These rather fun, and colorful, terms all describe the annoying pre-filled software that leading computer vendors add to the computers you purchase from them. I spoke with a salesperson at Best Buy recently and asked him if I could purchase a new PC in the shop that didnt come pre-loaded with this software. The answer was no. He said the amount of bloat changes from vendor to vendor but all brands comprise it. The sales man also admitted these programs considerably slow the computer down. They cause pop up screens and longer boot times, as some of this crap loads on startup and always runs in the background, taking up memory and hard drive space and slowing your new PCs performance by 5 to 10 percent. Some of these applications connect to the Internet to check for upgrades. It’s possible for you to pay Best Buy $40.00 to remove this trash. It is what they call optimization.

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You can also take your PC to a neighborhood computer repair shop to get it removed. Most of the local stores also charge about $40.00. While I was there I looked at the desktop on among the computers in Best Buy,. I saw icons for: Google Desk Top Net Zero Microsoft Office 60-day trial Norton 360 Picasa 2 Wild Tangent Games Quick Books eBay Skype Music Man Jukebox Needless to say, thats just what I could see on the desktop. There are also varying amounts of bloatware in the add/remove software, and in the program, on the startup menu files. Many people try and remove the problem by installing a new version of Windows and wiping the hard drive. Nevertheless, because these machines receive a restore disk which has a copy of the setup of the hard drive as it came in the factory–with all the junkware that’s not going to help.

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Others do nt even include the disc, but instead have an area on the hard drive set aside to restore files. Again, this returns the PC to its original setup, complete with junkware. This means if you need to reinstall your operating system at any time in the foreseeable future that even if you decide to pay to have it removed, or you spend the hour or so crucial to remove it yourself, it’ll come back. Money is the reason for all of this bloatware. Computer manufacturers are paid to load your PC with trash. These large corporations do whatever they have to do to keep prices down and turning your desktop and hard drive into a giant commercial is one way to achieve that. They understand that most consumers even recognize that their new computer has been compromised or won’t whine.

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Obviously, if you request these sellers why they place all this extra crap on new PCs, theyll tell you, if they will consent to talk about it at all, that they have been supplying a service to the consumer by giving them access to trial versions of these applications. Thats confident one way. Why dont they add full versions of free software like, instead of a trial version of Microsoft Office 2007 if they’re interested in doing consumers a favor? You are able to have one of exactly the same vendors that sell computers to Best Buy, if you arent in a hurry for a new PC, custom build one for you online. I spoke to someone at Dell who said if I bought from them, that I could request that all the bundled trialware be removed. She said the only trialware which was mandatory was a 30-day antivirus. Customer service at Sony said that when I ordered a laptop that was smaller or 14, and purchased online from them, I could request something they call Fresh Start, which implies that no bloat wo be contained by it. She said that Fresh Start was nt available on 15, 16, or 18-inch laptops.

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Finally, I spoke at Hewlett Packard to customer service and was told she couldnt guarantee that all of it would, although when you order online from them most of the trialware can be removed. My personal favorite method to prevent all the crap will be to either build your computer yourself or buy a custom- built PC. You could also contemplate a system targeted for business, if you prefer a brand name. The vendors dont load nearly as much crap onto these systems. The disadvantage is they cost more. For instance, I just optimized a Lenovo and the only trialware that came pre-installed on the hard drive was Microsoft Office 2007 and McAfee antivirus. One thing is for sure, if you purchase a PC which has bloatware, you are going to have to put up with pop-up displays, longer boot times, slower system functionality, and maybe even some of these applications connecting to the internet to check for updates, if you dont either remove it yourself or have it removed.

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As a growing number of consumers start to realize that this junk is taking up space and slowing down system performance, maybe they’ll complain in adequate numbers to cause change. Could this trend spread to other regions? Maybe, the following time I buy a TV, the maker will have pre-installed software which makes pop up commercials appear on my screen whenever I turn it on or at random while Im seeing a show. Perhaps they’ll install a scroll bar that always runs towards the top or bottom of the screen. Will this be how sponsors keep consumers from fast forwarding past the advertisements with a DVR?