Spyware Sucks
“There is no magic fairy dust protecting Macs" – Dai Zovi, author of “The Mac Hacker’s Handbook"

Dell backs down on bloatware

June 23rd 2007 in Uncategorized

A while ago my boss (a Mac aficionado) pointed out the Mac v PC bloat video as just one more piece of evidence proving that Macs are better than PCs because, and I quote what he said, “Macs don’t come with any of that crap”.

Video in question:
http://movies.apple.com/movies/us/apple/getamac/apple-getamac-fat_480x376.mov

So here’s the thing.  How many people remember the various complaints and lawsuits Microsoft has faced over time because whatever third party software provider is crying because their software is not part of a standard Windows OEM build?

I find it amazingly ironic that, on the one hand, Microsoft is hammered for anti-competitive behaviour and unfair business practices (hello!! It isn’t Microsoft that is restricting computers to “you get what you’re given and you’ll *like* it”), and on the other hand, we see stuff like the video advertisement put out by Mac about bloat.

PC says “it’s all this trial software; they packed my hard drive full of all this software; all these programmes that don’t do very much unless you buy the whole thing or are just plain useless; it really slows me down; -sigh- you know how it is”

MAC responds “Well, actually I don’t; MACS just come with the stuff you want like itunes, imovie, iphoto, iweb; it’s all part of ilife”

Jeez, I tell ya, if Microsoft tried to restrict PCs to just their software (for example, if they tried to restrict PCs to a mythical software set such as pctunes, pcmovie, pcphoto, pcweb and pclife), just their hardware, just their whatever, the baying of the one-eyed hounds would be deafening.

Anyway, what triggered this rant? Oh yeah, Dell are patting themselves on the back because they’re going to remove “bloatware” from their PCs – you know, the bloatware that companies went to court to to be able to include on new PCs – the bloat that people then complained about and MAC users made jokes about?

Cite: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39287685,00.htm

I quote from the article:

“”When you configure a system on Dell.com, you [now] have the option of choosing “No software pre-installed” for things like productivity software, ISP software and photo and music software,” wrote Michelle Pearcy, Dell’s worldwide client software manager, in a blog.

Pearcy added that “no software” would become the default option on most XPS systems, and an option on Dimension desktops and Inspiron notebooks.

However, three types of software will remain mandatory. These include trial versions of antivirus packages, “because many of our customers simply expect their PCs to be protected at first boot and beyond”, according to Pearcy.

Other mandatory software will include Acrobat Reader so users can view essential system documentation, and Google tools.”

What the hell?? Google tools and Adobe Reader are mandatory???? Why the hell would Adobe Reader and Google tools be mandatory???  What about the other free PDF readers that are out there?  Why aren’t Dell users given a choice of PDF Reader software!!  What if I want to be given the choice to use PrimoPDF?  Or Nitro?  Or pdf995?  Or cutepdf?  Or an open source PDFcreator or reader?  It’s anti-competitive I tell ya… anti-competitive!!! Bring out the hangman and stocks!!!  Somebody call the EU!!  -cough-  Oh, sorry, we’re not talking about Microsoft, are we… my apologies (yes I am being SARCASTIC damn it)

As for Google tools, how DARE Google have their stuff as mandatory after the tricks they have been playing lately:

Complaining about IE7’s search bar – complaint rejected by the powers that be:
http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/archive/2006/05/02/93180.aspx
http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/archive/2006/05/18/95661.aspx

Did Google steal Yahoo’s IE7 download page design?
http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/archive/2006/12/12/414322.aspx

Feedburner users: give your data to Google or lose your account:
http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/archive/2007/06/04/941419.aspx

Google announced that a member of its video team had sent the worm, W32/Kasper.A@mm, to members of a Google Video Blog discussion list. The worm wipes out files.
http://www.itnews.com.au/newsstory.aspx?CIaNID=41990

Google Desktop. When I say “no” I mean “NO!!!”
http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/archive/2006/03/05/85482.aspx

And as for the other “mandatory” software, Adobe Reader – who remembers how Adobe forced MS to remove their PDF ability from Office 2007?
http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/archive/2006/06/03/98950.aspx

NitroPDF is a hell of a lot cheaper than Adobe Acrobat anyway!!  And their technical support is a hell of a lot better!!
http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/archive/2006/07/12/104508.aspx
http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/archive/2006/10/21/193880.aspx

I ask you, just who is the predatory business nowadays?  I tell you, this stuff gets me nearly as angry as so-call Office Managers who are so inexperienced that they cannot tell the difference between “managing” or, more importantly, “mentoring” staff and “controlling” staff (but that’s a story for another day).


4 comments to...
“Dell backs down on bloatware”

Aaron

Vista Search too. (Apple Search is no problem I guess.)
At least with a new system I always reformat it to a pure OS. OEM’s always put things on that they shouldn’t bloat ware or their support ware. What I find more frustrating is when I install an application and it tries to install others applications or reset defaults that don’t relate at all to the application. But MS is guilty of that as well.



Mike

Jeez, if anything’s bloated it’s Adobe Reader. What a joke. Fix it with Foxit – about 1/20 the size and faster to open.



Sion

It’s about time that the consumer was given the option to not have any pre-installed software (apart from, sadly, adobe reader and google apps).
I recently purchased a Vista based Dell Inspiron laptop, and some of the junk that was included casued some major issues with the machine. Most of the blat simply didn’t work with Vista.
The only answer was to manually go through the apps and uninstall them one by one, or format, and reinstall windows.



Amy

A small step in the right direction. Sandi you are right on!

Also, glad to see I’m not the only person in the world that isn’t Google Ga-Ga.


This problem occurs because Internet Explorer 7 ignores the specified pszInitDir parameter. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/933014 A comprehensive list of IE7 related Knowledge Base articles can be found here:http://www.ie-vista.com/kbase3.html

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