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Summary:

This is just pitiful. As if “crapware”, the extra apps that you’ll likely never use, isn’t enough of a nuisance, Sony is now charging $49.95 for the honor of removing said “crapware” from some Sony PCs before shipping. This is ridiculous and I personally think the […]

No_sonyThis is just pitiful. As if “crapware”, the extra apps that you’ll likely never use, isn’t enough of a nuisance, Sony is now charging $49.95 for the honor of removing said “crapware” from some Sony PCs before shipping. This is ridiculous and I personally think the company should be embarrassed to offer such a deal. If you don’t pay for the “Fresh Start” option, you’ll get your device loaded up with junk that’s easy to remove, but a real time waster. I realize that from a business perspective, device manufacturers gain revenue with the crapware partner programs, but why should the consumer pay a sin-tax for the business decisions of the manufacturer? What do you think: outrageous decision or smart business?

  1. From a personal perspective, you have to decide what your time is worth. If you don’t care, or don’t mind, removing the apps – which will probably take you the better part of at least an hour in most cases – then it isn’t worth the $50. But, if you find your time to be valuable enough that you don’t want to start out using your new machine by figuring out what you need to delete (and defragging immediately), it might be worth the price of admission.

    I think it’s an interesting marketing move, but it’s probably not going to work on too many people. Money is tight enough, so I think more people will sacrifice their time to explore their PCs and figure out what to delete.

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  2. I think the brand is strong enough that few consumers will avoid a Sony product solely because of crapware. At the same time, some customers might pay a premium to avoid the hassle of unwanted adware. The implementation might work better if Sony called the surcharge a “system optimization” option. Another alternative would be to raise the base price and offer a discount for units with crapware installed.

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  3. It’s outrageous and smart, IMO.

    Outrageous that we as consumers cannot demand that any laptop comes without additional pre-installed software. Why is it only Microsoft gets sued by governments for forcing consumers to have additional programs?

    Smart move on Sony’s part (to a limited extent). It’s better to give consumers the choice. But that only comes from the terrible position that they have filled their laptops with so much junk.

    Hopefully this will help put this issue on consumers’ minds, and manufacturers will start properly competing as to who can offer the cleanest and quickest computers, sans junk

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  4. I’m not trying to plug my blog or anything but I actually posted this a week ago, but I guess Engadget has a bit more exposure that I do, hehe.

    If you look into the details, you’ll notice that when you don’t select the option, you are still being charged $20 for the VAIO apps that Sony includes. There is no way to remove the VAIO apps from the configuration without paying the $50 for the Fresh Start program! This is outrageous. What’s sad is that it still won’t stop me from buying Sony’s products.

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  5. Dell did something similar a couple of years ago. I don’t think they charged extra for it but they only offered it on select expensive models.

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  6. I agree with the feeling that we should get crapware-free machines, but disagree overall.

    Consider this: if there were no crapware deals, then the prices we all pay would likely be $x higher. So, Sony, et al, are giving the option of either having the cw installed and getting a lower price or not having installed us replacing the lost revenue (probably plus a little ;-)) with the $50 fee.

    I wonder how many people would opt for a $50 savings if the default were no crapware and the option were to have the extra software installed to get the discount.

    D.

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  7. What’s next — advertising-supported laptops?

    Oh, I forgot, those already exist (Lamborghini, Ferrari models from ASUS and Acer)

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  8. John in Norway Friday, March 21, 2008

    I think it’s a good idea to have lots of crapware. After all, who wants a hard drive that’s almost empty? What a waste of space.

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  9. Sheep. Engadget tells you to hate a company and you follow along.

    Just lost a subscriber for the graphic. Congrats.

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  10. I don’t hate the company, I hate the business decision from a consumer standpoint. There’s a difference… and I think the graphic is appropriate for the story. We can agree to disagree on that.

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