that, if they perform bloatware removal services, they will pay a premium to distribute the manufacturer's PCs.

Alternatively, this is all just a flash in the pan as the average computer buyer doesn't understand why they should pay $30 to remove all that cool free software. People who know why they should remove the crap know how to do it themselves.

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (2, Interesting)

Arc the Daft (1340487) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796621)

People who know why probably aren't buying PC's from box retailers. Really this is just an example of retailers capitalizing on the lack of consumer computing knowledge.

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

Chatterton (228704) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796977)

I know, I can build a PC myself from parts but the next PC I will buy for my wife will come from a retailer. The reasons are:
- Less assle
- Lower cost than building the same myself
- The pleasure to format a Windows partition to put Linux

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

Arc the Daft (1340487) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797245)

Why not buy online vs a Box store? Compare Best Buy's customer service (eek) to Newegg's... Also, online prices are going to be more competitive, look at the EEE 16gig on Best Buy http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8905973&type=product&id=1213046768451 [bestbuy.com] $449, windows Newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220367 [newegg.com] #379, linux

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796887)

People who know why they should remove the crap know how to do it themselves.

Yes, but once they're out of college, their hour is worth more than $30, so it's still economical to have it done instead of doing it yourself.

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

Arc the Daft (1340487) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796981)

That's $62,000 a year. Most college grads start at much less... where do you live?

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797199)

You are making a big assumption that it takes a whole hour to remove the software.

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

Arc the Daft (1340487) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797277)

You're right, it might take a less-than-stellar PC buyer days.

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

griffman99h (671362) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797549)

their hour is worth more than $30 to them.. their employer may undervalue their time like most companies. when I worked for myself it was worth $50 and hour for me to waste my time removing bloatware....

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797465)

Yes, but once they're out of college, their hour is worth more than $30

In a good economy, and in a high-COL town. Slashdot is in the United States, and the U.S. economy isn't as good as it used to be, so some companies aren't paying $30 per hour for a computer science or software engineering graduate with no prior employment.

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796607)

Does an OEM make more or less than $30 by preinstalling all that junk?

Re:Your failed business model is not my problem (5, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797163)

The phrase 'Adapt or die' applies to corporations, too.

Actually, it's "Adapt or get legislation passed protecting your business model", but thank you for playing.

Advertising (2, Insightful)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796245)

The bloatware construes more advertising & product placement (literally, oddly) than a constructive service. This sounds a lot like getting a TiVo or the like in order to scrub commercials out of your favorite shows.

Do that many people really sign up for the full versions of the software that comes on their computers?

Re:Advertising (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796939)

They probably also reply to spam, sign into phishing websites, and unzip encrypted ZIP attachments from untrusted sources. And turn off their AV because it keeps popping up alerts.

Re:Advertising (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797123)

I know for one vendor it's worth it. Dell and the scumbags at Mcafee give you a 30 day trial for antivirus,firewall, etc on your brand new PC. Soon you start hearing about how your computer will no longer be protected from viruses. My guess is most people don't know any better and simply pay up. They aren't ever aware that there are quality Free alternatives. Year after year they pay up.

You can be sure that for some vendors it is very much worth the price of being able to get their foot in the door first.

Re:Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797299)

A friend of mine manages the PC bloatware engineering group at a major PC manufacturer. (Yes, there's actually some software engineering involved in getting those packages set up correctly). His little team is responsible for adding tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to the bottom line of the company; the signup rates for the bloatware apps are actually quite high, and the PC manufacturer gets a cut of the revenue from the application provider. Since it's software, every dollar is pure profit, and in the laptop and desktop business, a dollar of pure profit is mighty hard to come by.

If bloatware fails, it will mean more expensive PCs for everybody, although the idea of paying a few bucks extra for a non-bloatware PC is actually kind of a cool idea.

Simple solution (2, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796259)

Maybe the computers these days are too cheap. If you're not making enough money and this software is pissing people off, just remove the software and raise the price. It's not like most people are going to start building their own computers.

Remove the crappy software, raise the price, and sell the computer as a "premium" edition. People aren't going to stop buying computers.

Re:Simple solution (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796377)

Heck, it is getting to the point where I'd almost rather buy a new keyboard than go through the hassle of cleaning mine. And when I am taking care of family's virus ridden computers, I am always doing the mental calculations and figuring that it would be more expedient to buy them a new PC. Hardware has dropped in price so much, and their capabilities have far exceeded 90% of the population's needs. Consequently companies like Dell are looking to squeeze every last nickle out of it they can.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24797167)

I don't think its as simple as that. Just from my point of view as a consumer, I would much rather buy a laptop which is 100-150$ cheaper even if it has a lot of bloatware on it. 100-150$ is not worth the price for a non-bloatware "premium edition" type laptop.

At the end of the day, everyone, both techie folk along with your average Joes are going to buy the cheaper laptop, even if they know before hand that it is going to come along with bloatware.

So the laptop maker is most likely going to make a loss because another company is going to still go about selling bloatware infested/subsidized laptops and PCs.

Terminology (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796311)

They don't load them with lots of free software. They load them up with lots of proprietary software, and pretty nasty stuff it is too. Even if you use 'free' to mean 'free of charge, gratis' that is not really accurate here, since the manufacturer is paid to install it on the PC. It's more like proprietary software that has a negative price.

Re:Terminology (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797205)

And maybe that also explains the unwillingness for PC manufacturers to provide you with uninstalled PC which means that you have to pay the Microsoft tax even if you are going to run Linux, AROS or whatever on it.

And since the M$ tax exists it's no wonder that some people runs "illegal" versions of Windows on their machines - since they have already paid Microsoft.

And yet another issue with the M$ tax is that many large companies buys these PC:s and then have a volume license agreement too, which means that they pay M$ twice. Not all companies consider it to be worth it to try to reclaim the double license fee.

well duh (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796313)

So why don't the PC makers charge you $30 to remove the crap instead? They probably don't make much more than that from the software makers.

Something wrong (1)

electricbern (1222632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796353)

There is definitely something wrong when laptop or PC manufacturers depend on shoving crap down customers throats to turn a profit. Is it too much of a stretch to think that profit should be a result of quality products and services and differentiation instead of corporate deals that offer little or no advantage to the customer who is actually buying the product from the maker?

Someday... (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796427)

this industry will fire all marketing dept and use the money on enginnering dept. they just need to do this to gain market.

Sell PCs for the right bloody price then! (2, Insightful)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796437)

The current policy is extortion on non-savvy users. It's like a car dealership filling your new car with trash and charging you to take it out again!

Drop the gimmicks, and get into selling PCs as a business. Get the markup right, make a profit, and compete. If people WANT to buy computers that are $30 cheaper and full of crap, that's their decision. Don't regulate it either way - do what the market can stand.

Reduction in Profits for big companies (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796441)

Hopefully means that maybe Ma/Pa shops, and independants can start building custom PCs again! I can't compete w/ Dell on a (new)build till I hit the 2K+ mark in parts @ pricewatch "wholesale" prices, then I can take 5% max (not counting time). Has a new Alienware or Voodoo hasn't sprung up yet? Though if there is a good botique dealer out there that I don't know about, I'd be interested in looking @ their stuff (for research of course, I build all my own comps).

Oh.....Cry me a River.... (1)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796501)

To PC Makers: If your business model's bottom line *depends on* installing bloatware/crapware/trialware please realize that you are the next fatality on the highway of making products that people want. (I do not LOOK FOR devices with pre-installed crapware, I look for quality components (hardware I want to use) and a great and human-voiced service department to backup the fat warranty.

NOTE: After the "Geek Squad" spy camera in the bathroom scandal and bulk copying customer's MP3 and JPG content scandals, (both done by individuals at the "Geek Squad") I do believe my opinion of Best Buy's "Geek Squad" is starting to raise...

On another note, I require car dealers to remove their advertising logos from all locations on the cars I purchase unless they agree to pay me an annual fee of $250 for my mobile advertising space on my new car. It works for NASCAR, it works for me... Talk about something the salesman has never heard before... Consumers need to stand up and justify being right.

Re:Oh.....Cry me a River.... (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796833)

I hate to break it to you, but ALL PC techs copy your porn and music. It's one of the job perks.

Re:Oh.....Cry me a River.... (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797489)

No we don't. Some of us have standards for ethical and professional behavior that we follow. Shocking, I know.

Desktops are dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796563)

Seriously. Why would you want a desktop if a laptop or a netbook is just about as powerful, but portable and considerably more power efficient?

Re:Desktops are dying (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796893)

Because desktop replacement laptops cost a fortune.

Re:Desktops are dying (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797255)

And there are still things that you can't do with a laptop.

A desktop is always ahead of a laptop when it comes to performance and extendability. Few laptops are able to support 3 monitors (as I use at home) at the same time.

screw them (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796647)

If their business model requires annoying customers and squeezing them for every dollar, then fuck them. They deserve to lose profits and die.

So there's this thing that keeps on popping up (1)

darkmasterchief (997565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796657)

So there's this thing that keeps on popping up every time I reboot my PC, it reads "Windows Boot Manager", can they get rid of that?

A company should never *use* its customers (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796665)

It is abusive for a company to take advantage of their otherwise simple business relationships with their customers.

When a company uses a customer's business relationship to gain even more money by selling that customer's information, by loaded unwanted software (that invariably kills the machine's performance), by inserting ads, or even subscribing them to mailing lists of "their partners," it all amounts to abuse of the business relationship outside of the desired results expected by the customer.

Any time a company annoys a customer, they risk losing that customer. Just because "everyone does it" is no excuse for doing so. Even my preferred vendors do this and while I have learned to live with it by not even powering on the computer in its default configuration in most cases, instead installing the OS from scratch, it is a lot of work that should be needless.

To be clear, the current culture of using or leveraging customers to make additional profits is bad for core business.

They're doin it anyway, why not charge 30$ for it? (1)

greenjelly (1351585) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796679)

I bet the revenue made by BestBuy charging 30$ to remove the bloatware will be more than the revenue made from customers who actually pay for the full versions. If people are looking on the net for ways to remove it, why not do it right here and charge 30 bucks for it?

Re:They're doin it anyway, why not charge 30$ for (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797317)

$30 is about 30 minutes work for an ordinary consultant. For a Geek Squad it may be an hour's work worth, all depending on the salary of that person.

Just do the math and see if it's worth it to provide the service. It may be that it's a bit subsidized, but not much. They probably have automated a lot of the cleaning so it should be a cost that's reasonable for that service.

What they really want is to sell things. Returning customers with problems is a cost, returning customers that buys more devices like an extra mouse is a bonus.

PC decrapifyer (2, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796739)

So they charge $30 to run PC Decrapifyer? http://pcdecrapifier.com/ [pcdecrapifier.com]

So computer prices rise by $30... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796767)

Hmmm... Best Buy charges $30 for the cleanup, customers are willing to pay that $30.

Computer companies are currently getting $30 per computer for bloatware.

If they can't include bloatware, that means... prices will rise by $30, but customers won't have to pay Best Buy $30 to remove it...

Where's the downside?

Well what I want to know is... (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796775)

How is this going to affect the eternal "Macs are overpriced" debate if they start selling PC's at their "real" cost without all that crap on them? :)

"more expensive" != "overpriced" (2, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796895)

Mac's aren't "overpriced". Macs do cost more, but OS X is worth more than Windows Vista (if you don't agree, don't get a Mac, sheesh).

And a $30 change in the cost of a PC isn't going to make much difference.

Re:"more expensive" != "overpriced" (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797223)

I consider Macs to be well worth their price, I'm typing this on a $3000 Macbook Pro. :) $30 is what Best Buy charges to remove the bloatware, who knows the actual amount OEM's receive from these companies per PC. It could be significantly higher than $30.

Re:"more expensive" != "overpriced" (2, Interesting)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797361)

I consider Macs to be well worth their price, I'm typing this on a $3000 Macbook Pro. :) $30 is what Best Buy charges to remove the bloatware, who knows the actual amount OEM's receive from these companies per PC. It could be significantly higher than $30.

I find Macs more expensive, hell, just look at my current laptop:

My HP DV6000 widescreen laptop which came with 2GB RAM, built in webcam, nvidia graphics card with 512MB dedicated RAM with all the essentials including wireless, bluetooth. Has HDMI, a built in SD card reader, remote control. It came with Vista, but I installed Kubuntu [kubuntu.org] (A OS I currently prefer to Vista and OS X for workstation purposes at the moment) on it (which worked out of the box with it).

I bought this from Comet [comet.co.uk] store for £399, and guess what... That is the cheapest price I can pay for a Mac, and a Mac Mini [apple.com] (I would provide a direct link, but Apple's store links expire) costs £399.

The only 'advantage' the Mac Mini has over this laptop is that it has a 1.83GHz processor, while this laptop has a 1.66GHz processor. But - this machine has been the best gaming and work machine I've ever had, I doubt the Mac mini would live up to that with just a tiny bit faster processor, it doesn't even have a decent graphic card with dedicated RAM.

Macs are certainly affordable now, but you seriously cannot tell me Macs are cheaper.

sigh. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797377)

Most pc buyers hate that crapware that is installed on new computers. We all have our preference for apps unless we're completely new to computers, then Linux is for you.

I say stop pushing crapware down our throats to begin with.

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