Guys (and Gals),
Now that Mark Hurd is history and you have the opportunity to think about the direction of your business in general and your PC business in particular, lets talk about crapware. Really, there is way too much of it on the computers you sell.
I’ve had experience with three of them, two laptops and a Windows Home Server (EX495). All of these are fine machines hardware wise, especially the server which is one of the nicest packages I have ever seen, but you compromise the whole user experience by loading it down with so much unwanted and unusable software it boggles the mind.
Lets start with the server. The biggest problem is the default installation of Norton AV. Nobody with any sense runs Norton or McAfee. Nobody. And the uninstall procedure can be complicated. Why would you do this to us?
Then there is your own home rolled software. The only part that is in any way useful is the portion that lets me back up Macs to the server. The media portions either duplicate functionality provided by the WHS natively or easily obtained by addons in a better fashion.
On the laptops it was even worse. Norton, HP Media, HP Games, HP DVD, HP Update, HP Advisor, a crappy toolbar, DVD burners, media managers, on and on ad nauseaum. None of these things add an iota of value and nobody would pick any of the selections on the open market on their own merits. And the worst offender of all is Wild Tangent games. Its malware pure and simple. It won’t go away. Even after you run the uninstall program you still have to hack the registry to remove the links to the games in the Windows Games menu.
The bottom line is that I have never found preinstalled software or OEM software that was any way useful. Perhaps thinking about your customers can provide you with a competitive advantage in a world of shrinking margins. Pre-install software based on what your customers will find useful and provide a full OEM install disk for Windows. That’ll catch our attention.