Guides Laptops

What is Bloatware?

It’s time for all of us to take a stand and convince the computer manufacturers to wipe away the crapware and bloatware on their machines.

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Today we are going to have a different kind of post. Most days I give you posts that many would consider helpful – tips, tricks, how to guides, you know that kind of stuff. However, after the day I had today, I wanted to sound off about something that has been bugging me for quite awhile.

Now, you may be wondering about the image above and the term ‘crapware’. Personally I just found it catchy. You see, today’s post is about bloatware. Now that isn’t a common term for it, I know, but it is my personal favorite. I’m talking about bloatware, adware, or any other crappy software that comes on your laptop or desktop installed by the manufacturers. I’m just going to go ahead and say it. CRAPWARE NEEDS TO STOP!

What Is Bloatware

Before I continue with my rant, let’s stop for a moment and talk about what crapware actually is. Most people today call it bloatware but I have seen the term junkware used as well. Basically, crapware is that software that you don’t want that comes preloaded on your computer. Computer makers are paid large sums of money by these software designers to install their apps on their system.

Unfortunately, most of the time this software is just junk. It is useless, bloated and just serves to take up space on your machine. In some cases, it runs in the background automatically without you telling it to, which is even worse if you are running a sub-$300 or sub-$400 laptop as the crapware can really build up to create a huge performance hit on more budget laptops. This results in a machine that is bogged down and slow. Think about that. Your brand new machine seems slow because of all the crap loaded on it.

Now not all crapware is bad. Some of this software can be useful, if you like it. I still define it as crapware because it was loaded without your consent, and I absolutely hate it when stuff is installed on my system without my permission. For all the good software out there, there are a dozen pieces of crap installed on systems. That is why it needs to stop.


Why It’s Bad

For the record, from here on out I am talking directly to all you computer manufacturers out there. That includes Dell, Lenovo, Acer, MSI and pretty much every other computer maker in existence, with the exception of Apple. Apple machines come with preloaded software but its all software made by Apple and is a part of macOS. While it is similar, this software actually gives you alternatives to PC software that may not otherwise exist. It’s a fine line maybe, but definitely seems different to me. I’m focusing mainly on PC makers these days.

Did you know the software you are loading on your systems is complete junk? Do you even care? Most of the crapware you install on your system is useless. It performs poorly, takes over from other apps without user consent, and just generally bogs down the system. This hurts performance. Do you know how that makes you look?

I’m guessing because you are still doing it that you don’t, or you care more about money than your reputation. Ask Samsung how that worked for them. Do you realize that because of all this crap you are installing the systems you are selling are running slower than they could? Do you know how bad that makes you look. It makes it seem like you design systems that are slow and offer poor performance. It is one of the reasons Windows gets a bad wrap. Customers spend all this money on a new system and it runs like crap right out of the box. Many attribute this to Microsoft, when in reality, the fault lies at your doorstep.

Quit the Greed

You see, it all comes down to greed. Now I’m all about making a buck. I enjoy it. But that doesn’t mean I’m greedy. I’m not going to keep trying to make more and more at the expense of those I work for. I always try to provide value to my employers. That’s what we call fair trade. I give them value, they give me money. In your case, you create a product and customers like that product to hand over their hard earned money for it. So why do you need a kickback?

I know computers are cheaper than they ever have been before, but are you really hurting for income? I doubt that you are. If you are running your business correctly I know you aren’t. So why do you need to make that extra money just to put junk on the computer that no one wants or uses? Do you like slowing down your amazing machines that you create? Are those extra few bucks per laptop really worth it in the end? The hit to your reputation would be enough that I wouldn’t think so, but so far I’m totally wrong. It just amazes me that you keep doing it. Why not give up those bucks and earn a little goodwill with your customers? Have you ever thought that your increase in reputation may translate into more sales which will equal more profits?

What You Should Be Doing

Here is what I think you should be doing. You, as computer manufacturers should continue to focus on what you do so well. You should continue to design great looking laptops that use the best hardware out there. This is something that you should already do and most of you do quite well, I might add. I love the machines produced by all of you and can find something great about them all.

What I’m tired of is all the crapware that you load on your systems. Why do you even bother? How about instead you create a machine that looks great and runs well with high quality hardware. Then, you load Windows on it and all the drivers needed to power that great hardware you put it in and then leave it at that. Leave the software installations up to the consumers that buy your laptops instead of loading a bunch of junk that they don’t want. Don’t you trust your customers enough to do just that? In my experience, most users today know what they are doing. After all, it’s not 1998 anymore. Everyone has used a computer these days and most know exactly what software they need and probably already own it or plan on buying it when they get their new machine. One option that is worth looking at is purchasing a Microsoft Signature Edition computer. These computers feature no third-party crapware and you can easily remove the Microsoft apps that you don’t want.

Signature Edition

What You, the Consumer Should Do

Now you may be wondering what you should do when you get a computer with all that junk on it. Whatever you do, don’t leave it on there. Instead, take the time to get rid of that software. Uninstall anything you don’t want or need. If you aren’t sure if something is important, chances are you know an IT guy that can give you pointers.

You could always reinstall Windows on your machine and reload the drivers. However, if you aren’t sure how to do this, it could be more than you can handle. This would be when you need to buy your IT guy a six pack of beer and let him take care of it for you. I’m sure they will be more than happy to help.

My Opinion

Remember, everything here is my opinion. However, it is based on years of experience working in the industry and dealing with machines loaded down with all this junk. I’m tired of giving up time to get rid of this junk just so you can make a buck and most consumers I deal with are annoyed and hate it as well. All they want is a fast machine that works, and they crapware that you load on it is interfering with that. Don’t you think it’s time for a change. Again, this is just my opinion but I believe that many will agree with me that it is time to stop loading all this bloatware on machines. Don’t you agree?

Parting Thoughts

Sigh. Okay I think I have finally said my peace on the matter. If you can’t tell, I’m ready for all computer manufacturers to stop loading junk on the computers they make. While they do it for money, they have to know that it can give them a bad name. Here’s an idea, why not send out a laptop that only has the operating system on it and give the users a chance to install the applications that they want and nothing else. That’s a novel idea, isn’t it?

Instead, they continue to install junk on their systems that slow them down and give users a headache. As an IT guy, I’m sick of reformatting these machines or spending time removing all this software that is not useful at all. I’m sure consumers are tired of getting laptops loaded down with junk they don’t plan on using. So stop. Just stop. No one wants that software so quit wasting our time.

So what do you think of my rant today? It’s different, I know. But do you agree or disagree with me? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

By Matt Garrett

Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing on our sister ShopNinja sites where he enjoys talking about anything and everything tech.

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