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Sony The Almighty Buck

Sony Offers Bloatware Removal Service — For a Fee [Updated] 231

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the scams-and-other-marketing-ideas dept.
linuxwrangler writes "First Sony packed its laptops with Microsoft Works, Microsoft Office trial version, Corel Paint Shop Pro trial version, WinDVD and more. Now it is offering to remove the bloatware. Of course marketing changed the name from 'removing the crap we stuck you with' to 'Fresh Start' software optimization. And they want you to pay $149.99 to clean up their mess — $49.99 for 'Fresh Start' on top of the required $100.00 Vista Business upgrade. You can get about $25.00 of that cost back if you select all available 'no-software' options which are only available after selecting the $149.99 'upgrade'. Wonder what they would charge to remove Windows completely." Update 11:57 GMT by SM: It seems that massive outrage at Sony's "Fresh Start" program has encouraged them to drop the fee for scrubbing your laptop of bloatware before shipping it your way.
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Sony Offers Bloatware Removal Service — For a Fee [Updated]

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  • by gnutoo (1154137) on Friday March 21, 2008 @05:13PM (#22823824) Journal

    Why stop at removing "Works" when you could use Ubuntu? Wouldn't Sony then have to give you a rebate for the OS you did not use?

    You would be better off even if you wasted $149 on XP and used your old software. This option does not rule out a nice free software partition. I can't believe anyone will use the "fresh start" service.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2008 @05:27PM (#22824008)
    Anyone want to bet linuxwrangler is one or more of the following three things:

    1) Bitter Dreamcast owner

    2) Bitter Xbox owner

    3) Bitter Xbox 360 owner

    4) Bitter HD-DVD owner

    Why pay for expensive therapy sessions when you can use Slashdot to dump all that built up Sony hate. Just think of how much money Zonk has saved over the past couple years...

  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Friday March 21, 2008 @06:02PM (#22824328) Journal

    To uninstall a program, select it from the list and click "Uninstall"
    I would like to make two points:
    1) Sony's own load images are to blame for much of the pre-installed adware and unnecessary bloat, why should there even be a fee in the first place to NOT install software?
    2) Often uninstall in Windows isn't as easy as clicking "uninstall" as you suggest. Because of the nifty Windows inventions such as the registry and protected system folders, uninstall is no longer what it used to be. Many times, programs leave traces in the registry which never come out and can still slow the computer, and even cause crashes down the road. If you never load undesired programs in the first place, you avoid this added risk altogether.

    I know not all programs take a merciless rampage through the registry and some uninstallers may be programmed without error, but lets face it, if any one programmer on a project left one registry entry undocumented, one system folder modification unchecked, one startup program off the uninstaller, you have a risk...
    now multiply that by the number of programmers on the projects...
    now by the amount of bloat you have on your system before it's removed...
    It may not be worth $50 to you or me even after all of that because we can easily reinstall, but to the average consumer it can be a lot more cumbersome.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2008 @06:20PM (#22824516)
    LOL! So you don't even have the excuse of being a fanboy? It was plain stupidity that you scampered off to post a story that was shown to be false ON THE VERY SAME SITE?

    What an idiot...

  • by dave562 (969951) on Friday March 21, 2008 @06:21PM (#22824532) Journal
    This is a good article because now we have some idea about what all of that bloatware is worth to PC manufacturers. $150.
  • by strange dynamics (1219074) on Friday March 21, 2008 @06:22PM (#22824536)
    1. Thanks for the link. It's ironic that the link in the summary leads to an ad page. Any time a site shows a full page ad before the article I am trying to read, I immediately go back to try and send the message that I will not read their site if they insist on advertising that way.

    2. On topic: Although I completely disagree with sony's actions here, it makes sense that a computer without all the crap would cost more. A crap filled PC is subsidized by revenue from the crap vendors, a clean PC is not.
  • Re:Doesn't work (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lostfayth (1184371) on Friday March 21, 2008 @07:09PM (#22824966)
    Is there a particular reason you can't grab a copy of the official Windows OEM install disk?

    You already have a license, and it's not Microsoft that bundles the crap. (Defending Microsoft? On Slashdot? There goes my karma...)
  • Re:I wish, I wish (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Friday March 21, 2008 @07:17PM (#22825036) Homepage

    The truth is only the cheapest computers can be bought without an OS.

    Hmm... I just went onto Newegg.com and bought all the parts for a computer, the parts *I* wanted to be used, assembled them, and installed the OS of *my* choice.
    Wasn't difficult at all and didn't get stuck with cheap inferior merchandise.

    Why don't you try the same for a laptop and let us know how it goes?

  • Re:Doesn't work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Friday March 21, 2008 @08:26PM (#22825516) Homepage Journal

    Is there a particular reason you can't grab a copy of the official Windows OEM install disk?
    Or, you know, just sit in the Add/Remove Programs window for a few hours. Some people are just looking for reasons to glorify their fav distro... "God, this Media player crap that comes with windows is just junk! Thank god for linux! (What? What's winamp?)"
  • by hazem (472289) on Friday March 21, 2008 @09:59PM (#22826124) Journal
    I thought most manufacturers give you a list of all the drivers you need on their website when you select the model.

    The problem is, if the company sells the laptop with Vista, then the download drivers are also for... Vista.

    I got a Fujitsu with Vista and "upgraded" to XP. It was a bit of a challenge because the controller chipset wasn't supported with the Windows XP disk I purchased. I manged to get an install going using Nlite and adding the driver controllers I downloaded from HP.

    That was challenging because the drivers came as a floppy image that had to be "burned" to a floppy with the special software. My laptop doesn't have a floppy - and I had to reconnect the floppy to my desktop - and then dig through all my boxes of crap to finally find a floppy to burn it to... just to put it on a USB stick so I could transfer it back to my laptop where I was building a new install disk.

    I managed to get everything working on my laptop except for all of the buttons on the hot keys above the keyboard that would normally launch web browsers and such.

    I'd LOVE to get a rebate on the unused Vista install disk that came with it.
  • by novakreo (598689) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @04:00AM (#22827594) Homepage

    .....built and loaded with software from the manufacturer is my Mac laptop....

    A nice feature of Macs is that any programs you don't want are easy to delete. Just drag them to the trash. No need for uninstallers. No registry cleaners or other crap removal problems. Why can't Windows be like that?

    Unfortunately even Apple's own applications aren't usually self-contained within their .app icon package like you suggest. If you drag a program like Garageband or iPhoto to the Trash, you're only removing part of the program. For example, the Garageband icon in /Applications is ~86 megabytes, but there are nearly 2 gigabytes of sound loops and such in /Library/Application Support that would be left behind, not to mention individual user preferences and caches in ~/Library.

    In my opinion Windows is actually ahead of OS X here, by providing a central location (the Add/Remove Programs control panel) to completely remove (well-behaved) applications.

  • Re:I wish, I wish (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @08:56AM (#22828640)

    If you're not shooting for a bottom-of-the-barrel $399-plus-cheese-grater model (in which case, you should be shot) you can generally save money that way, too.

    You should be shot if you want a cheap computer ? Good grief !

  • by CrazeeCracker (641868) on Saturday March 22, 2008 @08:02PM (#22832780) Homepage

    User preferences arn't part of the application in the first place. Also the sound loops could be usable by any audio application.
    Oh come on, that's a pretty paltry "justification" for the piecemeal process there. "Oh, it's as easy as moving the Application to Trash. Any data files, any other files created and used internally by the application, well, you'll have to hunt them down and delete them, and it left those gigabytes of sample files for you to use with other applications! Where's the problem there?"


    You may have a point concerning files like Preferences, but thinks like /Library/Audio are indeed for use with all applications.

    Suppose you want to de-install GarageBand because you decided to install Logic Express/Pro (or, hell, any non-Apple DAW, too). Would you appreciate the OS automatically removing all your customised loops? What about the stock loops - which you still might want to (and are entitled to) access?

    Apple's way of de-installing stuff is, in most cases, way more user-friendly and less likely to screw things up for other apps. In any case, the worst thing that leftover prefs, etc. can do is eat up a few kB of HD space. Big deal.

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