Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Jul 2018 22:23 UTC
In the News

So you've just bought the best Windows laptop, you've gritted your teeth through Cortana's obnoxiously cheery setup narration, and the above screenshot is the Start menu you're presented with. Exactly how special do you feel as you watch the tiles animating and blinking at you like a slots machine? I'll tell you how I felt as I was getting to grips with the Huawei MateBook X Pro for the first time: perplexed. Perplexed that this level of bloatware infestation is still a thing in 2018, especially on a computer costing $1,499 and running an OS called Windows 10 "Pro". Why are we still tolerating this?

Before anyone assumes that this is just a rant against and about Windows, I'll happily include Apple's iOS and some varieties of Google's Android in my scorn. The blight of undesired software and prompts is all around us. If I buy an iPhone, Apple pins the Apple Watch app on my home screen, whether I have the compatible watch or not. Or if I go to Apple's nemesis, Samsung forces its Bixby assistant into everything I do with a Galaxy S.

The Windows bloatware in particular irks me, since Windows is not a free or pre-installed operating system you just kind of get for free; I purchased my Windows license and have an Office 365 subscription, and yet, I, too, got this bloatware nonsense when I installed Windows 10. I removed all of it right away, but to me, it's inexcusable.

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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 4th Jul 2018 23:07 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Which bloatware, specifically?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Morgan on Thu 5th Jul 2018 01:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

In my case it was various versions of Candy Crush games (Saga, Soda, and something else), touch-based Minecraft on a non-touch workstation, Clash/Battle/Army of Kings/Clans/Heroes/Farmers (I forget which exactly but it was one of those combinations), two Disney games, three PDF apps, and two different Adobe drawing apps.

This was on Windows 10 Pro with an offline account. The best part was that after I deleted all that crap, I installed the April 2018 update and every single one was back. The only difference was the generic strategy game had a different name combination, but it looked like the exact same game, right down to the icon with some cartoonish large-chinned fellow in a helmet.

There's absolutely nothing professional about any of that BS, and there's no place for it on a workstation meant for getting things done. I can see it in the Home or S editions of Windows 10, especially on a consumer-oriented tablet or bargain notebook computer, but a retail copy of Windows 10 Pro is the last place you want to see shovelware.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by dylansmrjones on Thu 5th Jul 2018 03:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Bloatware could be AVG Antivirus for your android smartphone. Seriously?

In Windows it is usually all the extras coming with drivers etc., HP WhatEverAnnoyingApp you can think of, Norton SlowDownEverything and assorted ProtectMyComputerFromMalware malware.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by ahferroin7 on Mon 9th Jul 2018 11:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

There's a reason that standard advice from an IT professional is to just do a clean reinstall of WIndows the moment you get the system. Thankfully this is a lot easier than it used to be because MS lets you download ISO images for the install disks (though you have to spoof your UA string in your browser to not look like Windows to get them if you're on Windows, because apparently there aren't any power users on Windows who want the ISO images instead of some at best mediocre tool for creating media directly).

Reply Score: 2

I agree
by Poseidon on Wed 4th Jul 2018 23:23 UTC
Poseidon
Member since:
2009-10-31

That the entirety of new windows applications (and win 32 have some as well) have an entire wasteful framework to track statistics for the usage of software and to track users and what features are being used or not.

That type of bloat should not be the rule at all on the OS included software, but alas, somehow it's apparently what they've gone to with software as a service.

Some linux distributions are doing something similar with some of their software which is no surprise considering all the wave of people that have grown up thinking that Android is what linux should be.

Reply Score: 1

uh....
by Darkmage on Thu 5th Jul 2018 00:06 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Isn't this the entire point of the Windows Signature Edition program?

Reply Score: 1

RE: uh....
by Morgan on Thu 5th Jul 2018 01:20 UTC in reply to "uh...."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Not anymore. Back in the Windows 8 days you could really get a bloatware-free device in the Signature Edition line, but now that they come with Windows 10 you get those same randomly installed "sponsored" titles as everyone else once you finish setting up your device and connecting to the Internet. There is no longer a distinction and "Signature Edition" is just branding to make you pay more for the same thing.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: uh....
by ahferroin7 on Mon 9th Jul 2018 11:41 UTC in reply to "RE: uh...."
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

I don't entirely agree that SE is just branding. The bloatware you're complaining about is baked into Windows, it's just a function of the design. The stuff that most people are complaining about here (things that the vendors call 'value-added', like their own update software, their customer support tools, and whatever fourth-party crap they've agreed to bundle on their systems) is not baked into WIndows, and last I checked is not present in Windows 10 SE.

Reply Score: 2

Declare all you want
by kwan_e on Thu 5th Jul 2018 02:33 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

You can declare independence all you want. You can write as many manifestos as you want.

Reply Score: 8

Comment by yoshi314@gmail.com
by yoshi314@gmail.com on Thu 5th Jul 2018 06:14 UTC
yoshi314@gmail.com
Member since:
2009-12-14

if someone still needs windows, people ought to be educated about methods to strip it down to bare minimum.

i, for one, cannot imagine using my phone without lineageos that provides installation with no google store and other preinstalled garbage. the device is significantly faster, and performs the way it should.


i think we are still tolerating this, because we keep buying these products.

Edited 2018-07-05 06:16 UTC

Reply Score: 1

ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

Not all of us. I don't by systems pre-loaded with Windows anymore, period. I get stuff that comes with Linux (either through Dell, or other OEM's), and then load Windows on it with the official install images from MS.

Reply Score: 2

Bloatware or crapware?
by ThomasFuhringer on Thu 5th Jul 2018 06:56 UTC
ThomasFuhringer
Member since:
2007-01-25

I am not sure about the terminology here. To me bloatware always was the category of applications that are not lean and efficient but rather use a whole stack of software, typically interpreted or 'managed', for little added benefit.
What the author talkes about here usually goes by bundled 'crapware'.

Reply Score: 3

Lots of it
by jessesmith on Thu 5th Jul 2018 14:19 UTC
jessesmith
Member since:
2010-03-11

I recently helped a friend who got a new Windows laptop. The beast had three anti-virus scanners running, pre-installed games, about half a dozen updater programs running at login and all sorts of trialware. The machine, while it had decent hardware specs, was a laggy mess.

We got the extra items off, ran the various update programs so they'd stop nagging the user, etc. Then Windows updates ran. It took two reboots and 45 minutes to handle just 14 updates during which time the computer was completely unusable.

Most of my time is spent on Linux these days, and I admit Linux desktop software has some irksome qualities, but nothing remotely like what I experienced with my friend this week. The things people go through with new Windows computers makes me wonder how Microsoft has any marketshare left.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Lots of it
by Fergy on Thu 5th Jul 2018 16:08 UTC in reply to "Lots of it"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

The things people go through with new Windows computers makes me wonder how Microsoft has any marketshare left.

Games, Driversupport

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Lots of it
by Morgan on Thu 5th Jul 2018 22:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Lots of it"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Don't forget Enterprise, especially in government IT departments.

I honestly feel at this point Microsoft should give Windows 10 Home away for free, charge a minimal fee for Pro, and keep making all of their money off of Enterprise. They already generate enough revenue with those bundled/sponsored apps and games, along with all the telemetry they gather and sell that you can't turn off in a OS you paid for. The smart thing to do would be to trade the OS for your continued loss of privacy.

After all, it works for Google.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Lots of it
by moronikos on Thu 5th Jul 2018 19:13 UTC in reply to "Lots of it"
moronikos Member since:
2005-07-06

The vendors put that crud on there. Blame Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc., not Microsoft. The vendors claim their thin margins cause them to try to make more money by installing bloatware. It's unconscionable.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Lots of it
by darknexus on Thu 5th Jul 2018 20:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Lots of it"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not true anymore. Oh, the vendors put their crap in there too, but here's an exercise for you: install a fresh copy of Windows 10, then look at your start menu after it's connected to the internet. Do it in a virtual machine, if you need to be sure that OEMs aren't involved. Then look at all the crap you have. You will, I suspect, be quite surprised and outraged.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Lots of it
by leech on Fri 6th Jul 2018 07:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lots of it"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I think the trick maybe is to upgrade to Enterprise edition? I found some keys that seem to work on ebay...

Reply Score: 1

My declaration of freedom
by Dasher42 on Fri 6th Jul 2018 04:59 UTC
Dasher42
Member since:
2007-04-05

My declaration of freedom from bloatware consists of running Linux on my desktop and laptops, and LineageOS on my phones. I'd love to see KDE streamlined further, I can't wait for Genode/Sculpt to mature, and I want more open hardware - and I'm willing to choose a bit more utilitarian and initially fussy open source software for the overall freedom and smooth running.

Learning to de-bloat a Windows installation is really a small band-aid compared to that. Every time I try booting Windows 10 to run the occasional thing and then get woken by that machine waking from sleep at 3AM no matter what I did to tell it not to, I go back to open source user-oriented privacy-respecting systems with renewed insistence.

Manifestos are nice, but one thinks about operating systems because they're planning on taking action on this issue, no?

Reply Score: 1

Bloatware and Windows 10
by PhilB on Fri 6th Jul 2018 13:05 UTC
PhilB
Member since:
2007-02-09

Most of Windows10 is bloatware. Edge is Bloatware, the stupid tiles are bloatware, the Windows Store is bloatware, Cortana is bloatware.
There is a way around it thought, and it's called Windows 10 Entreprise LTSB.
All of the above have been removed.
Two issues with it:
One you can only get it with an enterprise license, so be a good friend with the IT guys at the office and;
Two there is no Windows Update on it, which means you have to re-install it from scratch every time a new version comes out.
The latest version is based on anniversary.
This thing is exactly what Windows 10 should be and it works very well. I've got it running on a HP Stream 14 with 2GB of RAM and a, kill me now, 32GB EMMC drive. bliss. For the browser I use Opera Dev edition.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Bloatware and Windows 10
by BluenoseJake on Fri 6th Jul 2018 22:20 UTC in reply to "Bloatware and Windows 10"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

you can also get it with an MSDN sub, if you want to pay 500 bucks. but you get everything but office and exchange, so it's a pretty good deal

Reply Score: 3