Emerging Tech

Dell officially starts removing crapware from its PCs


At the launch event for Dell's new line of Vostro PCs and laptops today in New York City, Michael Dell admitted that "customers really hated trialware" and that Dell is making a major move toward removing trialware (what we call "crapware") from the desktop and laptop systems it sells to small businesses.

Of course, this is not just an altruistic move on Dell's part. Dell makes a lot of money from companies that place their trialware on Dell systems, so Dell loses money by removing that crapware. However, Michael Dell explained that Dell also saves a lot of money in customer support by removing it. "Trialware is a support issue. You click on it, it's not working, and you call. Just take it all away and you don't have those problems."

The intangible factor here is customer satisfaction. Removing crapware will undoubtedly be a popular move with small business IT pros, who typically have to remove it all manually after the systems arrive. Dell's corporate desktops are already free of crapware. However, it doesn't look like Dell will be removing crapware from consumer systems any time soon, according to ZDNet (TechRepublic's sister site).

For more, read:

Could this be the beginning of the end for preloaded crapware? Will other vendors follow suit for small business systems? Will this soon spill over to consumer PCs? If you are a small business IT professional, how does this move affect your opinion of buying and deploying Dell machines? Join the discussion.

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

38 comments
mikeholli
mikeholli

Total Nonsense!!!! Now all you happy yahoos have gotten the shareware aps removed!!!! Lets take a look at what you have done...... OH!!! still to make a profit that Dell had lost from those sources (shareware\crapware)it will raise the final/total cost of Dell systems, as well as if you need a office suite...FORGET about it!!!! What about you Window theme lovers? Yup, Stardock's sesational shareware version of Object Desktop is ALSO gone! Better head to your local retailer to pickup a retail copy of it, or of Microsoft's Plus. I could go on and on about the lost of WHAT you say is crapware, but I doubt that Tech-Republic has the available terrabytes for it.

BillFerreira
BillFerreira

Home PC's first. Well run businesses have a "standard load" that they install on their systems before handing them to their users, only fools in the business community are affected by this. It is the home users who mostly have no idea how to clean up their systems who need this change on Dell's part.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Dropping that subsidising crapware makes a better computing world for everyone. Keep it up! For the Ubuntu offerings; please, please, please keep your head about you and ship a quality product. Don't let it slip and start making a mess of the Ubuntu machine images with bad configs and such.

nentech
nentech

The crapware is not the main problem The installation or restore software is the main problem The owner of the pc should have the choice of installing or restoring all non-essential software Let the software producer explain what the software is then give a choice of installing it or not Microsoft has over the years taken away almost all choice of what we choose to install with windows Their install software is setup so they decide what we get installed with windows I like many other people know this Not installing software is better than uninstalling software I hate the task of removing the garbage that the uninstall leaves behind

kpfreelance
kpfreelance

About time... I remember spending 45 minutes removing that nonsense from my new Dell laptop when I bought it a couple of years ago...

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Today Michael Dell announced a new line of Dell small business systems that have no pre-loaded crapware: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=521 Could this be the beginning of the end for pre-loaded crapware? Will other vendors follow suite for small business systems? Will this soon spill over to consumer PCs? If you are a small business IT professional, how does this move affect your opinion of buying and deploying Dell machines?

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...is many times whatever Dell will have to raise the cost of computers by. I (or my clients who pay the bill) would much rather pay an extra $50 for the PC if it meant that it would take me an hour less of screwing around getting the machine clean again.

DanLM
DanLM

Of uninstalling all the crap. get off your butt and go pay for the software if you like it. You do know how to Google don't you? It's not too far past your intelligence to find demo software is it? I would be more then happy to point you at web sites that offer demo software if you want. I'll make sure I do it in crayon to help you. I can't believe I'm actually seeing a supposed IT professional rooting for crap ware. Dan

nentech
nentech

Who buy PC?s a choice of what to install I do like to have a look at some of the trial software before I buy it But I would like the choice of installing the full version if I own it and skip the trial software When I have to setup MY pc again and again over and over Just because some stupid person decided I must have the faulty piece of crap trial or antivirus software included in the install So I hope you were not talking about me when you wrote ?Total Nonsense!!!! Now all you happy yahoos have gotten the shareware aps removed!!!! Lets take a look at what you have done?

mjwx
mjwx

I re-install the OS from any machine I buy. If it doesn't come with media (Toshiba and others who only supply a "recovery partition") I don't buy it. You don't know what has been pre-installed.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

isn't the Dell move good news? If Dell doesn't install AOL, NetZero, Norton AV trial, and a MS Works trial, then you don't have to uninstall it or mess with it at all. That's a good thing, right?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Usually it takes at least a few hours to remove Windows and install an actual OS. (couldn't resist.. I got a giggle out of it at least)

GreyTech
GreyTech

Since I retired from the business world I only look after home users. For each one I install it takes me about an hour to remove the crapware. That is an hour I bill the customer about $80. I would rather not. If Dell or anyone wants to earn pennies to put on trialware do it as click thru. One page at the beginning of an installation with all the trials listed with tick boxes or radio buttons to select the items that you want, or none (radio buttons on security suites would allow MacAfee or Norton or Trend or None). Then you could offer "more info" against any item for those who might want to try. All those accepted for trial, could earn Dell a few more pennies. It would be good if Microsoft did the same with OS installs. Allow the user to do a custom install or just take the basic questions like Region, Keyboard and Time Zone and do a default install. Then perhaps offer a slip stream system backup at any time.

GSG
GSG

I find this underwhelming. When we get a PC, it's unboxed, and immediately ghosted anyway, so this makes not one bit of difference. However, I may be in the market for a new personal laptop soon, and if I was presented with 3 laptops with everything else being equal, and one didn't have crapware, guess which one I'm going to buy? They're keeping the crapware for the people making the most support calls and who really have no idea how to get rid of it. If you want to impress me, get rid of it for everyone.

freedog96150
freedog96150

Maybe I get to toss those PC-Decrapifier disks and scripts....well...better hang onto them....just in case. This is a good move on Dell's part. I have ordered business machines from them before that had custom loads and they have historically charged for these customizations, so we will see if this is a free or pay-for change.

jerryw
jerryw

I hate wasting time re-installing the OS every time I gat a new machine.

turbinepilot
turbinepilot

Not only is crapware annoying, so too is the recent spate of click-through ads on TechRepulic. I know that you guys are supported by such commercials and I can tolerate them along the borders of the articles. But, please, don't splash a full-page ad at me when I click a link to an article.

kevinbrown22
kevinbrown22

About time. I will be more likely to recommend Dell if this is true. I don't think it will effect consumer PC's any time soon if ever. I thought this might be a line item on the order: Leave off crap $10.00.

brucer
brucer

Well done Dell....now we may save time and money and get the computer and software we really want. Bruce R.

nentech
nentech

If they give you the driver disks I have had so many people who have not been supplied all the disks for each piece of hardware I told them to go and demand them That has only happened with assembled PC?s Not dell hp etc

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

the new reinstalls from the enclosed discs often includes most, if not all, of the crapware.

nentech
nentech

Was we should have a choice Yes I agree with you it is better if its not installed What dell has done is good But I still think people should have the choice of having it installed or not Who knows they may even buy some of it That?s is their choice

DanLM
DanLM

I use script blocker for FireFox. I did it to stop questionable web sites from doing chit I didn't like, I wonder if this was just an added bonus. Dan

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

I will say this - we have limited the number of those ads that we will run, and they are so expensive that if a company buys one of them then you can guarantee they REALLY want to get your attention. It's the TR equivalent of a Super Bowl ad.

hfeddema
hfeddema

Wonderful -- too bad I am too late to benefit. When I ordered a new Dell PC last December, I begged the rep to send it with just Windows and Office on it, but he said it couldn't be done. At least I have a clean Vista boot partition (I skipped the Dell upgrade procedure and did a clean install myself, and this partition loads much faster and works better than the one with all the Dell junk, some of which leaves a residue even if you think you have uninstalled it).

VAR1016
VAR1016

I bought my new HP computer in October; no discs, just a strong recommendation to make my own recovery DVD. Hence my previous post! Paul

nentech
nentech

If the disks came with the pc Instead of the customer having to supply blank disks Many people do not understand what they are or the need for them I have had to repair many pc like this The customer will say things like "I never got any disks" "I didnt know I needed them" "I had to buy the disks because I lost them cant remember if we had them when got the computer" Just some of the more polite ones

mjwx
mjwx

There is a program that runs when you first boot into windows after unpacking your HP that gives you Windows disk image and driver disk image to burn. If you don't have any CD's handy it will let you keep the images around until you do. I always tell people to get the drivers from the manufacturers website before re-imaging or at the very least a record of the hardware installed (Belarc is good for this)

VAR1016
VAR1016

HP are you listening? Living in France, I stupidly bought my new computer here instead of Switzerland (where I could have had XP instead of Vista). I have to say thanks to HP's online help service, but it is a bit cheeky expecting me to make my own recovery disc. Anyway there is loads of rubbish loaded and some I do not seem to be able to uninstall: Norton for example. It's there, all 20M of it, but if I try to uninstall I am told that the files cannot be found...grrrrr. ANd on the subject of crapware, can anyone tell me what the point of MS Works is?! And finally I am intrigued by the concept of removing all the crap left behind after uninstall; is there a simple way to do this or am I missing the point of this thread? :-) Paul

nentech
nentech

Hold a image and installer The Image is restored then the setup continues to install software drivers etc Yes I have copyed the restore parttition to dvds but some PC's need the makers hard disk tools to create the boot options or to change/create the partition sizes Just to let you know

mjwx
mjwx

are just an image of the PC when you got it. You cant really do much about that unless you. 1. get another copy of the media and install the OS using your CD key 2. can make a copy of the media out of the I386 folder (don't know if you can do this with vista). The HP's I have gotten didn't have the OS media but instead asked me to burn it from CD images when I turned on the machine. As for faulty HDD's, Toshiba (or other brand) recommend that you burn your "recovery partition" to DVD in their documentation. A nice little CYA for just such an occurrence. This is why Dell and HP get my business and I don't recommend that people buy toshiba's

mjwx
mjwx

at least in Australia. It's the companies that use recovery partitions only that include the crapware with the reinstall and you can always make a windows XP disk from an I386 folder(not sure about vista).

nentech
nentech

When I wipe and reinstall the machines with recovery disks or partitions I then start uninstalling software with the client / customer They tell me to get rid of all the crapware and say I don?t want it or it?s a pain in the ass or it doesn?t work properly What is most annoying are the companies who DO NOT supply disks with the pc Hello idiot?s hard disks go faulty I really love it when I find out they want to charge for the disks they should have supplied in the first place Some of them even want the customer to supply blank disks so they can create the recovery disks Hello expecting YOUR customers to understand what its suppose be about is stupid Anyway I hope people stop buying PC?s that 1. Have no Windows or OS install disk 2. Have no drivers disks 3. Have no application install disks

ITUncle
ITUncle

The first thing I do when teh Dell's come in is boot up to the Windows OS disk, then delete and recreate the primary partition, then install the OS. I don't want ANY of the garbage they send. After the OS is installed, I use the support/driver disk to install all the hardware. That's it for Dell software on the Dell machines. I've done it this way for at least the past 8 years . . .

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

me either. it's bad enough watching a website get slowly consumed by flash based marketing jellyfish but the welcome slap in the face really sucks even if it was imposed by the Cnet overloards (I think it's cnet.com.com anyhow)

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