If you've ever bought a retail PC or a notebook that had a pre-installed OS on it (which is roughly 99% of them), you no doubt were inundated with hordes of random software, most of it completely worthless and more annoying that anything. A lot of people have asked what it would take to get a “clean” PC. Windows with only what you paid for installed, such as Office. Apparently, all that random software won't come off just for nothing, though. Those retailers get paid to put it on there and you'll have to pay to get it off. Lame? Definitely. But it all boils down to money:
It's a money problem, so it's going to take money to fix. At least, that was the message from Michael Dell earlier this week at CES. Our own Eric Bangeman sat in on a round-table with Mr. Dell, and one of the topics raised there was what do to about crapware. When asked about it, Dell responded by asking participants how much they were willing to pay to receive a computer sans crapware. It seems that, at the end of the day, OEMs want that money to come in somehow, someway.
Of course, it's always within your right to wipe away whatever's there, or even wipe away the OS and put a clean OEM image on – assuming you could manage to get the OEM Windows install and then also have the time and patience to do it. Even though Dell's response may have indicated they may just offer a “clean” PC, odds are the ties to those companies that put that software on are too strong. I doubt it is going away, much to the chagrin of those who wish to buy, rather than build, a PC.