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Microsoft, can you help us fight the bloatware battle?

Windows 8 is going to be a game changer for Microsoft. The new look, the touch friendly interface, and the host of enhancements that will increase productivity, stability, and provide a new direction for the traditional OS.

There is one area that Microsoft has not addressed publicly and unfortunately, may never address as it lines the pockets of its vendors, is bloatware.

Admit it, how many times have you purchased a new laptop or desktop and the first thing you do is format the primary drive to remove all the crap that comes pre-loaded? It’s almost demoralizing if you think about how many times you have had to uninstall Norton Antivirus or remove the droves of pre-installed toolbars.

It’s the bloatware that hurts the performance of the machine that kills the Windows image, not the actual OS itself. Yes, Microsoft has had a few flaws, but the majority of the time when a user complains about sluggish performance of a new machine, it’s because of all the crap that comes pre-installed on the machine.

Microsoft needs to find a way around this as the bloat is getting to the point that it’s almost laughable. Is this really Microsoft’s fault? Unfortunately, it is not, but Microsoft has, and always will, get the blame because they create the OS the general consumer doesn’t equate the bloatware to the vendor.

Microsoft must find the fine balance between allowing pre-installed software and vendor agreements. Yes, we know that bloatware helps keeps the price of the PC down, in theory at least, but it is also marketed to assist the user with their daily activities. You know what else also offered to help with your daily activities but was nothing more than a parasite? Bonzi Buddy.

If Microsoft can find a balance of allowing vendors to provide the option to pre-load (but not install) third party software and provide the end user with the option to select which packages to load during the initial install, they may be able to strike a balance with their vendors and keep their name in good faith.

Let’s face it, if a vendor loads up a machine with excessive bloatware, who gets the blame? If you said the vendor (which is the logical selection), you would be wrong, Microsoft gets the blame because it created the software. Is Microsoft at fault, not in the least, but they will get the lion’s share of the blame. When was the last time you heard someone denounce a vendor because of the OS running slowly upon initial boot?

The sad fact is that bloatware is being used to offset margins and keep PC cost low, or so they would like us to believe. But it is done at the expense of Microsoft, not the vendor. In this game, Microsoft has more of its image tarnished because vendors are destroying their OS with excessive add-ons, dubbed, “enhancements”.

Pleading with the vendor is a lost cause; our only hope is Microsoft finding a happy medium to prevent the bloat. Otherwise, the formal process of formatting before using will only become more prevalent as vendors find new ways to lower the cost of the PC by increasing the third party additions to their products.   

Bloatware is not Microsoft’s fault, vendors are to blame, but when vendors don’t listen, maybe Microsoft can provide a bit of pressure to keep the end consumers happy.

Image Credit: best-laptop-guide.com

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