Bloatware and Cheap PCs

My son’s computer finally died last week. I say finally as it was actually his sister’s computer 8 years ago, so it really don’t owe us much of anything (and it went spectacularly, with the Alarm (i.e. the high-pitched beep) code suggesting the motherboard was toast. Given my son does use his PC to play minecraft and such, it was decided to look for a cheap and cheerful replacement system, but I was unaware of the impending bloatware attack.

There was an Acer system (is that pronounced A-Sir, or Ass-sir?) at Best Buy which fit the bill, and this is where I started learning (first hand) about the concept of bloatware.

Google’s simple explanation is:

Bloatware, also known as crapware, is unwanted computer software that makes your Windows PC run slow and sluggish. Nowadays, most brand new computers ship with a wide array of pre-installed software, most of which is often considered by many users as bloatware or crapware.

When I first turned the Acer on, it came up running Windows 10 (some might argue Bloatware, but we’ll leave that for another day), and after I had hopped through all of the hoops necessary to configure the system, I looked at what was pre-installed on the system, and holy cow there was a lot of garbage on the system.

Bloatware is so prevalent that there are actually utilities to remove bloatware (which then might introduce it’s own malware), but I used Malwarebytes on the system, and after it had run it removed 350 separate parts of things that it called, “… not malware, but not necessary software…”. That is a lot of crapware on the system.

I had run Norton Anti-Virus before malwarebytes, but it didn’t flag anything as malware or viruses, so keep that in mind as well.

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So let’s review, the things that can jam up your computers are:

  • Bloatware
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Viruses
  • Bots and implants
  • Useless applications

I am amazed that each of those bullets has a growing industry to remove that type of crap.

If you buy a new computer, it might be better to just install the operating system from scratch, as long as you have all of the licenses necessary.

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