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