Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cruftware - a quick survey of useless software on my new PC

So I bought a new PC with Vista and my first impressions of Vista were less than enthusiastic.

The other bad news is besides coming with Vista, it came preloaded with lots of trial-ware and bloat-ware including stuff which infests the "all programs", desktop, startbar, favorites, autorun, quicklaunch, explorer context (right click) menu, and run lots of background tasks and services. I need to spend some serious time "de-crapifying" my PC. Now, cruft isn't unique to either Gateway or Vista -- my last PC was a Dell with XP and that had plenty of crap installed as well.

The Apple Mac vs PC have never rung soooo true...

Crapware Installed
  • AOL
  • BigFix (crufty auto update)
  • Google Desktop
  • Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
  • McAfee (90 day trial - works only after nagging/registration/activation)
  • Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Edition (Trial -- Note: Home / Student version does NOT include OUTLOOK!)
  • Napster (30 day trial)
  • NetZero
  • SpareBackup (monthly charge to use)
  • WildTangent (10 demo games with 60 minutes of game play)

Software that might be of some use

  • Adobe Reader (free)
  • CyberLink Power2Go (CD/DVD burning software)
  • Sun Java (free)
  • Microsoft Works 8.5 (does not come with Word or Excel)
  • Microsoft Money 2006

OK, I lied about the "some use" part -- Java and Reader can be had as free downloads but they both needed updating. Works is pretty much worthless… especially since the PC is setup to try to open all .doc files and spreadsheets using the "trial" version of Office 2007 that nags you to pay and even if you uninstall the "trial" Office, you'd still have to manually set your types for Works to open your files for you by default. I haven't tried the burning software yet so that is still a coin toss and Money might be ok even though I'm still using a 10 year old version of Quicken that works fine.

And speaking of trialware / missing feature, how about the OS itself? My PC came with Fax/Modem Hardware but Vista Home versions do not include Fax capability (that requires Vista Ultimate or Vista Business).

1 comment:

CitizenX said...

I agree. I've uninstalled Vista and have gone with Ubuntu. I hope M$ goes the way of the VCR and cassettes.