Windows box assemblers clog hard drives, bog down PCs with ‘crapware’

“For years, computer makers have managed to wring a few extra bucks of profit out of each PC sale by bundling all sorts of third-party software,” Ina Fried reports for CNET News.

Fried reports, “While adding software, setting default search engines and including toolbars can all put money in PC makers pockets, the practice has also alienated some consumers who say all such ‘crapware’ is clogging their hard drives and bogging down their systems.”

Fried reports, “Despite some outcry from consumers, there’s still plenty of software being loaded on new machines. In part, that’s because the PC industry needs the cash that such deals offer. Even if the companies get less than $1 per software program that they include on a PC, that can still add up to $10 or $20 in revenue. ‘On a $400 PC, that’s a big thing to get,’ said NPD analyst Stephen Baker.”

“Apple, for its part, is trying to seize on the growing outcry, highlighted in a recent column by Walt Mossberg in The Wall Street Journal. In a new ad that debuted this week, the ‘PC guy’ played by John Hodgman appears so bloated he can barely move,” Fried reports. ‘It’s all this trial software,’ Hodgman says in the spot. ‘They pack my hard drive full of it, all these programs that don’t do very much unless you buy the whole thing…it really slows me down.'”

Fried reports, “For the record, Macs do come with trial versions of Microsoft Office and Apple’s iWork, though the rest of the included software are full versions of programs including the company’s iPhoto and iMovie as well as some third-party titles, such as Comic Life.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The commodity-grade WIndows box assemblers are eating themselves and each other in their desperate race to the bottom. As the curious species of Windows-only penny foolish and pound wise* consumers awaken to the facts now and in the future, Apple is and will be standing right there, with gleaming showrooms, ready to show them the world of vastly superior personal computing.

* Yes, we meant it that way: In our experience, Windows PC buyers are weirdly extravagant about small expenditures (they often have very nice USB hubs, for example) and irrationally stingy with large ones. Macs don’t cost more vs. Dell, for example, when you compare machines of similar hardware specs. In fact, Macs often cost less! Apple simply refuses to devalue their brand by offering pieces of junk Macs infested with crapware just to move profitless units in order to win meaningless market share contests a la HP, Dell, et al. And, you can’t get Mac OS X or iLife on an HP, Dell, etc. PC for any price. Get a Mac and you’ll save time and money over some commodity Windows PC well before it’s time for your next Mac. It’s a buying mistake to fixate on sticker price alone. The sticker price is but one factor of cost and, often, not even the most important factor by a large margin. Bottom line: Macintosh. You get what you pay for.

Apple’s “Stuffed” ad from their “Get a Mac” campaign:

Related articles:
Apple posts new ‘Get a Mac’ ad: ‘Stuffed’ – April 14, 2007
Mossberg: Get a Mac to avoid resource-hogging Windows PC craplets, antivirus, antispyware apps – April 12, 2007
Mossberg decries Windows Vista’s dog slow boot and restart times vs. Apple’s Mac OS X – April 06, 2007

53 Comments

  1. Somehow I think it’s more than $20 per PC, what with the large amount of it on most PCs. It’s a dilemma for PC makers who need to claim a lower purchase price because the cost of ownership is so high.

  2. It’s not just that Apple are able to not include crappy extra software because they charge more it’s primarily that they don’t want to include extra software unless there is a genuine reason such as with office. Of course, it’s arguable that Apple do charge more but at least any premium you do pay is related to the quality of the machine itsef before these sort of considerations even become a factor.

  3. Apple also includes ‘crapware’ on new macs too. Look at the included software with the MacBook, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Test Drive, iWork (30-day trial), Big Bang Board Games, Comic Life, OmniOutliner. That’s two programs that don’t do much until purchased. Talk about hypocrites.

  4. I have used dells, HPs, compaq, gateway, and emachines before buying a MacBook Pro…

    All I can say is…Crap will always cost less(in the short term) than quality! I had to learn this the hard way.

    Macs have superior hardware and software…I firmly believe you might pay a little more up front for a Mac, but it saves you much more later.

    Comparable windows systems no longer really have a price advantage over similarly configured Macs.

    Long live the Mac!

  5. @crapware:

    With the exception of the Office Test Drive all of the software included with the MacBook is the full version – no restricted functionality, no nags.

    And uninstalling stuff you don’t want is easy, just drag it to the Trash.

    You can’t do that on a PC.

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