This is somewhat insanely true.
I was just given an old computer to "remove anything that needs removed to make it safe to throw away". It was about 3 years old and had so many pop ups that they just purchased a new computer. I told them I could probably fix the pop ups if everything else worked ok. She said whatever, I can have it if I could fix it.
I started diving into this system thinking it would be infested with a bunch of malware, viruses and whatnot. Outside of tracking cookies, I couldn't find anything. The pop ups were to update java, their HP software for the printer they threw away when it stopped printing after 6 months of no use, some brother software saying there was updates and a bunch of notifications from games and other software saying there was updates available. She was using an older version of internet explorer which likely allowed a lot of pop ups when surfing the web. She essentially purchased another computer because she didn't understand crap needed updated from time to time or how to update it or that other web browsers exist without all the issues some have.
It isn't a high end computer but it isn't a bottom of the barrel system either. Its free outside of updating all the software and removing the preinstalled advertising crap that originally came with it so I have nothing to complain about. Just makes you wonder about what people are thinking.