Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Which is why I plan to build my next computer.......

Walt Mossberg comments over at Personal Technology:

I'm distinguishing these programs, sometimes called "craplets," from the full-featured, built-in Sony software meant to enhance the computer, or from entire, useful programs Microsoft builds into Windows, such as music and photo organizers.

On my new Sony, there were two dozen trial programs and free offers. The desktop alone contained four icons representing come-ons for various America Online services, and two for Microsoft. The start menu and program menu had more items that I neither chose nor wanted. Napster, a music service I don't use, was lodged at the lower right of the screen.

The worst was a desktop icon called "Watch Hit Movies Now!" This turned out to be four full-length films from Sony's movie studios, which the company had preloaded onto my computer at the cost of more than four gigabytes of precious hard-disk space. But they aren't a gift. If you want to play them, you have to pay Sony.

Then there was the security-software mess. I signed up for a 60-day free trial of Symantec software that Sony offered. This required multiple rounds of scary warnings, scans and updates -- on the first day of using a new machine. Plus, when I tried to use a feature that stopped some unwanted programs from loading, I was forced to launch a second, somewhat redundant, security program from Microsoft.

On top of this, Sony informed me it had 21 different software updates available for my brand new laptop.

Hat tip to BizzyBlog.

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