Microsoft is the Bad Guy?

Microsoft will now remove all the crap programs from your PC for only $99.99. Step right Up, for only $100.00 extra dollars you can get a new PC that works and looks just like a new PC. Microsoft is offering this service through their 16 stores around the US, along with a ‘Signature System’ option that allows you to purchase a new computer – direct from the factory without the mounds of muck.

Builders like HP, Dell, and Sony are delivering PCs with large mounds of these crap programs to slow your system. I believe this is an effort to give you the feeling of your old computer. They don’t want to shock you with the feeling of power and speed that comes with a clean system, or who knows, it might be because they make money adding these piles of crap programs. This practice would be similar to buying a new refrigerator and opening it to find hefty portions of mold encrusted stew, brown watery lettuce, and soured milk, and it’s all FREE

Of course everyone has an opinion on this and regardless of who I read, Microsoft is always considered a part of the problem?

Microsoft Copies Apple

Here’s a summary quote from a recent ZDNet article. “So, the OEMs make money from installing crapware onto PCs, and now Microsoft is making money removing it. Makes you realize why more and more people are buying Apple hardware.”

I was talking about this with a good friend who is also the owner of a local computer store. Amy and her husband Dan own Florida PC. They build custom systems, sell the normal retail offerings, and offer a repair service. Here’s what she had to say.

Many articles have been written lately about Microsoft stores popping up around the US. Even more stories have been written about those stores charging $99 to remove added or unnecessary software from infected pc’s that walk thru the door. I’ve decided to weigh in on this subject, but on the opposite side of the fence from most others.

For the last few years, people have been falling all over themselves to visit Apple stores, where they can purchase overpriced pc equipment running Apple’s OS and check-in on Foursquare to make public the overpriced purchase they are about to make. Then for every little problem, they return to the store for overpriced training and overpriced data transfers and now, yes, believe it or not, overpriced spyware and virus removals 😀 But that’s just between us!

Which leads me to the real topic of this story, Microsoft! Many people have been overheard and even written publicly, complaining about the new MS stores and how it seems like a conflict of interest for them to charge people to remove unwanted software from their violated pc. Shouldn’t they do this for free? My question is, does Apple do it for free? Does Apple do anything for free? If you take your pc to Staples or Best Buy, will they do it for free? I’m going with NO on all counts. If you take your pc to many other stores, they will charge upwards of $100 to remove the same software. Ms did not install their O/s on their own hardware. That installation took place thru a third party OEM manufacturer or vendor, unlike Apple who only allows installations on their own hardware, sold in their own stores, no third party allowed!

So the pc situation is this, you purchased a $400 e-machine special and clicked on the window that popped up while you were ‘youtube-ing’ saying that your antivirus had expired or you pc is infected, and because there is a MS store close by, they should remove it for free. Well, I for one and I may be the only one, don’t think so! I don’t think MS should be treated any differently than Apple. Whether it’s overpriced hardware with a “free” o/s or overpriced sofware on less expensive hardware, if you can’t create your own O/S, just shut up and use what’s available!

Why doesn’t someone do something

Lean back and take a seat on the time train cause we’re going all the way back to 2007. Back then we purchased 8 brand new PCs and timed how long it took them to boot to a usable desktop. The times were unbelievably horrible and it took 25 minutes to over an hour. I purchased and timed the computers and Rob compiled and presented the data. I’m including the 5 year old video below.

PC Pitstop has fought long and hard to reduce the dreaded bundle that cripples your computer. In the past 5 years a lot has taken place. Shortly after this research was published, factories reduced the number of programs that came bundled on your computer. Next they learned how to hide them, using a Timed-Release capsule of crapware, if you will. All this did was prevent their JUNK from slapping you in the face all at once.

BestBuy, Geek Squad, CompUSA, and others have charged to remove this trash. They’ve all received their ration of bashing for charging to remove crap from the appliances sold in their stores. At one time some of the factories even tried to charge extra for not installing it, but the consumer outrage was just too much.

In Feburary 2012, we published a detailed look at the three main categories of crapware and how to best remove them.

The Solution

The solution lies with you and me, the consumers. It’s up to me to show the builders that I won’t buy their crap in a box. Unless I refuse to pay them, they will do it because they can. We refused to pay them extra for leaving it off and we should refuse to pay them if they put it on. Just that simple.

JMO! What’s yours?


Trashed From The Factory

Bloat to Craplet

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58 thoughts on “Microsoft is the Bad Guy?”

  1. I use Ubuntu Linux and have for several years now. While not perfect, it is nearly trouble free and fast. I have a copy of Windows on a VM for those very few times when I need MS Windows.

  2. Pamela VonPlinsky Saunders

    I always reload my new pc's from scratch as soon as I get them. My newest gripe: No disc with the OS – just a partition with the OS and the same bloatware as shipped. And apparently you cannot even inexpensively BUY a disk for your new PC with the OS anymore from MSoft. That's my real problem with MSoft.

  3. I run Linux os on my store bought system,
    I bought the system and asked for the hdd that had windows installed on it to be removed and a new formatted hdd installed,(note)…most places do not like doing this, because they loose out on the comp from the os manufacture.
    As for windows programs and games not working on Linux, i think you better sit down and research the special program that will allow all windows programs to work with any Linux os. I have better game play using Linux than i ever did using windows, that also goes for surfing the web, Linux is a more stable os than window , as for Mac? Mac is a version of Linux that has been simplified for the ignorant user,and apple know’s this.
    The other upside to running Linux, is that my box boots up and is ready to go in less than 1 minute. Show me a windows box or mac box that will do that.
    Linux is FREE and has no added BULLSHIT.

  4. My solution is to do a simply clean install, but that's not an option for most people, especially if you own an Apple because Apple owns you.

  5. I sit here thinking yes I use windows but only becaurse some of my favorite games does not run well in lunix. So windows fan not so much buying a computer of the shelf only bought one and it never ran the way I though it should from then on built the box myself. and that was back when computer first came on the market.

    Apple is over priced yes the computer itself is not that much more expence to build then a windows box, the price of the software is just too much for what you get. ok so you think you are getting a better product with an apple sorr ythat is the oldest grab and bag trick ever and some of you fall for it funny lmao.
    ok so you buy the computer off the shelf bummer it will have a lot of thing you djo not want pay the extra price for getting all the junk removed or better yet go find a builder you can trust to put one togeather for you with only what you want.

    1. @Paul Lowe: Do a little research and you will find a version of linux that will work for you, and there is a program that was made for linux users to run all windows programs,JUST RESEARCH IT.

  6. All the trials that come on the computers these days are ways the OEMs make money. Every trial version installed is coded so that when the user selects to upgrade the OEM will make money off of it. I don’t blame them because I have done it to generate extra income.
    And as far as Apple. Yes they are overpriced. You are buying the exact same hardware that comes with any PC or Notebook. You are buying the name and an extremely overpriced OS.
    If I were to ever buy any PC the fist thing I do is wipe the Hard drive clean and install a fresh OS. That way I install what I need and not what the OEM thinks I need.

  7. There are so many free programs out there that will clean your PC. Chances are you have a friend who does this stuff and can help you find and run the software they already trust to keep their own computer clean. I'm teaching my 12 year old how to clean the crap off Windows machines all the while showing him how much more productive it is to have an Apple where you don't have to deal with crapware, yet. If you need help cleaning off your machine and you don't have someone you can trust to help you with it you are going to have to pay. Do I think OEMs should get money for all the crap software and then you have to turn around and pay to remove it? No. But it is work, it takes time, and quite often with Windows, a lot of patience.

  8. Mary Lynn Kraft

    I agree and wish I had the skill to “undo” all the junk that comes with a computer. I am grateful for experts who will do it for me, but I resent the necessity.

  9. Good article. Although, without these annoyances I would have no business. I inform people, but they do not seem to understand or they would rather just pay me since I am cheaper than Microsoft or Best Buy and can restore their systems to present state (with windows updates) and not factory state (without windows updates) with all the preloaded crapware…My business is all about maximizing performance and minimizing downtime for my clients. When they get their PC back they can notice the increased performance on top of resting assured that their machine can be restored to its present state in 15 minutes or less using my restore options I provide at no extra costs.

  10. @Amy re: Mac pricing and esoteria:
    First, I don’t believe Apple is over-priced. As they say, you get what you pay for. Ask an Audi owner if the car is worth the price, you’ll probably get a “yes.” After using PCs since the 8086 DOS days, and running just about every flavor of MS OS since, I finally moved over to Apple last year (full disclosure: most of my corporate clients are MS, so it won’t be out of my life entirely). There was a learning curve to be sure, but the “one-to-one” sessions at the Apple Store provided all the answers. The hundred dollar yearly subscription with unlimited usage is a bargain compared to what I have paid for MS and IBM training. Apple Stores are smart. MS Stores, that remains to be seen. There is one opening down the corridor from my Apple Store and personally, I believe the MS store will sell a lot of Apples. I do not miss the incessant MS updates when shutting down windows. I do not miss the annoying pop-ups from H-P and other peripheral device makes. Apple seems to have “cured” these annoyances. Finally, compared to my Dell equipment, Apple hardware is just plain better—it’s sleek, efficient, very intuitive and user-friendly.

    1. W8 is rubbish. W7 works just fine for me, and a lot better for what i do. AND its alot cheaper. yes, i have a macbook pro. I still say its over-priced. 2200 for something i can pay 1200 for. not even a choice for me. But, everyone has their opinions, including myself.

  11. In 30 years of dealing with desktop pc’s I have never ever seen a computer even taking 15 mins to boot up, let alone over an hour.
    Something lime that must surely be a reason to return it immediately under the ‘unfit for purpose’ rules.

  12. How about the dishonest tactic of virus,spyware,registration fix program sellers. The free install always finds hundreds of errors that really don’t exist. Try this install what you think is a good fixit program. After your computer is supposedly fixed, do a free trial of another brand. They will find a lot more vaporware “errors.”

    1. @videofilm: No doubt the worst scammers around! I’ve been fixing PC’s (on the side) for 15 years, and the most crap I find is from fake or dishonest AV/Malware scanners and Registry cleaners, (which are nothing but smoke and mirror apps that cause more issues than they’ve ever fixed).

  13. OK. So how do I go about removing this ‘crapware’ which is slowing down my PC and Laptop? AND how do I know what these crapware programs are, what they’re called, where to find them on the PC and how to delete them? Or is this possible? I am a devotee of Auslogics.

  14. Are you kidding me? I think MS is right…MS can’t be held accountable for what other OEM’s manufacturers install on your new computer…They didn’t make the computer you’re buying they just sold the OS to the them. The OEM’s are the ones that should be removing it for free.
    If it’s such a problem for most people when you buy a new computer just reinstall Windows on it or go in a delete all the crap. Don’t whine!

  15. I build my own, choose the hardware I want, install the O/S and software I want.

    The only exception to this is when I purchased a new laptop. I then immediately do a clone of the drive, in case I have to send the laptop back under guarantee- it goes back exactly as I received it- erase the HDD (erase, not format) and install my O/S of choice.

  16. That's why I have build my PCs, since 1998, to the exact specifications, with blank hard drive, in places as Amy's in this article.

  17. This is the exact reason why I build my own custom build so I can install the programs I want, not what the greedy Microsoft thinks I want, or better yet what I don't want. I'm proud to say I have never bought a HP, Dell, eMachine, etc. And this makes me want to continue to not by a store built PC.

    1. @Jamar Gud Tymes Mitchell: Maybe you should try reading the article before you reply with your tainted opinion. MS does not install those programs, they only license the OEM’s to install Windows on their machines and the OEM’s install the crapware because they are paid to do so by the crapware makers. Getting your facts straight goes a long way for your credibility…

  18. So basically, when you tally up the dollars, you're either paying $100 for a crap-filled PC OS, $200 for a clean PC OS, or $500+ for a clean Mac OS. Clearly the solution is simple.

  19. So basically, when you tally up the dollars, you're either paying $100 for a crap-filled PC OS, $200 for a clean PC OS, or $500+ for a clean Mac OS. Clearly the solution is simple.

  20. Groovin in AVL

    Sorry guys, I may have posted this same answer before.

    Buy Linux. If you are afraid of the configuration, buy Linux pre-installed. Or buy a used 3 year old PC on craigslist and pay a local to install Linux.
    The solution is let Apple and Microsoft face decreasing market share.

    1. Groovin in AVL

      (Too hasty on my part in my typing)

      Not BUY Linux. Get it for free. Get upgrades for free. Get free of viruses too.

  21. The only store bought computer I ever had was my HP laptop that the motherboard took a crap on. I've had family members by computers and they used to come back in the day with the OS disc separate from the system restore disc. Now they charge extra for a system restore disc. Besides if you really find it necessary to pay $100 to remove the crap it's cheaper than buying an OS disc and all the separate programs that came with your new system and the time spend reinstalling all of it.

  22. Whitebox, build is advertising free, no Microsoft & partner 30 day trials…

    Also it is easy to format your hard drive and install a free KDE or other Linux operating system.

    Or if you are an Apple fan, install a Hackintosh operating system…

  23. @Tony49. The boot time is correct but the time it took to get past the crapware in order to be able to get where you wanted to go on the Internet was quite another thing. There was no confusion on my part. I was amazed and alarmed at the intrusion and obstruction caused by the crapware.

  24. @Robert H. I started building my own from the very start of my interest in computing. I was a late bloomer so my first PC was an HP. Within a year I had built my own box and started overclocking.

    1. I too started building my own computer within a year of buying my first HP…Now I have built over 200 and rebuilt another couple of hundred for fun and profit. I have enjoyed crap free computing but have now retired from the building for profit end. Just keep my own 2 desktops and 4 laptops running with the most current hardware and software.

  25. Unless you go to an independent PC Builder, you are most likely going to get bloatware. It has been this way for about 20 years in one form or another, and will not likely change in my lifetime. You can, as mentioned above, buy a plain box, and license and media, and install yourself, and solve the problem. You can also install Linux with the same results. It does, however, take about 2 hours to clean a new machine of it’s bloatware, so I charge the same to remove it as I do for Adware, Viruses and Trojans. This is just good business practice. There is no need to bash Microsoft, or Apple, as they are just doing what we allow them to do.

  26. All part of the same problem that has existed since PC/laptop manufacturers stopped including an OEM Windows O/S disk with each PC/laptop – this SHOULD be a consumer right so that we have the option to format the PC/laptop & install the OS from scratch

  27. The video quite clearly shows the timescale in seconds. With the longest boot time being 75 seconds not 1h15 as stated in the commentary or as stated in this article.
    Which one is wrong, personally I can’t imagine any computer leaving the factory taking 1h15 to boot without all of them being returned by disgruntled customers.
    The clip saying that the timescale was in seconds is at 3m47

  28. Just uninstall the crap programs yourself. It only takes 15 minutes. If you can’t take 15 minutes out of you day to remove the crap, then you deserve a crappy and sluggish computer. Don’t be a dummy.

  29. I long for the old days when DOS was standard, and all other programs were optional. I installed what I wanted, and ignored all else. If you use DOS today you will have a system that works faster than light. All you give up is multitasking….

  30. Why not buy a bare metal machine, and install Windows yourself? Microsoft have faults, but in my opinion, they set the standard for ease-of-install.

    1. @Guy Thomas: apearantly you have never installed linux try it , make microsft look like sh*t install drivers micro never thought of and easy to install more then 98,2000,xp and windows 7 try it might raise your IQ a bunch

  31. Crapware or bloatware is there because OEM’s get paid to include it, on the plus side it lowers the cost of your new computer, it is easy enough to remove yourself, I do it for friends at no charge. So you decide, want to pay $100 more for that computer, pay $100 to have it removed, or take a little time and remove it yourself. My vote? remove it yourself and pay less for the computer.

  32. I like MS Security Essentials, works with SuperShield. Most of my neighbors are moving back to Michigan for the summer. Ask em when you see em.

    1. @Steve Hogan: Interesting comment, not that it has anything to do with Microsoft, Apple, or Amy’s store. They have to make money, we can give it away.

      My neighbor is back to Michigan from Arizona, and his Windows 7 computer was a mess. Now running avast after ditching AVG and trying MS Security Essentials. Many heartfelt thank you’s, pizza and beer was my payment.

      I’m headed up north for the weekend. Take care.

  33. Thanks for the comments Info Dave. A lot of us use Apple as well as PCs. Apple provides free Move In to get PC Customers using Apple products. The store does that for products purchased in the store only. They also charge for help.Here’s a copy/paste….One to One is just $99 for a full year and is available only at the time you buy a new Mac from the Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store.
    The point of the story is that Microsoft is not the bad guy. At least not for PC users. LOL

  34. Ya got me curious, Amy, so I went to Apple’s site. Here’s some information from their retail/workshops page.

    Take a Workshop. On the House.
    Learn something new by taking a free workshop at an Apple Retail Store. All of our workshops — including new hands-on workshops — are free. They’re taught by people who really know Apple products and are eager to share their knowledge with you. So count on picking up plenty of tips and tricks.

  35. So, business isn’t so good, eh Amy?

    A lot of the services you accuse Apple of overcharging for, they do in fact do for free. Perhaps that service is built into the price of the product, but you statements concerning the Apple Stores are blatantly false.

    A novice user friend of mine, got an iPad as a gift from her husband. She went to the Apple Store to get help to “move in”. She’s been back for 3 classes since then. Hasn’t paid a dime.

    Apple just gained another loyal customer.

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