Sony charges $50 to remove laptop bloatware; Retracts Later

Sony is offering to remove some of the trial software it crams onto the hard disks of new laptops, for a fee. Buyers of the configure-to-order versions of its Vaio TZ2000 and Vaio TZ2500 laptops can opt to have Sony remove the some of its own applications, in addition to trial software and games.

The "Fresh Start" option, billed as a software optimization, costs $49.99, and is only available to customers choosing to pay an additional $100 to upgrade the operating system to Windows Vista Business from the Windows Vista Home Premium edition offered as standard.

Blogs erupted with outrage at the planned charge, with Engadget opening a headline with "Sony Hates You."

Responding to a tidal wave of outrage, Sony has reversed a plan to charge $50 to remove all the pre-installed applications — often derided as "bloatware" or "craplets" — from its high-end TZ-series notebooks. "There will be no charge for Fresh Start" said the company spokesman.

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i do understand why they are trying to charge as the bloatware that gets installed actually lowers the price of the machine, the software makers pay companies like sony to install their software. so removing it will mean sony makes less money. but still charging the customer is pretty low

a friend of mine bought a sony vaio lappy. it is so trashed took 7 mins for the first boot. no vista dvd came with it so i can't even format it. what other ppl are doing these days since they dont' give you a OS dvd?

"Other people" (pretty large number of folks) discovered peer-2-peer networks and torrenting applications which can use other machines to exchange files over a communication protocol. :)
Thus, the install disc itself is downloadable and uploadable.

Or, you could choose to purchase a brandy new Vista/XP disc. But that's just silly because M$ doesn't deserve money.

Although I don't agree with installing crap on a PC when you first get it... what Sony was offering makes complete sense... they get paid by companies to put the stuff on the pcs therefore if you don't want it then you need to cover that cost they would usually get. I think the idea that they "remove" it is mad... they simply dont put it on. You get this with higher end manufactures as standard and you pay for it (its not advertised, but the products are more expensive). The mistake sony made was advertising it as a cost.

like microsoft, it seems sony has fallen into one of the most common pitfall of big corporation, that the smartest decision it can make is only as smart as the dumbest decision maker within the decision making committee.

Seems like this fiasco-in-the-making took all of maybe 12 hours to run around the world and back a few times, making most tech sites and unleashing a tsunami of hate and discontent, enough to put the Sony damage control team into high alert lol. Two thumbs up Sony! :mad:

most of the stores/hypermarkets/whatever from my area sell laptops preloaded with Linux or mostly no OS whatsoever, so no bloatware for me and since i'm not bothered by the lack of preinstaled stuff, i'm safe since i install everything i need myself

Well I've always understood the preloading of's to help widen their profit margin per computer. It's not evil by any means, and pay-partnering is a practice wide-spread across several industries. It became a part of vendor competition. To keep prices just low enough to get customers, they take on these 'advertisements' far enough to make up for the price cut and that here-and-there cost of paying the people tacking the software onto the installation images.

So in the sense of labor, people are being paid to put together a new software setup without the addons. But even though I can't be sure how much that costs at the bottom line, it certainly isn't $50.

Naturally management will be reluctant to add a freebie option (no doubt plenty of Sony staff gave a long hard blink when they heard about the charge), but since it's only there for people who choose a Vista Business upgrade, it would've made an AWFUL lot more sense to keep the charge invisible.

For example: slightly raise the price of upgrading to Vista Business for everyone, and just enough that it covers any supposed corporate expense for the people who choose a now 'free' fresh start, without startling the other customers who leave the software as-is.

At least, that's how I would run the business.

in the future, laptops will come with pre-loaded spyware and viruses and we must pay some fee to have them removed just because companies are paying to manufacturers.

i'm sorry for the average people that paid for this "service"...

I just wish they gave people the option to get the software on cd/dvd when you order their laptops. I had a user that got a vaio and it has been utter hell trying to get that system tweaked.

Sony's PR department needs to be sacked if they haven't already been done so after previous diabolical decisions.

(DJ Specs said @ #9.1)
They are idiots! Since they continue to buy Sony crap after all the scandals Sony has been involved in.

+1! ... exactly!

but i think the sad fact is ... 'most' people have no clue how shady sony is... and they KNOW the sony name which generally means quality product cause they been around so long. sad, but pretty much true

Since blind hatred.

Sony was charging to offset the lost advertising revenue they get from their partners that provide the software.

You don't think one reason why HP laptops are cheap isn't because they are choked with trial versions and the like?

Don't schools offer business courses anymore???

Sony makes crappy overpriced laptops anyway. Out of all the laptops I've seen around lately, I've been most impressed with what ASUS has to offer.

exactly! ... me personally i generally avoid buying sony stuff (electronics) if something else is of similar quality i would choose the other brand

(Citrusleak said @ #6.2)
I completely agree. I can't stand Sony.

The hardware and software side of Sony are two different entities... Their hardware department is always trying to push the envelope to come up with hardware that can do more at a higher quality, but the software side is always trying to tie it down somehow. It's why people want their music players but not the software that manages the devices or the stupid audio formats, or why people want the PS3 and Blu-Ray but none of the DRM, etc.

they put bloat onto a computer and charge extra to remove it?
does no one else find that as funny as me? :D

good things they stopped charging people, maybe they will learn not to put it there in the first place

Well the reason they put it on to begin with is because all the companies that make that junk pay them to put it on. So it's all in the name of profits.