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Microsoft Selling 'Signature PCs' Sans Crapware

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 65 comments

Perhaps the cleanest chain-store bought PCs you can get today.

There's nothing better than the snappy feeling of a freshly installed operating system – one that's free from the cobwebs collected and caused by constant use (and perhaps neglect). Sadly, many computer buyers these days don't get to experience that fresh feeling due to all the crapware that OEMs pre-install on new machines.

That's just one side effect, however, of the open platform that allows manufacturers to configure both the hardware and software however it sees fit. This also leads to bundling and subsidized deals that, in theory, helps to lower the price of PCs, but also the loading of trial software that clogs up a fresh install of Windows. Instead of getting a snappy, clean OS, new buyers get at bloated system from day one.

Some OEMs, such as Lenovo for its ThinkPad line, are more considerate of its users, but you still won't be getting a clean install of Windows with only truly useful and valuable applications.

Would you believe that it's Microsoft's own "Signature PCs" that are the ones most clean from the crapware? According to TechFlash, a certain line of PCs sold at the just-launched Microsoft Store in Scottsdale, AZ do away with the annoying pre-installed software and instead come with full versions of Windows Live services, Silverlight, Zune software and some of Adobe's popular online software. While some of that software could be debated as unwanted crapware, it's still a world of difference from the typical computer that one would buy from a large retailer.

Microsoft isn't making its own computers for this, however. Instead, it is taking the machines offered by Sony, HP, Dell, Acer and Lenovo and loading on its own Windows 7 configuration to create a "Signature PC."

Unlike Apple, Microsoft does not control the user experience top to bottom, but the level of control Microsoft is taking with its Signature PCs could be a step towards stomping out crapware – which we're all in favour of.

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  • 30 Hide
    ecnovaec , October 28, 2009 5:27 PM
    why wouldn't we believe this? Microsoft has been everyone's punching bag for years when they rarely do anything wrong. Maybe this will make people realize that it's the third party programs causing all their problems!
  • 19 Hide
    jerreece , October 28, 2009 5:24 PM
    Less bloatware is good. Period. I've seen my fair share of proprietary recovery programs pre-built in, Shockwave/Java based video games which are pre-installed that require payment to actually use, "Free" trial anti-virus programs, etc.

    Takes the fun out of a new PC/Laptop for lots of folks since you spend the first 30 minutes of your new PC's life uninstalling tons of garbage before you actually get to play with the new piece of equipment.

    But, that's why I build my own systems...
  • 18 Hide
    gbismack , October 28, 2009 5:27 PM
    With laptops, where I can't build my own, first thing I do is re-install a clean OS.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    jerreece , October 28, 2009 5:24 PM
    Less bloatware is good. Period. I've seen my fair share of proprietary recovery programs pre-built in, Shockwave/Java based video games which are pre-installed that require payment to actually use, "Free" trial anti-virus programs, etc.

    Takes the fun out of a new PC/Laptop for lots of folks since you spend the first 30 minutes of your new PC's life uninstalling tons of garbage before you actually get to play with the new piece of equipment.

    But, that's why I build my own systems...
  • 18 Hide
    gbismack , October 28, 2009 5:27 PM
    With laptops, where I can't build my own, first thing I do is re-install a clean OS.
  • 30 Hide
    ecnovaec , October 28, 2009 5:27 PM
    why wouldn't we believe this? Microsoft has been everyone's punching bag for years when they rarely do anything wrong. Maybe this will make people realize that it's the third party programs causing all their problems!
  • 8 Hide
    hellwig , October 28, 2009 5:37 PM
    Only makes sense to let Microsoft figure out to configure the OS to run more efficiently. How many people complain about how slowly Windows loads, but only because they have Google Desktop, AIM, MSN, Skype, 2 Virus scanners, iTunes, WinAmp, WinZip, Wireless utilities, etc.. etc.. all loading at startup?

    Of course, I still don't trust Microsoft over some OEM, but if it helps them clear their name (and prevent another stupid I'm a Mac commercial), I'm all for it. I'll still be deciding whats installed on my own machines, but for pre-built systems, this should be a plus.

    Although, pre-installing their own software is probably going to lead to anti-trust issues. Hopefully they aren't selling these PCs in Europe.
  • 0 Hide
    tester24 , October 28, 2009 5:48 PM
    Wow I hope this actually comes out. I remember when I first got my HP laptop from bestbuy I erased the hard drive and started fresh. I did this because it literally took 40 minutes for the computer to boot to windows after it finishes setting up the computer.

    Funny thing is people actually pay the "geek" sqauad hundreds of dollars to do this lol.
  • 1 Hide
    techguy378 , October 28, 2009 5:59 PM
    Microsoft built computers? This is a big surprise. As for the "popular" Adobe software, the author is probably right. This isn't crapware, it's likely what most would consider required software such as Flash (many sites don't offer non flash versions) and Acrobat Reader since unlike the Mac, Windows still doesn't have a built in PDF reader.
  • 7 Hide
    pbrigido , October 28, 2009 5:59 PM
    It is a step in the right direction. After all, when you purchase a new car, you don't want 1,000 pounds of crap in the trunk of which you have no need for.
  • 2 Hide
    rooket , October 28, 2009 6:12 PM
    just so long as microsoft doesn't start shoveling live search and live care into prebuilt pcs is fine. seems dell has been putting that trash in laptops i have been configuring recently. although then again that could be the fault of the dumbass supplier we use rather than going direct through dell.
  • 1 Hide
    foody , October 28, 2009 6:16 PM
    I recall watching a video from Tiger Direct posting a video that talked about software called the pcdecrapifier. Could help some of you people.
  • 2 Hide
    truerock , October 28, 2009 6:27 PM
    The things I hate about Windows PCs (I own 2 Dell, 2 HP, 1 Velocity netbook and 1 home-built PC):
    1. Crapware and bloatware
    2. Recovery partitions and no Windows installation CD.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , October 28, 2009 6:31 PM
    I wonder how far Microsoft is willing to go in removing unwanted software and utilities?
  • -1 Hide
    cruiseoveride , October 28, 2009 6:33 PM
    Quote:
    There's nothing better than the snappy feeling of a freshly installed Windows – one that's free from the cobwebs collected and caused by constant use (and perhaps neglect)


    There, fixed.
  • 3 Hide
    bliq , October 28, 2009 6:40 PM
    rooketjust so long as microsoft doesn't start shoveling live search and live care into prebuilt pcs is fine. seems dell has been putting that trash in laptops i have been configuring recently. although then again that could be the fault of the dumbass supplier we use rather than going direct through dell.


    All those Apple apps are more analogous to Windows accessories than they are to bloatware. Your argument holds no water. Safari=IE, ITunes/QuickTime=Windows Media Player, etc. True bloatware is the stuff that a company pays to get included on the desktop- the games, Real Player, AOL, Norton, etc.
  • -5 Hide
    DeadCat , October 28, 2009 6:41 PM
    Marcus Yam news.. always the same
  • -4 Hide
    xiiifigs , October 28, 2009 6:55 PM
    Seriously, again I can't say that I disagree with the author, but why are these opinion articles under the news section? I'm not arguing against Marcus' common sense, but again, aren't news supposed to be objective (or at least less evidently subjective)?
  • 2 Hide
    Drag0nR1der , October 28, 2009 7:05 PM
    brendano257The latest and greatest from Windows! Oh wait...Apple already had that...Flame me all you want, but Mac OS has always been clean of bloatware from the start. I use a PC solely for work and play, but you've got to at least recognize that Windows isn't everything and Apple has something to offer too.


    Windows OS has always been clean of the kind of bloatware talked about here too... did you read the article at all, it clearly sta...... ahh what am i doing... don't ... feed... trolls
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