Windows notebook and PCs have a long history of coming with tons of unnecessary software preloaded on them, stealing valuable hard disk space and RAM straight out the box. While Windows 8 throws away a lot of Windows traditions, it appears to still cling to this one.
After all this time, this should have been an easy issue for Microsoft to fix. While they cannot be blamed directly for the mischievous acts of their OEMs, they could certainly have laid down some guidelines to prevent this kind of abuse of users. PC makers surely have an incentive to pour the useless bloat down the throat of every buyer, since they're like to be getting a nice sum from the software providers themselves. Either that or they are seriously naive enough to think that their users want their PCs bogged down with all that worthless software. But it’s probably the former.
It’s a sad state of affairs, but the tradition continues with Windows 8 PCs. Bloatware is back in full fashion. Several PC makers were recently asked for a list-up of what software came pre-installed on their computers, and the results fell into three categories:
1. Software provided by the OEM for system functionality (hardware drivers, system management tools)
2. Software provided by the OEM for the sake of optional added functionality (Samsung’s S Pen software etc.)
3. (Trial) software provided by 3rd parties
While category one is mostly necessary (although we could do without some of those ‘management tools’ you enjoy throwing on your PCs, ASUS), even optional software such as S Pen is already dubious. These built-in programs are often poorly written and do little to improve the user experience.
Update managers are also horrendous, with default settings they pop-up way too often, and besides that they steal a huge chunk of memory just to download “system” updates which often do anything for your PC in the first place.
As long as you keep your Windows updated you are fairly secure, so these system updates generally only serve to provide you with the latest edition of crappy bloatware that you didn’t want to begin with. I get a pile of trash on my brand new computer and I have the privilege of wasting my time and my memory just to update it to the next poorly written code revision. Yeah, no thanks.
The third category is not excusable at all, as it consists of trialware and begging programs which constantly yell at you for not paying for the full version. I didn’t even want the damn software to begin with, and it’s popping up windows every time I turn on the PC. These apps merely serve as a waste of time because there is no doubt you will uninstall them from your computer. If Microsoft really wants to compete against Android and Apple in the mobile space, it needs to shape up its OEMs and clean up its image.
Here is the bloatware list in full, courtesy of informationware:
|Samsung ATIV Smart PC||S Pen apps (S Note, S Memo, S Cloud), Quick Starter, AllShare Play||None|
|Acer S7 series||Acer Ring, Acer Cloud, Acer Theft Shield||Microsoft Office 2010 Trial, Microsoft Windows Live Essentials, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, newsXPresso, Cyberlink MediaEspresso, WildTangent Demo Games, Skype, McAfee Internet Security Suite trial, MyWinLocker|
|Toshiba U925T-S2300||TOSHIBA BookPlace™, TOSHIBA Disc Creator, TOSHIBA Maintenance Utility, TOSHIBA Media Player by sMedio Truelink+, TOSHIBA PC Health Monitor, TOSHIBA Recovery Disk Creator, TOSHIBA Resolution+® Upconvert Plug-in for Media Player, TOSHIBA Service Station, TOSHIBA Sleep Utility, TOSHIBA Video Player, TOSHIBA eco Utility™||Microsoft® Windows™ Essentials 2012, Microsoft® Office (60-day Trial), Norton Internet Security™ 2013 (30-day trial subscription), Norton™ Laptop Checkup, SRS Premium Sound 3D®, WildTangent® Game Console|
|Acer Aspire 7600U||AcerCloud Docs, Acer Recovery Management, Acer Identity Card, Acer Live Update, Acer Accessory Store, Acer Initiatives, Acer Explorer, AcerCloud Portal||Wild Tangent®, clear.fi Media, clear.fi Photo, Cyberlink® MediaEspresso, AIR Gesture, McAfee® Internet Security Suite, Hotkey Utility, MyWinLocker Suite, Nero 12 Essentials, Amazon weblink, Gomaji (Taiwan only), Lovefilm® web link, MyET, Spotify™, Evernote®, Communication, Skype™, Kindle, News Xpresso, Txtr, Hulu, IVI.RU, Netflix, 7Digital, Spotify™, TuneIn, Amazon®, eBay®, Rakuten Gateway, Adera, Cut The Rope, Mahjong, Minesweeper, Pinball FX2, Shark Dash, Solitaire, Tap Tiles, Treasures of Montezuma III, Wild Tangent®, Wordament, ChaCha®, Crystal Eye, Encyclopaedia Britannica, iCookbook™, Merriam Webster, WeatherBug, StumbleUpon, Travel, Ctrip|
|Dell Lattitude/ XPS models||Windows 8 Getting Started Tile, My Dell & Dell Backup & Recovery, Dell Shop App||Microsoft Office Trial (30-day), McAfee (Inspiron only), eBay (Inspiron only), Amazon Kindle, Amazon Taskbar App, eBay Desktop Icon (Inspiron only)|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13(consumer focus)||Lenovo Cloud Storage by SugarSync, Lenovo Companion, Lenovo Energy Management, Lenovo Motion Control, Lenovo Support Center, Lenovo Transition||Accuweather, Amazon Kindle, Birzzle, Cyberlink YouCam, eBay, Evernote, Fishing Joy, Intelligent Touchpad, McAfee® AntiVirus Plus, Microsoft® Office 2010, OneKey® Recovery, RaRa, Skype™|
|Lenovo ThinkPad Twist(business focus)||Lenovo Cloud Storage|| AccuWeather, Amazon Kindle, BlueStacks — Android app player, Evernote, Expense Management, Fruit Ninja, Microsoft® Office (trial), Rara — Music, Skype™|