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Dell Installs Google Software at Factory 242

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the yes-have-some dept.
simonjp writes "BBC News are reporting that Dell will be installing Google software onto their new machines as part of the software build. Details appear sketchy, but this signifies the first step for Google from being just something you can download to an almost 'essential' software provider. They report that both sides are to benefit from the deal, and that 'more is to come.'"
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Dell Installs Google Software at Factory

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  • by Joebert (946227) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:44PM (#15407004) Homepage
    Google, you used to be cool, but ever since you got your own appartment, & had to start paying bills, you've just been kind of a drag.
    • Troll? I thought this was pretty funny.

      Not that it really matters to me in any case, since I run Linux or FreeBSD on all of my machines except one (and that box isn't allowed to surf the Net).

      (I can't believe I'm about to get downmodded for going to bat for someone who's on my Foes list...)
  • Old news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Saedrael (880381) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:46PM (#15407007)
    Google desktop came with my Dimension E510 ~three months ago. Is Dell just reporting this now?
  • wait a sec (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jigjigga (903943)
    Don't tell me everything will be Google(TM) Dell(TM) edition! I guess it is a milestone, but it certainly isn't something to look foreward to. Any what stuff would be bundled? Sounds like Search and maybe Earth will be there, maybe some unanounced projects? I mostly equate bundled dell software to music match jukebox heh, and I dont know of a google music yet...
  • by k_187 (61692) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:46PM (#15407011) Journal
    The laptop I bought a month and a half ago came with google desktop & toolbar preinstalled. I suppose this means that they'll be adding things beyond those 2?
  • Details sketchy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    Damn right they're sketchy. It's annoying enough when a computer comes with extra software, but if it's adware--which is what the Google stuff is no matter how "cool" they are--it's "value reduced". Google's just becoming more and more like every other publicly traded company.

  • Palindrome (Score:4, Interesting)

    by product byproduct (628318) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:48PM (#15407024)
    Dell Googlled
  • The last 10 or so PCs (Optiplexes? Optiplexi?) we got from Dell had Google Desktop already installed on them along with the Google Toolbar integrated into IE. They were ordered and received back in the late March early April time frame.

    What makes this different?

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:49PM (#15407033)
    Or so one would think, were one to hang out here long enough. There's noting more entertaining than watching the groupthink have a go at the ol' double standards, though. So... go! Make us proud! Start tap dancing! The folks that say that dumb people are too dumb to alter defaults or install on their own (and thus, by their own stupidity, are having their choice removed from them) are also the first ones to say that Google just needs a "fair" shot at the desktop to completely stomp MS. Hmmm.
    • Are you 100% sure that the groupthink isn't just segmented? Perhaps the people saying "BUNDLED SOFTWARE IS TEH BAD!" are not the same people as those who say "GOGLE COULD STOMP M$ INOT TEH GROUND IF THEY JUST HAD A FARE CHANCE!". I'm not saying that they are different people, but I've never really investigated it myself, nor seen anything from anyone else who has. If it were the case, of course, you wouldn't be having anything to complain about.
    • there's noting more entertaining than watching the groupthink have a go at the ol' double standards,

      There's nothing more entertaining then some poster on slashdot who doesn't understand that once your a monopoly, the rules change.

      Oh - did I say entertaining? I meant sad.
      • There's nothing more entertaining then some poster on slashdot who doesn't understand that once your a monopoly, the rules change.

        I'm refering, of course, to all of the people who insist that if something must be bundled in a distribution (like Dell is pushing in this case), especially something that (gasp!) is there specifically to generate ad revenue dollars for Google, that end users be given some sort of organic, free-as-in-rainbows alternative that doesn't involve the Corporate Man limiting search c
        • Can I fedex you a return key? Your posts are really hard to read.

          As to your little rant.

          because it involves Google and Dell, is getting only a minor semi-negative buzz from the groupthink... and I find it hypocritical, that's

          Bullshit.

          People react to things more strongly coming from MS because they're a monopoly & have different rules.

          How much do MS pay you?
  • So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Senjutsu (614542) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:50PM (#15407047)
    By the time these things get to the owner, is there any room left on them for installing real software?

    Dell's ridiculous amount of pre-installed crap is taking the concept of bloat to all new levels.
    • I helped a friend migrate to a new PC and found that I had to remove vast amounts of crapware from the new computer. Most users have no idea that they can remove the preinstalled crapware and I now understand why most people never notice the spyware that gets added later.

      When I buy a dishasher, I don't mind a free sample of detergent and rinse agent beacuse it is obvious that it can be removed from the dishwasher and it is obvious that it is just a sample. The problem with the "free" software on new comp
  • Whoa (Score:3, Funny)

    by LockeOnLogic (723968) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:51PM (#15407050)
    Dude, your gettin' google
  • by ZiakII (829432) * on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:54PM (#15407069)
    This just once again proves my point.... [slashdot.org]

    Google Toolbars will form Skynet, all that we know and love are DOOMED!
  • Overpriced and underpowered.

    Oh, and so it comes with Google, just one more hunk of junk software to remove after the machine arrives. You want a clean install? Pay for a clean disk and a copy of the OS to install yourself.
    • Overpriced and underpowered.

      The company I work for does, for one. It is much easier to work with hundreds of systems when you've got only a handful of types in the building, and can get replacement parts for years (warranty or not).

      Oh, and so it comes with Google, just one more hunk of junk software to remove after the machine arrives. You want a clean install? Pay for a clean disk and a copy of the OS to install yourself.

      Dell is also modifing the Default User's NTuser.dat to add this Google stuff int

      • Dell is also modifing the Default User's NTuser.dat to add this Google stuff into place. Even if you remove the software the registry settings remain for each account created. It removes one of Dell's advantages in the Corp. World: near-drop-in systems.

        When was the last time you received an order of Optiplexes and had to uninstall junk software before deploying them to the masses? Or are you being cheap and ordering Dimension computers for your corporate environment.

        The fact is, this software will only be
      • It removes one of Dell's advantages in the Corp. World: near-drop-in systems.

        Sorry, but nobody that uses Dell in the enterprise uses the default XP home build that they are talking about in this article.

        Corporate users image their computers with a volume license key version of XP pro and something like Ghost.
    • I just bought a laptop from Dell today. Why? The laptop was cheap ($1550 AUD), small (12-inch screen, weighs 1.7kg), and the hardware works reasonably well in Linux.

      I don't really have any problems with Dell, apart from the software, and the only thing that bugs me about that is that they force me to buy Windows.
  • by Dracos (107777) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @10:55PM (#15407078)

    I don't know of any software Google produces that is worth bundling with a new machine. Google Earth? Nope. Picasa? Maybe. Google Desktop? No thanks.

    As far as I'm concerned, Google belongs in one of my browser tabs, not on my hard drive.

    If Dell and Google want to do a service to consumers, Google would give Dell a pile of money to put Firefox on the desktop.

    • by Tough Love (215404) on Friday May 26, 2006 @12:24AM (#15407510)
      I don't know of any software Google produces that is worth bundling with a new machine. Google Earth? Nope. Picasa? Maybe. Google Desktop? No thanks.

      Speak for yourself. Many users want Google Earth, Picasa, Google tool bar, etc. I certainly do, though I don't personally need them on Windows.

      Do you work for Microsoft by any chance?
    • by moultano (714440) on Friday May 26, 2006 @01:19AM (#15407683)
      Windows doesn't come with a photo organizer. Picassa is a great one. Makes sense to me.

      You are probably familiar with the earlier versions of Google Desktop which, aside from the search, were basically a fancy distraction, but the features that I have on mine right now enhance my productivity: nice to-do list, scratch pad, google calendar, weather. None of these things are present or nearly as convenient in Windows. The search is also fantastic, and completely obsoletes the default Windows search.

      You left out Google Talk. I think including a chat program that uses an open standard, with no ads and a nice interface is a good addition.

      I haven't tried to use Google Earth for more than the pretty factor, but I bet someone who has can tell me what they do with it.
  • That sound (Score:5, Funny)

    by segfault7375 (135849) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @11:01PM (#15407112)
    That sound you just heard was the crashing of chairs coming from the direction of Redmond, WA :)
    • What? There are chairs left there?

    • From another article on the same thing [pcworld.com]:

      "Though the news may appear to be a blow to Microsoft, Rob Enderle, analyst with the Enderle Group, said it actually could serve the company well in the near term as it continues to battle antitrust charges in the European Union."
  • Firefox? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @11:04PM (#15407131) Journal
    Are they preloading Firefox and make it the default browser? The Google softwar pack included OpenOffice too. Both will be included? That will be interesting.
    • What's amazing to me is that Google managed something Sun couln't with Java. Sun was unable to convince even one major hardware manufacturer to pre-load their version of the JVM.

      I wonder if that's because Google has more mojo then Sun or that MS is much weaker then they used to be.
      • Re:Firefox? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by T-Ranger (10520)
        Dell produces reasonable quality stuff, with technologies and things available elsewhere for years. Nothing flashy, and nothing risky. High volume prices with low volume customisability.

        Google is cool with the masses. Dell sells things to the masses. Dell ships Google stuff.

        Java was never cool (or even noticeable) to the masses. Dell sells things to the masses. Dell has no reason to ship Java.
  • by flimflammer (956759) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @11:09PM (#15407151)
    Google cries faul when Microsoft makes MSN the default search engine in IE7, where it's easily changable and Google is right in the selection, but Google gets ties with Dell and other distributers to preinstall all it's stuff on the machines, shoving their search bar everywhere in sight and no so much as a glance? Hypocrites?
    • by bucky0 (229117) on Friday May 26, 2006 @01:18AM (#15407678)
      Not really. This is kinda paraphrased from something Google's CEOs said when asked the same question on another story that was posted a while back. Basically, they argued this: Microsoft can make MSN the default search engine for IE7 for free. They can make IE the default browser for free. When Firefox moved to having google be the default browser, Google had to fork over a ton of money. When Google gets distributers to preinstall Google software on their machines, they pay a ton of money for it.

      The difference is that Microsoft is leveraging it's position as the dominant OS manufacturer to allow it to force its way into different markets for free whereas all of MS's competitors have to pay a lot of money to do the same thing. I'm inclined to agree with Google.
  • by espressojim (224775) <eris@NOsPam.tarogue.net> on Thursday May 25, 2006 @11:10PM (#15407159)
    I had google desktop installed by default on my new Thinkpad t60p.

    It was one of the first things I removed.
  • Clearly we need this more than ever now.

    http://www.yorkspace.com/2006/04/38 [yorkspace.com]
  • The last few groups of Dell Dimensions we bought all came with Google Desktop and, if I'm not mistaken, the installer for Google Toolbar. Is this news? Did we get rogue machines or something?
  • I preferred the days when PC manufacturers were neutral to the software that you installed on them. They only pre-installed the basics, or nothing at all. Manufacturers tying in with specific software vendors and pre-installing tons of applications isn't done to improve the user experience: it is to improve their bottom line.
    • So many people on /. are bitching by making Seinfeld-like jokes "What's the deal with pre-installed software? It will be uninstalled anyway uhhuhuhuhu".

      Who mostly buys pre-configured computers at a price much higher than a custom-built pc? Average joes. Mr. Average Joe thinks The Internet is the blue icon on his computer and when that icon isn't there, he has no internet :((.

      Mr. Average Joe NEEDS the programs shoved in his face because Mr. Average Joe is a lazy fucker who's too lazy to search for programs a
    • I don't ever remember buying a computer without shit installed. HP and Compaq also were bad for garbage. Dell's always pimped something out, like AOL or shareware antivirus, there's even a page of checkboxes on their wizard that frightens me. Only thing that's changed is that Google has realized they can contribute clutter too.

      I swear, the best thing to do is go back to the olden days, buy the pieces, throw it together, say "no! I'll install my own damn OS my way". Can't be worse than a XPS that's almo
  • As much as I hate Dell, I'd like to congratulate Google with this one. Botched abortion that is MSN needs to die.
  • by sasha328 (203458) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @11:40PM (#15407312) Homepage
    Google Pack includes the following pieces of Software:

            Google Earth - 3D Earth browser
            Google Desktop - Desktop companion
            Picasa - Photo organizer
            Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
            Google Pack Screensaver - Photo screensaver
            Google Talk - Voice and IM application
            Google Video Player - Video player
    Additional Software
            Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar - Web browser
            Ad-Aware SE Personal - Antispyware utility
            Norton Antivirus 2005 Special Edition - Antivirus utility
            Adobe Reader 7 - PDF reader
            RealPlayer - Media player
            GalleryPlayer HD Images - Images

    One wonders what Dell is pre-instaling. Would they install firefox and get on MS' bad side?

    Of the whole list, I personally use Picasa (on Windows, my primary app is iPhoto on my G4), Firefox, and Acrobat. Some of the apps, I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole: Norton's, Real Player.

    now i'm really interested to see what they're bundling, or are they just including a link to the google pack?
  • basically saying that the intraweb would be useless without them... they might just have a point

    Hah.... morons

  • Google Toolbar has been pre-installed on these machines for over a year.
  • Java (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 3770 (560838) on Friday May 26, 2006 @12:36AM (#15407545) Homepage
    I've always wondered why Sun was unable to get Dell and others to pre-install the Java VM. If they could have gotten Dell, HP, Compaq, Acer to pre-install, then everyone would have had to follow. There is no reason to _not_ preinstall Java. It is free and it doesn't use resources unless you use it.

    I can think of only one reason, and that is that Microsoft had some compelling reason for _not_ installing Java.

    If Sun had managed to do this 5 or 6 years ago the software map might have been looking completely different.
    • Re:Java (Score:5, Insightful)

      by I'm Don Giovanni (598558) on Friday May 26, 2006 @12:48AM (#15407588)
      I think most of the major OEMs are bundling Suns JVM today.
      But a few years ago, when Sun was trying to get the govt to force Microsoft to bundle Sun's JVM, Sun had difficulty getting OEMs to bundle it because the OEMs wanted Sun to pay them to bundle it but Sun wanted the OEMs to pay Sun for the right to bundle it.
    • Well the license up to, and including 1.4 did not allow this. (I don't know about 1.5)

      So the question should be reversed:

      I always wondered why sun prevented Dell and other companies from bundling the java vm.

    • There is no reason to _not_ preinstall Java. It is free and it doesn't use resources unless you use it.

      Except it installs an auto-update utility without prompting the user, and always is load on memory at startup
    • by Nimey (114278)
      I keep seeing Java 1.4.xx on new Dell boxen. I don't know why they ship an old version like that instead of 1.5.06.
  • So? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sj0 (472011) on Friday May 26, 2006 @02:19AM (#15407865) Homepage Journal
    Have any of you doorknobs ever actually USED a Dell with the default install? OF COURSE it's installed! So is every other piece of useless junk you'd never want. AOL? Sure! 30 day trials of software? Why not! Demos of otherwise productive software? ***SIGN ME UP***

    The default configuration also happens to use up more than 512MB of memory AT STARTUP. No programs open, just the tray icons for software that won't work for much longer, and AOL sitting there like the sword of damocles.

    the first thing I always recommend someone do after buying a Dell is getting rid of any trace of that install, because it's worse than useless. A bare install with the utilities you actually want and basic drivers will run so much faster than the standard install, work so much better, and try to sell you so much less in the process, that I'd go so far as to say that google adding their 2 cents to this software cacophany is just a nice addition to the tragedy.
  • Wait... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Loligo (12021) on Friday May 26, 2006 @03:47AM (#15408077) Homepage
    When this was AOL or MSN, sources that were known to filter news and other unconsionable actions, this was BAAAAAAAAAD(!).

    Now that it's Google, which has been shown recently to filter news and engage in other (arguably) unconscionable actions... is it.. still... BAAAAAAD(!)?

    I'm.. just.. wondering.

  • I don't know if this is new or not because I don't own a Dell, but it appears that the "co-branded homepage" is already being hosted by Google.

    Link here [google.com]

  • I bet it won't be long before AMD starts showing up in more Dell Business computers and perhaps even home pcs. And now Google software. Very interesting.

    I wouldn't be surprised if soon Google does something more with ISP, especially if the telecoms get their way on the net neutrality fight.
  • It doesn't really matter to me what software comes preinstalled. If I were to purchase a Dell computer, then the first thing I would do is format the hard drive and reinstall the operating system in order to clear out all the superfluous software. I did this with my laptop and startup/shutdown times are less than half of what they used to be.
  • by Tim C (15259)
    I'm going to be in the market for a laptop soon, and had been considering a Dell. Looks like that might change now.

    Does anyone know of a manufacturer of reasonably-priced, reasonably powerful laptops available in the UK who doesn't feel the need to install lots of unnecessary cruft on them?

    All I really want is the laptop, OS, and drivers. I'll add everything else myself, thanks.
    • Dell laptops have the crappiest keyboards of any laptop I've used. It's
      like they lined up a bunch of Chicklets on a desk (yes, they're really
      that wobbly) and they don't give you any tactile sense of when you've
      pushed the key far enough to activate it.

      Otherwise, they're fine machines (be careful not to get a broadcom
      wireless chipset...getting the Centrino package is an easy way to
      avoid this).
  • how many people on these boards, the "technical elite", are buying ready-made PCs. What self-respecting nerd trusts someone else to build their PC for them (except for laptops of course where there really isn't a viable parts market)? The quality of the machine you can build yourself is so much better for the money. And the time you spend ripping out all the pre-installed crap, oftentimes leaving you with an unstable machine, can be more than the time spent building and installing exactly what you want. Tru
  • Here are the latest entries to the prep script we run on all our new Dell machines:
    if exist "%programfiles%\Google\Google Desktop Search\GoogleDesktopSetup.exe" start "uninstall" "%programfiles%\Google\Google Desktop Search\GoogleDesktopSetup.exe" -uninstall

    reg del "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion" /v "Google Desktop Search" /f

    Unfortunately I don't know of any command-line switches to make it uninstall silently; you still have to go through the prompts and tell it not to keep any indic
  • They report that both sides are to benefit from the deal, and that 'more is to come.

    Dell's obvious benefit is obviously that they're being paid by Google to do this, which means they'll make it hard for the customer to remove.

    So how does the third side of all this joy -- the customer -- benefit by having software they didn't order and may not want? It wouldn't be the first time I've heard about a customer actually having to pay Dell support to be told how to uninstall some crap Dell stuck on his system

  • In today's news, if you have the Symantic anti-virus scanner bundled with your system, they just opened you up to the whole hacker web.

    So how much more vulnerable is your new computer with all this other stuff included? I'll bet more than you wish!

    And this is all aside from how much gaming performance you lose from this crap running in the background.

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