July 18, 2007
Dear CNET members,
Some people call it shovelware; some call it crapware or bloatware. But whatever it's called, I personally despise preinstalled software on new computers.
To start, let me define in my own words what it is. "Shovelware" is software (be it trial ware, promotional ware, whatever) that is shoveled onto your new PC whether you like it or not. "Crapware" is software preinstalled on your new system that the majority of us will find useless. And, last but not least, "bloatware" is shovelware or crapware that uses up your PC's system resources right out of the box; to me, this is the worst offender. Now that I have given you my definitions, let's get started.
In his Crave blog, CNET editor Matthew Elliott gives us his rant on shovelware that is preinstalled on many major PC manufacturers' systems. And after reading his blog, I couldn't agree more. Of course, I know that big-name manufacturers earn a few bucks by bundling these software programs on their systems and are therefore able to offer consumers lower-priced systems. However, I find that the majority of the stuff they offer is just clutter and a drain on machine resources, which is personally not appealing, and also many times a headache and time-consuming to remove. If I buy a new system, I'm one of those folks who likes to start out with a clean slate--this is one major reason why I like to build my own desktop--because I dictate what goes into my machine, rather than having others recommend something I probably will find useless anyway.
If PC manufacturers offered an option of a clean slate computer with none of this bundled software included, shoot, I'd be willing to pay extra to not have to deal with it. If that's not an option, give consumers a choice during boot up: ask us if we would like to try software and install it upon our approval. These are some approaches I'd like to see manufacturers implement, because as a consumer, shovelware is just useless and I'd rather not see it at all. Anyway, you've read the blog and my rant about shovelware, now it's your turn to jump on the soapbox and tell us how you feel about preinstalled software on your new computer system. Good or bad, I hope your voice will resonate loud enough to these computer manufacturers to do what's best in the interest of the consumer.
This week's hot topic:
Shovelware on new PCs When you buy a computer from any major PC manufacturer, you can bet that you will find a boatload of preinstalled trial software. When we asked our members to tell us what they had to say about that bundled software, many were quick to let loose in this discussion.
"Ranting about Shovelware"
"After 10 years of being a loyal PC purchaser and buying many, such as IBM, Dell, Gateway, Toshiba, and other PCs, I am so fed up with shovelware, spyware, and other problems that I am officially switching to Mac when I buy a new desktop and laptop computer..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member tmlra"Making a mountain out of a mole hill"
"Lately I've been hearing a lot of talk about so called crapware, and frankly I think it's all blown out of proportion. I'm one who likes to try new software so I'm not offended by a new computer containing this kind of material. It's not very difficult to get rid of what you..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member tqat25"A 'solution,' but not for the faint of heart"
"I recently purchased a Sony UX handtop. As annoying as shovelware is on desktops, imagine having a 32GB Solid State Drive with over a third of the space devoted to shovelware. My solution was to do a clean install of the operating system and then install only the drivers..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member Russ Smith"No benefit? That's why I need a shovel."
"Last I knew, saving 50 to 100 dollars off the price of a computer was a big benefit. If you'd rather pay more for a custom install without the advertising, go right ahead. Advertising is everywhere, from your favorite Web page to your McDonalds cup. It can be..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member qprizeSpeak up!
Which vendors do you find particularly aggressive with their preloaded apps? With the last PC you bought, did you make use of any of the trial offers, or did you just remove icons and uninstall software? Vent your shovelware frustrations here.
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