A New Computer Term is Coined – Beware of ‘Crapware’ on New PCs

  • Comments: 7
  • Written on: April 14th, 2007

Marc Orchant reported on his ZDNet blog this morning that Warner Crocker has dubbed a new computer term for all of the unwanted garbage software that comes preinstalled on a new big-box computer – crapware.

While there is a distinction between useful software that comes preinstalled on new PCs and all of the trials, games, and other third-tier software packages, I can testify form experience about the garbage that Hewlett Packard crams onto a new computer’s hard drive.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to buy a $1700 new laptop from HP for only $300. They REALLY wanted us to look at carrying their notebooks instead of Acer, so I suspect that was the root of the discount. Wither way, I didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

When I received my new HP Laptop, I opened the carton, unpacked it, installed the battery, plugged it in and turned it on. I spent the next three hours removing more than 3 GB of silly games and trial software products that I would never use. Some of the programs uninsulated easily, and others offered more of a challenge. The time and effort required to remove this software – most of which nobody would every buy anyway – is what earned these products the title of crapware.

When Schrock Innovations sells a new Modular PC we also install some baseline software that we think our customers will find useful. We are always mindful of the fine line between useful software and crapware, so we only install needed software like:

  • A trial of Norton Antivirus or Norton Internet Security
  • A trial of the Maintenance Checkup Home Edition
  • The latest version of Sun Micro-systems’ Java
  • All Windows Updates
  • The Google Toolbar
  • A trial of Nero Burning ROM

One of the nice things about having a computer built locally is that you as the customer control what gets installed on your PC. If you don’t want something installed, we don’t waste our time installing it – or your time when you would have to uninstall it.

  1. Bill Tones
    Bill Tones said on April 14th, 2007 at 9:23 am

    I have had to endure the crapware process myself many times, and it is no fun. I guess they have to make a buck where they can, and in essence end up spamming us with stupid games and programs that we will never use. I am tired of it for one.

  2. Petro
    Petro said on April 14th, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Right on! There is software made for DELL PCs that is specifically made to remove crap from DELL branded PCs. It’s called “Decrapifier”. I do not know how well it works. I can if needed post the official site here. On your must have list what do you think of having some kind of flash software on one’s computer? It seems more and more sites are using some type of flash these days.

  3. Sarah Reisinger
    Sarah Reisinger said on April 15th, 2007 at 10:50 am

    I never even thought to look for crapware on my Dell. I opened Add/Remove programs and I found more than 30 programs I did not want or use.

  4. Josh the Aspie said on April 16th, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    My process any time I get a computer from a dealer, work on a family member’s computer, or find out that a family member visited a dealership is to go in and dig out the crapware.

    There are four or more places that most people can look, the startup folder under the start menu, add/remove programs, the taskbar, and the addons options in your browser.

  5. dj69man
    dj69man said on April 17th, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Yeah, I have been through the crap ware game too. It seems like it is getting worse all the time. On the other hand maybe the reason that Macs come with all of the software you need is that no one else really makes software for Macs. I never see mac software on shelves anywhere.

  6. Bob
    Bob said on April 26th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Crapware…sounds all too familiar 🙁

  7. […] Apple commercial depicting the “cool” apple guy and the nerdy PC guy makes fun of the crapware that comes preinstalled on most computers that you buy at the box […]

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