Michael Dell apparently said that preinstalled Trialware is costing the company a big hit in the support centers. Duh!

According to the article at ZDNet Blogs: Michael Dell: Anticrapware poster CEO? by Larry Dignan, states;

Dell CEO Michael Dell, speaking in New York City at its Vostro launch, sounded like a man almost ready to rid the world of trialware, which we call crapware. And there’s a good reason for that: Crapware costs Dell money on customer support.

OK, so it’s not exactly that Michael Dell gets it as to why most of us don’t want trialware/crapware on our computers that we buy from Dell, but he does realize it’s having an impact on their customers when an expired piece of ‘crapware’ no longer functions and your images don’t open any longer as they should, or your antivirus won’t update, or you start running out of hard drive space because a huge chunk of it is taken by trialware you never use!?!

Not to mention that much of it phones home, nags you, and some even leave pieces of itself running to monitor your use of their Trialware. And worst of all has taken over default actions for specific file types under the Windows operating system — such as image files. Sometimes those trialware programs take much longer to load a viewer than the standard Windows viewer for images as well…at least till the trial ends and you can’t open your images until you reset the settings for opening specific image file types. Which by the way, most brand new users would not know how to do. So the new users’ images appear to be held hostage by a program that wants their money before they can see their own images/photos again.

Oh, and then when they do a search online for problems opening file, they will likely be taken to another crapware program to install for another round. If they are lucky enough not to end up with some infected malware for their trouble to add insult to injury.

OK … so what you say?

And what about things like gaming centers that install WildTangent and a BUNCH of Internet Online games? Or the AOL or Earthlink or Broadband Offers? Some are just on the system and not installed but are installed the first time you mistakenly click on it.

While we are on the subject of games. Why did BeJeweled become a part of this crap?! And can you still get a copy of BeJeweled that doesn’t include Wild Tangent? Apparently not. Sad! What a great time waster that game was before they moved over to the dark side along with so many other game companies.

And don’t get me started on the monitors HP printers and other devices and image software programs that install Backweb or Backweb Lite. Or the Broadband providers who do the same thing.

The same can be said of so many providers of hardware device drivers/software disk bundled packages for printers, scanners, CDs, sound cards and more. Do they really need to install software to monitor users? Apparently many do. All you have to do is have a firewall that watches for outbound traffic and you’d know that.

Why do these companies think that you want all this CRAPWARE clogging up your brand new PC?

People’s computers are there own. Like any other piece of hardware devices they buy. Companies do not need to be spying on them for any reason. They do not need information on your computer, how many times you played the game.

The surveillance societies — that collectively these types of companies, as well as governments and music and movie companies are trying to create — are not healthy for a human population. As anyone who understands the human mind would tell them. But they don’t ask and don’t care.

Nor do TiVo users, satellite dish receiver owners, and more need to have their remote clicks reported to the mother ship.

But I digress…

Generally speaking, the only people that ‘think’ they want this crap are the brand new computer users who don’t know any better.

And why do the OEMs and other companies do this?

Because it makes them money! And until the CEOs at companies/corporations, like Dell, find that this becomes a customer service center hit for them, they will likely keep doing it.

Because it makes them money they traditionally haven’t listened to their customer base on this. But now it’s affecting them in the pocketbook .. they need larger call centers, or more customer service reps .. it’s costing them money.

The biggest problem is, that even having that crapware on your computer adds registry entries and files you don’t know about or where they are (some in system type folders), that may or may never be removed properly due to poorly done installers/uninstallers. Some make hooks into your operating system itself and are difficult to remove fully.

Nothing like that should ever be installed unless the computer owner specifically wants it on their computer .. and I can’t imagine why anyone would opt-in to have hundreds/thousands of megs of crapware/trialware/crippleware software on their computers that they may not want or need.

If these companies feel the need to make a little money for it to help offset the ‘great’ pricing of the computers, then provide a CD with the shareware/trialware/crippleware on it. Let the people decide whether they want to install them.

AND MOST IMPORTANT, MAKE SURE that the CD notes that these are NOT necessarily paid for full versions – they are to try the program out – that these trial versions may include the ability to phone home, send data over the Internet, track your usage even if anonymously, that they may take over file associations, be difficult to remove, etc., etc.

Let the user decide whether they want that crap on their computers!

What say ye? 😉

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