Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Craplets backlash rising

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Frequent readers of CBC's technology news section (or tech news in general) may recall the craplets story I broke in January. After an initial storm of activity, things seemed to settle down. Now it appears that a recent column in the Wall Street Journal has reignited interest in craplets, and the predominantly paid-placement programs typically pre-installed on new computers running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system are apparently starting to fall out of favour.

Given Microsoft's hand-wringing over craplets ahead of the consumer launch of the Vista version of Windows, it's not surprising that the software giant's user experience evangelist, Chris Bernard, has weighed in on the matter, in a post to his Design Thinking Digest blog simply titled On Craplets.

Bernard recounts what he says was a flawless experience installing Vista and application software on his new Sony VAIO laptop computer that "reminded me of other experiences with other operating systems that I won't mention," (after confessing "if Apple put out a MacBook Pro with similar specs in a 13 [inch screen] I'd look at that too as I could run OS X, Vista and Ubuntu and that is some serious tech geek Nirvana").

My Sony is a beautiful machine, I love the way it looks and the way it travels, but there is so much junk software that came with it that it disrupts what should be a much better computing experience. Sadly, this is probably true of a lot of computer manufacturers.

He goes on to echo comments that surfaced online after craplets entered the popular vocabulary in January, suggesting that PC makers could offer machines without the programs for an additional fee.

Doing this would show that they realize people aren't buying a box but that they are engaging in an experience with their products that will allow them to create emotional connections with their customers. This is what makes the world go around these days…. In this world craplets have got to go.

PC makers may be nearing that point, according to a feature about craplets by CNet News service (which graciously links back to our CBC story). Ina Fried reports that PC makers are growing increasingly wary of their customers' ire when it comes to the programs they're piling onto hard drives pre-purchase.

The practice has also alienated some consumers who say all such "crapware" is clogging their hard drives and bogging down their systems.

For the moment, computer makers appear to be trying to walk a fine line, tweaking their approaches slightly but hoping not to have to slay a cash cow. Gateway, for example, offers only one program in each category, while Dell has added an option for some models that allow a user to configure a system with no trial software.

"We've seen the evolution," IDC analyst Richard Shim said. "The desktop became kind of a billboard for Internet service providers and software. Now the pendulum is swinging the other way."

As Fried notes, the Wall Street Journal's personal technology columnist Walt Mossberg tackled craplets (alas, without mentioning the CBC) in a recent column about PC Decrapifier software that aims to scrub PCs clean of craplets (as previously mentioned on the Gizmodo blog).

Inevitably, Fried also mentions Apple's latest Get a Mac commercial that takes potshots at Windows machines: Stuffed had us chuckling sadly at the (shaded) truth of its message as PC Guy John Hodgman explained his pain.

"It's all this trial software, they pack my hard drive full of it – all these programs that don't do very much unless you buy the whole thing are just plain useless. It really slows me down."

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Kirk H.

A pox on Craplets! Ban the darn things. There is nothing like getting a new computer and then having to dump all the advertising, free trials, gimmicks and gee-gaws. It's bad enough getting a PC configured and removing/supressing all the stuff piled in by the OS manufacturer. What's the use of dual core processing and gigabites of RAM if its plugged full of adverts and "helpful" software. Linnux is looking better and better!

Posted April 27, 2007 01:38 PM

Kris M

Nothing quite like formatting a fresh hard drive and doing a clean OS installation, only to have to spend a good half hour removing all the trial software, ISP adverts, and such that came inconveniently bundled in the software CDs of my laptop.

Personally, I'm thinking buying a full box version of Windows would be better than these cheaper ad-filled OEM versions. Too bad I don't have hundreds of dollars to cough up. Maybe I should convert entirely to console gaming and just buy a Mac for World of Warcraft.

Posted April 27, 2007 06:27 PM

K. W.

Vancouver

I too despise the practice of inserting unneeded software on new computers. Craplets is a good term, but it was always clear to me that they're nothing but a collection of adware, spyware, and in some instances, annoying viruses.

I hate that I always have to install and run all the security programs I need to get rid of them (firewall, virus program, adware/spyware removal) on a new computer that is already compromised in both performance and hard drive space. I manually remove all the demos, offers, links myself. This self-removal is time-consuming, and is a total waste of time. Plus, I also have to install my favourite applications for work and play. I also resent having to boot my computer several times in the above exercises.

Someone should be paying ME for doing all this!

Posted April 30, 2007 03:51 AM

Colin

Dartmouth

"... PC makers could offer machines without the programs for an additional fee."

So what we have is: "Nice PC you have sir. It would be a shame if something were to... happen... to it. I'll tell you what, if you pay me a little something I'll make sure that it'll be okay."

Isn't that extortion, or at least a protection racket? Is it legal to get people to pay to remove something they didn't order in the first place?

Posted April 30, 2007 10:30 AM

Bob

Toronto

Give the Windows operating system and it's pre-installed craplets the heave-ho. Alot of the craplets are for various third party security programmes designed to "fix" problems in the crappy Microsoft Windows operating system...problems that shouldn't be there in the first place.

While the Canadian mainstream media hasn't covered this, the tech press certainly has. Dell just announced this week that they'll be offering PC's for sale with the new Ubuntu Linux 7.04 pre-installed starting in about a month. This is the first time in the last couple of decades or so that a major PC manufacturer will be offering PC's without a Micro$oft operating system. Other PC manufacturers (hopefully) will follow suit.

It's a real victory for computer buyers. They finally have a choice in what operating system is pre-installed on their "name brand" PC.

Posted May 2, 2007 09:29 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Sean Spicer quits after Trump taps financier to head White House communications video
Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci was introduced as White House communications director on Friday, with the announcement also coming that Sean Spicer will be stepping down from his role as press secretary.
Minneapolis police chief resigns after officer's shooting of Australian woman
Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau said on Friday she was "willing to step aside" following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed Australian woman.
Updated 3 Palestinians, 3 Israelis killed in violence over holy site video
Escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions over Jerusalem's most contested shrine boiled over into violence on Friday leaving six people dead — three Palestinians in street clashes and three Israelis in a stabbing attack at a West Bank settlement.
more »

Canada »

Calgary man who claims neck was sliced by barbed wire on mountain bike trail charged with fraud
A Calgary man who claimed his neck was sliced by barbed wire on a popular mountain biking trail west of the city and then asked for financial donations online has turned himself in to RCMP.
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs, wife and 1 other charged with extortion
Ontario Provincial Police have charged Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs, his wife and another woman with extortion.
2 Canadian Cavalia employees jailed in China for smoking pot
Two Quebec employees with the Montreal-based equestrian multimedia show Cavalia have been imprisoned in China for allegedly smoking marijuana and are facing deportation, Radio-Canada has learned.
more »

Politics »

Illegal border crossings by asylum seekers decline in Manitoba but spike in Quebec
The total number of illegal border crossings made by asylum seekers increased slightly in June compared with the previous month but has stayed relatively consistent since March according to newly released government figures.
In historic 1st, transgender inmate wins transfer to women's prison video
Transgender inmate Fallon Aubee is making history as Canada's first federal inmate to be placed in a prison based on gender identity rather than physical anatomy.
Many Indigenous families not applying for Canada child benefit: documents
Many Indigenous families on reserves and in the North have not been applying for the Canada child benefit because they are either unaware of the program or they are not filing their income taxes — a requirement for eligibility.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

FILM REVIEW A different sort of war film: Christopher Nolan's triumphant Dunkirk
It was one of the pivotal turning points of the Second World War. Now, director Christopher Nolan sets his sights on Dunkirk.
'Look man, I don't want no orcs in my car:' Will Smith teases fantasy thriller Bright at Comic-Con
Imagine End of Watch but with orcs and fairies and magic. That's the vibe of Will Smith's big budget Netflix film Bright, which unveiled its first full trailer Thursday in a presentation at Comic-Con.
Game of Thrones creators respond to backlash over Confederate announcement
Game of Thrones' showrunnners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss knew they were in for a rough ride following the initial announcement of their next HBO project.
more »

Technology & Science »

As It Happens Science reporter David Perlman, 98, retires after nearly 8 decades at the San Francisco Chronicle
Science reporter David Perlman — who covered AIDS before anyone even knew what it was — is retiring from the San Francisco Chronicle after almost eight decades.
Elephant seals have rhythm and they know how to use it
New research published in the journal Current Biology finds that elephant seals identify breeding rivals by the rhythm of their vocal calls, much the way humans can discern accents and vocal tone.
Police ran 2nd dark web marketplace as sting to spot drug deals
In an innovative blow against illicit internet commerce, cyberpolice shut down the world's leading "dark net" marketplace, AlphaBay — then quietly seized a second bazaar, the Hansa Market, to amass intelligence on illicit drug merchants and buyers.
more »

Money »

Auto sector propels retail sales higher in May
Strong auto sector activity helped Canadian retail sales activity rise for a third straight month in May, climbing by 0.6 per cent to $48.9 billion, Statistics Canada said Friday.
Sports streaming app DAZN launches in Canada with all NFL games for $20 a month video
Streaming video service DAZN is set to launch in Canada and will offer subscribers the ability to watch every NFL game this coming season without the need of a television subscription.
FedEx closing all retail office stores in Canada
Shipping giant FedEx is set to close office retail stores in Canada putting 214 employees in three provinces out of work
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Bolt wins 100m at Diamond League Monaco; De Grasse, relay team DQ'd video
Olympic star Usain Bolt held off the field to win the 100 metres Friday at the IAAF Diamond League Monaco event, while Canada's 4x100-metre men's relay team of Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney, and Gavin Smellie was disqualified after a bad exchange.
Video ​A botched exchange in the 4x100 relay leads to a disqualification for Canada at Monaco Diamond League video
DQ just the latest in a long history of relay heartache for Canada.
Melissa Bishop sets Canadian record in women's 800m video
Canadian Melissa Bishop set a national record in the women's 800 metres with a time of one minute 57.01 seconds, but it was only good enough for fifth place as South Africa's Caster Semenya set the pace with a world-leading and meet record time of 1:55.27.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »