How to avoid installing Windows 10 crapware (free PDF)

If you’ve recently installed Windows 10 Pro lately, you may have been dismayed by the consumer-focused games and apps that appeared on your Start screen. Here are a couple of ways to keep Candy Crush and its ilk from installing on your machine.

From the PDF:

When you install Windows 10 Pro on a new PC and sign in with a local account or a Microsoft account, you get access to all the professional features that you’d expect from a business-class PC operating system. You also get some unexpected apps splattered onto your Start menu whether you want them or not, including Candy Crush Soda Saga, Bubble Witch 3 Saga, and March of Empires.

In addition to those three games, Windows 10 downloads Disney’s Magic Kingdoms, Autodesk SketchBook, Dolby Access (offering a free trial of the Atmos surround-sound technology, with the option to pay $15 after the trial period ends), and Spotify Music.

If you’re staring at that assortment of apps on a business PC and thinking it looks a lot like crapware, I’m not going to argue with you.

Those apps are preinstalled for purely financial reasons, with the app developers and Microsoft banking on the fact that some percentage of Windows 10 customers will run each app and pay for some sort of extra, like a Spotify music subscription. Microsoft, of course, gets a piece of the action.

Don’t say that they didn’t warn you. In every quarterly and annual report since mid-2015, Microsoft has reminded shareholders and customers that its business plan for Windows 10 includes “new post-license monetization opportunities beyond initial license revenues.”

This is a particularly in-your-face example of that monetization strategy.

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