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Summary:

In the market for a new HP consumer PC? Hope you either a) like the Windows Live Search toolbar or b) don’t mind removing programs on day one of computer ownership. Microsoft just announced a deal with HP that will put a custom Windows Live Search […]

WindowslivetoolbarIn the market for a new HP consumer PC? Hope you either a) like the Windows Live Search toolbar or b) don’t mind removing programs on day one of computer ownership. Microsoft just announced a deal with HP that will put a custom Windows Live Search toolbar on all HP consumer PCs sold in the U.S and Canada beginning in 2009. The new toolbar will be Silverlight-based and offer shortcuts to various HP services like Snapfish and HP customer support.I fully understand the marketing approach of any bundled toolbar or service, but truth be told, I’m all for selling a plain-jane system that lets me customize after set-up. Sure you can still do that under the deal above, but it diminishes the customer experience by causing extra work to remove what you didn’t want in the first place. My advice from March still stands: make superb software that users WANT to install. Forcing software, services and toolbars down someone’s throat leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

  1. No big deal. Firefox also has Google as its default search option, same trick.

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  2. Jerino, while Windows Live Search will be the default search option on all of the HP consumer PCs, I didn’t write about that. That’s not the news: pre-installing Silverlight and a new Windows Live Search Toolbar that customers may not want is.

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  3. I don’t have a problem with Silverlight being preinstalled just as I wouldn’t have a problem with having Flash preloaded. These applications are essential on the web these days (Silverlight will become more important than it is) and are amongst the first things that most users will install in any environment anyway. I do have a problem with unwanted toolbars being installed. I hate toolbars, fail to see why anybody uses them and would instantly uninstall one that came preinstalled.

    The biggest problem with HP and increasingly Dell PCs is that the recovery partition includes all the crapware so you get it whenever you do a reinstall of the OS. The sooner that changes the better – especially if you don’t get a proper Windows DVD with your new PC.

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  4. This is one more reason to avoid Windows all together. MS in the long run is just shooting themselves in the foot. Uninstalling individual programs is a pain, plus many uninstall routines don’t uninstall everything.

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