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Who Installs the Most Crapware? 583

Posted by timothy
from the phrase-your-answer-in-klingon dept.
Barence writes "PC Pro has done a thorough test of the software bundled by nine of the leading laptop manufacturers to find out who installs the most crapware on their PCs. Manufacturers such as Acer add as much as two minutes to their boot times by stuffing their machines full of bundled software, with own-brand proprietary software being the worst offender. HP's bundled apps, meanwhile, have a memory footprint of more than 1GB. PC Pro has also reviewed three pieces of software which promise to remove rubbish from your PC — with mixed results."
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Who Installs the Most Crapware?

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  • by postmortem (906676) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:05PM (#29913547) Journal

    Personally, I build my own and install vanilla Windows, but sh** has hit the fan long time ago.

    This plus anti virus software resource hogs makes windows experience horrible on a brand new computer.

    Not a single manufacturer offers option "windows and drivers only".

    In other words, you need 4 core CPU and 2GB of RAM to open internet explorer.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by megamerican (1073936) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:10PM (#29913635)

    Why is this marked as troll? He is answering the stated question to the best of his knowledge. If anything should be marked as troll, it is the question itself. What do you expect when you use such a subject term such as "crapware?"

  • by megamerican (1073936) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:16PM (#29913723)

    Why yes, I am an apple fanboy. How did you guess?

    You're a self-described bum.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:16PM (#29913729)

    When you order a computer with OS installation media, do those CD's / DVD's install the crapware as well, or just the basic OS?

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gerafix (1028986) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:19PM (#29913773)
    Probably because he spelled "responsible" wrong.

    Oh who am I kidding, it's because he flamed iApple iSoftware or whatever and the mods are furious.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:20PM (#29913787)

    1. Install Linux and never worry about crapware again.

    I dunno ... I installed Linux and ended up with two desktop environments, three word processors, four web browsers, and a whole bunch of image editors, system utilities, file managers, and other stuff.

    ;-)

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:21PM (#29913801) Homepage Journal

    1. Install Linux and never worry about crapware again.

    And lose compatibility with many applications and newer peripherals, the majority of which are made for Windows and possibly Mac.

    2. Buy a Mac and never worry about crapware again.

    And lose compatibility with many applications, the majority of which are made for Windows. Sure, Adobe suite and some of Microsoft Office are ported, but some businesses depend on third-party apps that require Microsoft Access.

    So there exists a tradeoff between compatibility and freedom from crapware. Was this your point?

  • Re:PC Decrapifier (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ceiynt (993620) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:24PM (#29913853)
    It speaks volumes about the OEM Vendor that people need to download something deCRAPifier, which is quite popular, to make the computer not suck out of the box.
  • by Neil Watson (60859) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:24PM (#29913863) Homepage

    It's not the installation that bothers me but the assumption by software vendors that their software is so important that it should auto-start.

  • Crapware, you say? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:26PM (#29913893) Homepage Journal

    A shame I can't comment on the subject, I just install Ubuntu...

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sukotto (122876) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:28PM (#29913915)
    Why the hate for Chrome?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:30PM (#29913949)

    Yeah, it's ironic that the Mac is the best computer to run Windows on.

    Where do you buy Macs pre-installed with Windows? If you install Windows yourself this is a non-issue on all hardware.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:31PM (#29913957)

    Meh, I'd probably prefer to mod him down, too, for the bowling ball-like wit he demonstrates when talking about Apple. Either that or his keyboard's just that broken that it outputs "b" when he presses "p", but only after an "A".

    As a note, I'd prefer to mod down the "Micro$oft" gits, too, for much the same reason. I take my sense of humor seriously.

  • Mac crapware (Score:2, Insightful)

    by edxwelch (600979) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:32PM (#29913971)

    > 2. Buy a Mac and never worry about crapware again.

    Unfortunately, it does come with some crapware: iTunes

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:34PM (#29913999) Journal

    I just bought an HP laptop, and these are the observations I have to make.

    Bundled software isn't entirely bad. Bundled software that runs automatically is. I will disable this, although even so I might not uninstall it. The first thing I did was make the HP toolbar not run every time the computer boots up.

    If it doesn't run automatically, and it performs some useful feature (DVD burning, for instance) which I'll probably use in the future, I'll leave it installed unless or until such a time comes where I try to use it and discover it doesn't work very well or there are better free alternatives. It's just taking disk space. I'm more concerned with RAM and processor use.

    If it's something I'll never use, yeah, just uninstall it now.

    However, all in all, it's a new computer, and I'm not at all worried about disk space yet. So as long as it's not running, I'm not too worried about it. Sure, in a few years I may begin to run low on disk space, but at that point I'll be better able to determine whether or not I actually need the software anyway – did I use it between now and then?

  • Define "Crapware." (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Crash Culligan (227354) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:35PM (#29914023) Journal

    It can be said that Apples are among the smoothest running out of the box, but does that really mean there's no crap? This line of reasoning begs the definition of "crapware," and the #1 response would be "stuff you don't need on your computer." It doesn't have to slow it down, it doesn't have to have an enormous memory footprint when it's running or a huge disk footprint when it isn't, it just has to be stuff you don't need. And depending who you are, that can be quite a lot.

    Have you ever used iWeb? iDVD? Some would consider the whole iLife to be crapware because they plan to get higher-end, more professional applications through which to vent their creativity. And if they're thinking about office use, they're likely to go the route of Microsoft Office / OpenOffice, so bang goes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Do you ever plan to serve web pages up from your laptop? (Well, I do, but then again, look where I'm posting.) You probably don't need that install of Apache or PHP. Not planning on doing any software development? Yes, XCode is an optional install and not part of the standard kit, but you've still got perl, ruby, python, pico, vi, emacs, and more shells, libraries, and frameworks than you'll ever need nestled down in /usr/local. Have a digital music library already? Then you might also have a preferred player, and probably won't want iTunes to re-rip it into that silly AAC format. A lot of people despise Quicktime on general principle. And a lot of people still eschew Safari for Firefox despite its HTML5 support.

    It all depends on your definition of "crapware." It's all assembled and designed by the mother company, so it's integrated so perfectly that you're never bothered by it if you never use it, but if you dig, you'll find something that'll fit the description.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:39PM (#29914087)

    You fail to understand how cheap some businesses are.

  • Re:Apple crapware? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:43PM (#29914153) Homepage

    > And how exactly does iWork fail to compete with Microsoft Works?

    By not being bug-for-bug identical (and if it was it would be dismissed as "a mere clone"). To these people to "compete" is do exactly the same thing in the same way. They'd claim Ford and Chevrolet don't compete because their cars have gas caps on opposite sides.

    And the fact that there is a vast amount of software available for Linux and the Mac that is not available for Windows is irrelevant to them because they can't imagine anyone ever wanting to run any software not available for Windows.

  • by jim_v2000 (818799) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:44PM (#29914179)
    Ubuntu comes with all kinds of shit that you don't want, but there's no other shit available, so you just use it.
  • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spinkham (56603) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:45PM (#29914185)

    Or anyone in the security community. MS used to be the industries' vulnerable software whipping boy, but they've cleaned that up to a large degree and outsourced the job to Adobe...

  • by Itninja (937614) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:47PM (#29914211) Homepage
    My Asus came with that goofy customized Xandros OS (complete with enormous cartoon-like icons). I considered the entire OS to be crapware.
  • I'll tell you who (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snarfies (115214) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:48PM (#29914233) Homepage

    Who installs the most crapware?

    My mother does.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:02PM (#29914425)
    No, I'd say iTunes/Quicktime and Acrobat are, in fact, crap.
  • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:02PM (#29914433)
    Sounds like you opted for the minimal install version
  • by daveime (1253762) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:15PM (#29914615)

    If it *only* made an icon in the systray, I'd be happy.

    For some reason most of them feel the need to autostart half a dozen services also ... HP, I'm looking at you, but it's also true of just about all CD / DVD burning software.

    Why a printer driver should be 89 MB is beyond logic or reason. And when I want to burn a CD, I'll start it manually.

    I don't need 100+ services all running in the background monitoring hardware and sucking up memory and processor slices so I get a popup "logo / splash screen / helper" saying "it looks like you inserted a piece of A4, do you want to print something" ?

  • Try to remember (Score:3, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:15PM (#29914621) Journal

    A bare Windows install isn't like Ubuntu or a Mac. It comes with only one browser, no way to play DVD's, no audio editor, no productivity applications. It doesn't even have an antivirus that we need Windows users to have from the start so as to delay their inevitable pwndom. It doesn't have shared repositories with thousands of free applications for every need. The poor users need some help bootstrapping from that to a useful platform, and the OEMs are driven to serve that need.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobDude (1123541) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:17PM (#29914663) Homepage

    The reason is mostly because the law says they can't.

    Trust me, Microsoft wants nothing more than to bundle it's own version of just about every application you can think of. But, the legal system says they can't. They were declared a monopoly and part of that has limited their ability to include things you want into the OS.

    I'm not 'Pro MS' or 'Pro Linux' or anything, I just don't care. But I do think that it's funny that, essentially, the same people who used to complain that Microsoft is an evil monopoly and is destroying small companies by bundling their own XYZ into the operating system are now the same people who still say MS is an evil monopoly but advocate Linux because it includes far more stuff you'll need than Windows.

    But yeah, it's really not that MS doesn't want it - it's that it's hands are tied. At least, that's been my understanding of it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:18PM (#29914671)

    A shame I can't comment on the subject, I just install Ubuntu...

    Is it lonely up there on your pedestal?

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:18PM (#29914681) Homepage

    Ironically, some high-school gets paid $100 to remove the crapware that resulted in the $100 discount.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Coren22 (1625475) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:20PM (#29914701) Journal

    It is possible he is a native Arabic speaker. In Arabic, the b and p are the same thing, in many of these countries, you buy a bebsi instead of a Pepsi.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by morgauxo (974071) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:25PM (#29914765)
    Umm, if it were pre-installed (I've never seen that) isn't that exactly what iTunes would be? Unless it's installed by Apple on a Mac. Then it fails the third party test though all the rest is still there.
  • by revengebomber (1080189) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:33PM (#29914877)
    Then why is a Dell Mini 9 (or Vostro A90 is the new branding I think) with Windows XP and (presumably) a bunch of crapware $50 MORE than the one with Ubuntu? Wouldn't they be the same price if the crapware flattened out the windows license?
  • Re:Lenovo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mikael_j (106439) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:54PM (#29915197)

    It's not that I don't care whether it's free or not, it's that usefulness outweighs ideology in some cases.

    /Mikael

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) * on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:58PM (#29915267) Homepage Journal

    But, RobDude - several other people have pointed out that there are alternatives to Adobe reader, that are lighter to download, lighter to install, and lighter on system resources, not to mention being faster AND better. Let's suppose that Adobe really is the end-all, be-all, ultimate shitzls for reading a PDF. Why does it autostart at system startup? Joe Sixpack might look at two PDF files a MONTH, but Adobe is loaded on his box at each startup and/or logon. Why? All he wants to do is play a game of Doom, drink his sixpack, and pat the wife on the ass, but he's forced to sit there watching the startup screen for 2/3 of eternity. By definition, crapware. Adobe can get in line, and wait for the user to call it.

    The OEM's need to install fewer of these apps, they need to find the fastes, lightest weight app to do the job, and they need to configure those apps properly. And, DO NOT add things in that EVER "phone home" - even for updates - without the owner's explicit permission.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Petaris (771874) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:00PM (#29915307)

    A question for anyone here, which if any of those PDF readers works properly with PDF forms?

    *** I'm not flaming, I really want to know. I would love to not have to install Adobe Reader as its big and slow but we use a lot of PDF forms here and so far the alternatives I have tried just don't work with them or don't work right/well.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vertinox (846076) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:10PM (#29915459)

    No, I'd say iTunes/Quicktime and Acrobat are, in fact, crap.

    Depends.

    iTunes and Quicktime are crap on Windows as Microsoft Office is crap on OS X.

    Reverse the two and not so bad.

    Of course Acrobat is crap on any OS.

  • Re:In Store Techs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bengie (1121981) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:57PM (#29916265)

    The nice thing about Win7/Vista is that all the versions of the OS are decided by the key used. This means I can take my copy of Win7/Vista OEM install it on my mom's comp and use her key and it'll downgrade itself to whatever her key is. Since her HP doesn't come with a vanilla copy of windows, just a restore disc that includes all the crapware pre-installed, this is nice.

  • by dan_sdot (721837) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:05PM (#29916411)

    the assumption by software vendors that their software is so important that it should auto-start

    It is not exactly that they think their software is that important... it is a way of cheating.

    When they "auto-start" the app when the operating system loads, they are pre-loading some memory and executing some initialization. So then, when you go to start their program.... BAM! It pops up so quickly! What a great piece of software, it is so fast!!!

    And yes, this trick works on about 99% of users.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:25PM (#29917653) Journal

    I've seen FoxIt render stuff incorrectly on occasion. It also seems to have more problems with PDF forms. Thus, any OEM pre-installing it risks running into a problem where one user (out of 10^n) finds a PDF that won't open correctly.

  • Re:Lenovo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.vadivNO@SPAMneverbox.com> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @06:28PM (#29917681) Homepage

    Apple 'encrypting' the iTunes database has nothing to do with anything.

    The fact you can't install Apple Mobile Device service without iTunes, and you can't connect your iPod or iPhone without that, is the problem. There's plenty of third party software that will do almost everything iTunes will, like put your own music or videos on there, or syncing address books. And for the rest, like buying software and music for the phone, you can use the device itself to do it.

    But you can't, in any way, communicate with your computer without the stupid Apple Mobile Device service on said computer, even if you're using a third party app to do it, and to get that service you need to install iTunes.

  • iTunes for windows (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Radical Moderate (563286) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @07:47PM (#29918445)
    I don't mind the installs, disk space is cheap, but it wants to start a bunch of crap processes on boot up, and good luck killing them without mucking about in the registry. Slower boot times and a performance hit, thanks a lot, Apple!
  • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@world3AAA.net minus threevowels> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @08:09PM (#29918683) Homepage

    I think it's actually a secret plan to make people think Windows is slow. Look how much faster iTunes runs on MacOS!

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