During development of Windows 7, Microsoft decided to try a novel approach: Ask the manufacturers what Windows needed. They listened. They also listened to consumers. The consumers told Microsoft to send the PC makers a message:
Enough with with the crapware already!
You know: All those “helpful” products you can’t opt out of when you buy from Dell, HP, etc. No, it’s not good enough to ship you a PC with Windows and whatever software you ordered (usually Office). Oh, no! They have to load Real Player and 20 gazillion Internet service setups and a ton of organization tools that serve to clutter up your desktop. At least with Compaq fully digested by Hewlett-Packard, we’re no longer subjected to Compaq’s unusable attempts to foist a confusing, useless interface on us. Apparently, Compaq believed you, gentle user, were too stupid to know what a Start button is for.
The last time I wiped my HP tower’s hard drive and did a clean install of everything, I had to restore from the backup disks. That took about an hour. I had to spend the next day uninstalling and deleting all the junk software and free add-ons I didn’t want to get the machine back to where I had it before the wipe.
The one that aggravates me is Real Player. Manufacturers not only install it (I can ignore it if I have to), they make it the default media player. Gee, thanks. I love being forced to use Real’s crummy interface and endure its balky performance. No, please, put it on there and make sure it doesn’t easily go away. No Win Amp or Windows Media Player or iTunes for me, thanks. Not when I can have such a fabulous fustercluck for free!
Oh, wait. Winamp and iTunes are free, and Windows Media Player ships with the OS. Um…
Out, Foul Real Player! Out! Out!
Look, PC manufacturers, it’s simple. Just load the damn operating system (like Apple), don’t clutter my desktop with links to AOL and Yahoo and Gmail. I don’t want to use Bing as my search engine (Yes, I know it’s Microsoft’s baby.) I don’t want your help organizing my desktop or default weather or news or stock tickers that bog down my broadband connection. Just put Windows on it and leave me alone until I have a warranty claim.