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Poll: Top 10 alternative names for 'crapware'

Maybe the word 'crapware' says it all. But Michael Kassner is searching for a better descriptor for that plague of unwanted software. Vote for your favorite new name.

Over in the Five Tips blog, Michael Kassner shared several practical ways to get rid of that curse of the brand new PC: crapware. As he points out, crapware is messy and annoying -- and worse -- it can cause problems with your system. But he doesn't just hate crapware and the mess it can make -- he doesn't like the term crapware, either. So he asked TechRepublic members to suggest some better alternatives. The response (and the venting) have been enthusiastic. Michael made a list of the 10 terms he likes best so far. Now it's time to put it to a vote. Weigh in on your favorite -- or join the discussion and share your own suggestions.

Take the poll...


About

Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior editor for Tech Pro Research.

55 comments
Murfski-19971052791951115876031193613182
Murfski-19971052791951115876031193613182

These tools are all pretty good, but the only really sure way to clean all the (Pickyourname)ware is to wipe the drive, and install a clean version of the OS. I work for a state agency, and I've created images for the standard setup on several different computer types. If the image is not exactly right, it's still easier to modify the image than to try to get rid of all the junk

genewitch
genewitch

Don't buy brand name, buy from a local shop... They won't install any of that crap. of course, you'll probably pay a bit more... But that's why the crapware is there in the first place, to offset the cost of the PC so they can sell it cheaper than the neighborhood PC people. Capitalism, it works. Sort of.

ISD Pete
ISD Pete

...because it has the ability to "morph" what would be an otherwise reasonable PC into something incredibly clunky. On the flip side some also has te ability to be able to "morph" into a useful add-in/tool.

QuietOne1
QuietOne1

Some have said it isn't "Crapware" while many (myself included) believe it is. My definition is simple: If I ordered it, it isn't Crapware; If I didn't order it and it came on some form of installable media, it might be and it might not be Crapware so I'll look at it and decide for myself (but that doesn't mean I install it to look at it, I'll just look at it); All else is Crapware. EOS.

shaker36
shaker36

Why? Its obvious they try to shovel us with it in our face and down our throats...

pgit
pgit

Because you take it, ...um... er. nevermind

RF7000
RF7000

because that's what i say when i discover it.

jeremial-21966916363912016372987921703527
jeremial-21966916363912016372987921703527

For the very specific types of crapware that open dozens or hundreds of adult pages in seconds, flooding the screen. We always refer to it as getting caught in a Pornado.

nnmck
nnmck

Drossware is my choice.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

Bloatware but also CrippleWare most pre-installed-ware I've run across is either a trial that expires ie. MSO trial or is a trial that never ends but has several features disabled or missing ie. "Creator Dell Edition" only has about 3/4 the Sonic applications and none of the Roxio applications Specifically: - "Creator Classic" even the application's restore CD calls it a Sonic Product, and not a Roxio/Sonic product

NexS
NexS

If you disagree, you know where the door is.

Randy Hagan
Randy Hagan

It conveys the general point without being crass about it.

Chilidog67
Chilidog67

it's underhanded, underwhelming, under-the-table, and in some cases underappreciated - why not call it Underware?

cavehomme1
cavehomme1

Hey guys, the term crapware, the word is far too strong, in fact it means feces. Whilst some people in the US might be quite happy using crap, and other four letter words such as beginning with f completely habitually, without thinking of the consequences, we as professionals, and all around the world not just the US, should be setting good standards and not using vulgar words. Especially Techrepublic will not want to tarnish a good reputation by encouraging the use of such a term. I personally may use the word crap quite frequently, but I don't propose using it in a professional IT context. Let's stay professional about this, there are lots of other more relevant words proposed by other posters.

jgallimore99
jgallimore99

What about bogware because it bogs down the computer

thegreenwizard1
thegreenwizard1

Do you have a special system or do you just need a good uninstaller and time?

LUSK
LUSK

It's shorter than "crapperoniandcheeseware.

jb4096
jb4096

I've always used the term "crapware" to describe poorly programmed, bug ridden, hard to use software (like Windows). Although the explicative per hour ratio for Win 7 is down significantly from XP and Vista.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

Crapware is just right. It holds the right impact, shows the proper amount of disdain and for the user correctly identifies the content as that which substance you find in a diaper. Unpleasant, hard to deal with and just as useless. I could go on about the providers, makers and so on, but you get the idea. I have been seriously looking at Linux and second tier hardware providers so I can avoid wasting large amounts of time "cleaning" a new computer.

ianmwells
ianmwells

Its not crude...if its no Scottish...its crap

Louis
Louis

How about "clogware"?

tr-isd
tr-isd

My favorite remains "BLOATWARE".

harrylal
harrylal

Perhaps Effluenceware may be a bit more sophisticated and technically accurate as it oveflows disk space with useless and unwanted software.

rwbyshe
rwbyshe

My thought is that if we are looking for an honest, one word, general classification for (IMHO) 99% of most preinstalled software, then "Crapware" is the term of choice. My next fav would be bloatware but I feel bloatware relates better to the unnecessary trinkets added to programs such as Aero in Vista and Win 7. I vote for making Crapware the official word for the junk software that computer manufacturers have continually forced upon their customers. It can be a real pain and tedious to remove but it's the first thing I do when I'm setting up a new computer for a client or myself. Crapware... Let's get it into the dictionary since it truly defines the useless software forced on end customers!

JoeRJr
JoeRJr

The best term is none of the above shown in the poll... As in the past many years, it should be called "suspicious evaluation limited freeware (SELF)" If you fall for it too long, THEN it becomes CRAP-on-you. JR

mark.walworth
mark.walworth

You missed the most obvious suggestion: Spareware.

cavehomme1
cavehomme1

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and so is superfluous software. It is subjective not objective. It really depends upon what your needs are versus what the vendor installs on your new PC. Even items included on MS Signature machines are superfluous to my needs for example, and yet with another vendor I might be happy to try, for example, a free trial of Norton for 6 months to see if it has reduced in its use of system resources and evaluate new features. Your above list includes "bloatware", but bloatware can apply to useful, essential tools where the developers are just lazy and don't produce tight code, waste system resources, and yet the software is essential, for example MS Office. So I suggest it is inappropriate to include bloatware in the list, in my humble opinion. I would propose the following descriptions, to describe additional / superfluous software. Addware Disposeware Extraware Fussware Optionware Otherware Spareware Surplusware Wantonware Personally I have chosen to buy Dell Vostro for my business and they only include what I choose. Well done Dell!

seanferd
seanferd

Crapware is a well-established term. You are free to not use it if you do not like it, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But, you see, as such vulgar (common) terms are only offensive if you use them offensively. Most such terms are frequently substituted by those with easily offended sensibilities with terms that were vulgar in the past. Some terms became "vulgar" only because of an artificial "politeness" created by an "upper class". Cf. usage of "pisseth" in the Bible, simply to indicate a male individual. As far as I am able to ascertain, it is even more "vulgar" in the original languages. Now, the writers could have just said, "a man," but chose to be poetically vulgar instead. Speak and write as you see fit. Just don't get to hung up on the way other people use language. ;)

SteveRMann
SteveRMann

So is crapware. Completely unprofessional and vulgar. As I said before, if it were OPTIONAL and not preinstalled, I would agree with you. So, it's crap.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

If you read my Five tips article, I was concerned about that as well. Edit: Spelling

seanferd
seanferd

is the best alternative so far, and actually fits.

seanferd
seanferd

with hundreds of small apps on them. Used to come with magazines and such, and to fill out driver/software CDs that come with some other hardware.

sonotsky
sonotsky

...because PC vendors shovel it onto the machine's drive; then it takes the proverbial shovel to dig yourself out of that mess.

pegassus
pegassus

I absolutely agee with you. Nobody denies that sometimes you find something interesting in this "kind" of software, but is preferable if it is not present at all; interesting does not imply necessary or indispensable, just interesting.

jpnagle59
jpnagle59

I also do not care for that 'word'. I prefer to call it 'Stuffing'. Just seems like a better name over all...customers see all the 'free software' that comes with a computer purchase and like a large Thanksgiving meal, they get 'Stuffed'!

cavehomme1
cavehomme1

+2 I also mentioned it in my list. It rolls off the tounge easily.

Alienwilly
Alienwilly

Afterall, it goes nowhere-except to the recycle bin.

zclayton2
zclayton2

so how is any of it different from some drive-by download or other malicious installation? It was put there by someone else to make money without my permission. IT IS MALWARE.

megoli
megoli

You are right. But if I don't want it/don't need it, and worse yet, is using the resources of my computer for no reason except to shill another buck out of me: Then go away. And here we go again. Just got a new notebook and suddenly my life isn't complete without Windows Live Essentials? No, I don't want it/need it and believe me I'll some how get through the rest of my life without it. I will uninstall it as soon as I possibly can. Wasn't what the anti-trust suit against MicroSoft back in '90s about? Oh yeah, Dubbya got in and said everything was fine. I feel so much better now.

cory.schultze
cory.schultze

Hardware vendors should be forced to make their (crapware) applications optional. Unfortunately, we're not all blessed with computer literacy or the innate understanding of what is necessary for our devices to operate and be operated satisfactorily. This is the argument for vendors, at least. Perhaps vendors could save a bundle and reflect their minimalism in the pricing of their products by excluding any non-essential software development. This may even spur customers to remain faithful to the brand and attract new customers looking for un-cluttered, faster-running devices.

SteveRMann
SteveRMann

If the crapware were an option, not pre-installed, then I would agree with you. As it is today, there is no option but to delete the crap(ware) and HOPE that the registry is cleaned of the crap(ware).

cbarrows
cbarrows

Agreed - everytime a new system comes in to my office, the first thing I do is wipe it. It's a total waste of time to have to start from scratch, but it's also the only way I'm assured to have a completely clean system. It's crapware for a reason: it's total crap.

whendersonii
whendersonii

I am a minimislistic person by nature and I remove EVERYTHING I can but as rkuhn said, crapware subsidizes the cost. Sure it takes a little work on my part but I end up payless less, and since I know what I am doing then it is no biggie; the PC novices are the ones that get screwed in the deal. I would like to point out that major electronic retailers are not permitted to remove crapware without the express written consent of the customer for EACH software title. So most stores that offer PC optimizations for new customers are full of crapware themselves.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

Crapware helps subsidize the costs of the PC.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Most computers today do not have a clean restore disk. So that means you have to purchase an operating system disk and then get the drivers. All additional costs.

mhbowman
mhbowman

We have a winner!!! Seriously, I paid for it and it should be clean. If you asked people their preference do you think anyone with half a brain would elect to have crapware installed on their new system?

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