Blame DOJ for bad Vista startup experience

Walt Mossberg says his Vista startup experience was pretty horrid because of the tons of ads and other things that OEMs load onto the OS. They do that to try to make a few extra bucks on each machine sold. Microsoft can’t stop them because the DOJ made it impossible to push around the OEMs and keep them from ruining the startup experience.

Solution? Buy a Macintosh. Buy Parallels. Buy your own copy of Vista straight from Microsoft.

That’s what I did and I had none of that junk. I also paid a lot more than Walt did for his Sony.

I wish OEMs offered “Naked Vista” for, say, $50 more than if I took all the advertising. I would recommend such a machine to all my friends who can’t afford to go (or who don’t want to) go the Macintosh route.

Comments

  1. http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f9400/9495.htm

    Section 3, subsection A.

    I offered to go to Redmond to discuss the DOJ settlement on video. Rory initially invited me, but when I mentioned that I wanted to talk about the DOJ, he uninvited me.

    BTW, check out my web link, we now have hundreds of link-ins and redirects to our new service. Extra SLA. Don’t just get an SLA, get an Extra SLA.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=beryl&search=Search

    Here’s what you can upgrade to if you’re up to it.
    No spyware, no ads, no BS, and certainly no cost.

  2. http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f9400/9495.htm

    Section 3, subsection A.

    I offered to go to Redmond to discuss the DOJ settlement on video. Rory initially invited me, but when I mentioned that I wanted to talk about the DOJ, he uninvited me.

    BTW, check out my web link, we now have hundreds of link-ins and redirects to our new service. Extra SLA. Don’t just get an SLA, get an Extra SLA.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=beryl&search=Search

    Here’s what you can upgrade to if you’re up to it.
    No spyware, no ads, no BS, and certainly no cost.

  3. Or…..just buy whatever flavor of Vista you wish and run it natively. Since you can build a very good Vista machine for under $1000 that would be the route to go….

  4. Or…..just buy whatever flavor of Vista you wish and run it natively. Since you can build a very good Vista machine for under $1000 that would be the route to go….

  5. I see no reason to balme the DOJ. HP and others did this before Microsoft locked them off the desktop — HP even wanted to provide their own shell that they thought would be superior to Windows. Just because Microsoft wanted to prevent any installations of competitor’s software and make all of their own apps the defaults and the only one’s accessible does not move blame to DOJ.

    Also, people could have pre-installed apps that didn’t have ads (Microsoft creating a landscape where the OEM’s are commodities that need to grab for any penny they can created this issue, not the DOJ) and the cruft of extensive load times and annoying taskpane pop-ups is exclusively attributable to Microsoft’s architecture.

    Apple used to feature pre-installed software in the mid to late 90′s. I had Real, IE, Earthlink, AOL, (I believe) PC Doctor (or some similar equivalent), and a few other pieces of software pre-installed which did not alter the boot or startup experience.

  6. I see no reason to balme the DOJ. HP and others did this before Microsoft locked them off the desktop — HP even wanted to provide their own shell that they thought would be superior to Windows. Just because Microsoft wanted to prevent any installations of competitor’s software and make all of their own apps the defaults and the only one’s accessible does not move blame to DOJ.

    Also, people could have pre-installed apps that didn’t have ads (Microsoft creating a landscape where the OEM’s are commodities that need to grab for any penny they can created this issue, not the DOJ) and the cruft of extensive load times and annoying taskpane pop-ups is exclusively attributable to Microsoft’s architecture.

    Apple used to feature pre-installed software in the mid to late 90′s. I had Real, IE, Earthlink, AOL, (I believe) PC Doctor (or some similar equivalent), and a few other pieces of software pre-installed which did not alter the boot or startup experience.

  7. Goebbels: it is true that SOME OEMs did this kind of stuff before the DOJ lawsuit, but it’s gotten far worse since then. Back then Microsoft regularly tried to block OEMs from changing the startup experience from what Microsoft setup but now that’s totally impossible.

    Chris: if you’re gonna do that much work, might as well get a Mac. :-)

  8. Goebbels: it is true that SOME OEMs did this kind of stuff before the DOJ lawsuit, but it’s gotten far worse since then. Back then Microsoft regularly tried to block OEMs from changing the startup experience from what Microsoft setup but now that’s totally impossible.

    Chris: if you’re gonna do that much work, might as well get a Mac. :-)

  9. If one didn’t want a Mac, one could buy a PC, format the drive, and install a clean Vista (or other OS, for that matter).

  10. If one didn’t want a Mac, one could buy a PC, format the drive, and install a clean Vista (or other OS, for that matter).

  11. No, it is *NOT* DOJ to ‘blame’ it is the ones who made the piece of trash called ‘vista’….

    Sure, the extra SW is no fun, but easily wipeable…

    Vista is warmed over XP, and has the same security issues, just with a new face…..

  12. Scoble,

    You also bought a 17″ MacBook Pro. I priced a 2.33GHz Sony Vaio SZ with 160GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM. The price was $2,900. A 17″ MacBook Pro with the same specs is $2,800. Keep in mind that the Sony comes with a 13.3″ screen.

    I think it’s misleading to say that the Mac is (substantially) more expensive than the Sony. This price disparity (which actually favors the Mac) would be worse still if PC prices were not to some degree subsidized by the junkware that Mossberg complained about.

  13. No, it is *NOT* DOJ to ‘blame’ it is the ones who made the piece of trash called ‘vista’….

    Sure, the extra SW is no fun, but easily wipeable…

    Vista is warmed over XP, and has the same security issues, just with a new face…..

  14. Scoble,

    You also bought a 17″ MacBook Pro. I priced a 2.33GHz Sony Vaio SZ with 160GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM. The price was $2,900. A 17″ MacBook Pro with the same specs is $2,800. Keep in mind that the Sony comes with a 13.3″ screen.

    I think it’s misleading to say that the Mac is (substantially) more expensive than the Sony. This price disparity (which actually favors the Mac) would be worse still if PC prices were not to some degree subsidized by the junkware that Mossberg complained about.

  15. And how do you address the matter that it’s Windows architecture that affects load time and taskbare message panes? Or that the PC industry is competing this way because of the dynamic created by Microsoft? Or that Apple used to have extensive prebundling that did not produce these effects?

    (Just repeating that Microsoft wanted to own everything does nothing to refute what I said.)

  16. And how do you address the matter that it’s Windows architecture that affects load time and taskbare message panes? Or that the PC industry is competing this way because of the dynamic created by Microsoft? Or that Apple used to have extensive prebundling that did not produce these effects?

    (Just repeating that Microsoft wanted to own everything does nothing to refute what I said.)

  17. rory: if you think that Vista is only warmed over XP, that demonstrates you simply don’t know what you’re talking about. Vista has a completely rewritten networking stack. A completely rewritten audio stack. Substantial changes to UI. A built in search engine that actually works pretty well, unlike the ones I tried with XP, much better Tablet PC and Media Center features, and a ton of other stuff. And, it was completely recompiled with a new compiler that blocks buffer overruns. There’s a ton of security work that was done, too. Including that it’s not running in admin mode by default.

    But, no, it’s just “warmed over XP.” Yeah, right.

  18. rory: if you think that Vista is only warmed over XP, that demonstrates you simply don’t know what you’re talking about. Vista has a completely rewritten networking stack. A completely rewritten audio stack. Substantial changes to UI. A built in search engine that actually works pretty well, unlike the ones I tried with XP, much better Tablet PC and Media Center features, and a ton of other stuff. And, it was completely recompiled with a new compiler that blocks buffer overruns. There’s a ton of security work that was done, too. Including that it’s not running in admin mode by default.

    But, no, it’s just “warmed over XP.” Yeah, right.

  19. Goebbels: regarding startup times, on my Mac I don’t notice that big a difference between Vista and OSX’s startup times. OSX is a little faster, but it’s not that big a deal, at least to me.

  20. Goebbels: regarding startup times, on my Mac I don’t notice that big a difference between Vista and OSX’s startup times. OSX is a little faster, but it’s not that big a deal, at least to me.

  21. The crapware problem on the bulk of PCs is not MS or Apple’s fault. It the just the PC companies trying to increase their revenue and the expense of their customers. Plain and simple, any PC company could sell a PC without the crap and have a lower margin on it, but they consider their margin more important than their customer. Also this crapware problem has been around long before Vista, most XP machines were already full of it.
    Mark

  22. The crapware problem on the bulk of PCs is not MS or Apple’s fault. It the just the PC companies trying to increase their revenue and the expense of their customers. Plain and simple, any PC company could sell a PC without the crap and have a lower margin on it, but they consider their margin more important than their customer. Also this crapware problem has been around long before Vista, most XP machines were already full of it.
    Mark

  23. Vista can be fairly fast to boot, the problem though is the post logon process. If you have many services set to load after log on, you are in for some crawlage for a minute or more while all the dodgy Quicktime, iTunes, yadda yadda system tray icons trying to load up.

  24. Vista can be fairly fast to boot, the problem though is the post logon process. If you have many services set to load after log on, you are in for some crawlage for a minute or more while all the dodgy Quicktime, iTunes, yadda yadda system tray icons trying to load up.

  25. I find it interesting that Macs retain 80% of their value years after they are useless. Kind of like Sun gear. As soon as you walk out of the store with a PC it’s completely worthless.

    Sure you can run Linux on it and get use out of it after death, but it’s still junk as soon as you pass the cash register.

    That’s not debatable either, it’s a fact. If you buy a mac pro for 2k, there is a good chance you can get like 1200 back 2 years from now.

    You walk out of the store with a Sony, and you may as well pay to have the IT trash recyclers come by. I think that’s a law in California.

  26. Robert,

    Dell etc who sell their machines online could easily offer naked Vista. Like you have buttons to choose an upgraded Vista Dell could similarly offer an upgrade to Naked Vista. The good thing is that Dell could keep the money for this upgrade. Dell could price Naked Vista so that they make marginally higher profit than installing third party software. The long term benefit of having happier customer is a bonus.

    Now why Dell does not do it. I have no idea but if I am allowed to guess then may be that’s how their contract is signed with the third party software providers, such as Google.

    Manufacturers who do not sell computers through their websites could provide a executable file on a computer’s desktop. Running this executable file installs all kinds of third party software and at completion, creates a proof of successfully executing this file. The end user could mail/email this proof to get some discount on the machine.

    I am sure there could be several easy methods/innovations which are possible in this space. Why computer manufacturers do not do it is beyond my understanding. I would appreciate if you or your other readers could offer their thoughts.

    Disclaimer: The commentator is a senior researcher in Microsoft. These comments are solely his personal opinion.

  27. I find it interesting that Macs retain 80% of their value years after they are useless. Kind of like Sun gear. As soon as you walk out of the store with a PC it’s completely worthless.

    Sure you can run Linux on it and get use out of it after death, but it’s still junk as soon as you pass the cash register.

    That’s not debatable either, it’s a fact. If you buy a mac pro for 2k, there is a good chance you can get like 1200 back 2 years from now.

    You walk out of the store with a Sony, and you may as well pay to have the IT trash recyclers come by. I think that’s a law in California.

  28. Robert,

    Dell etc who sell their machines online could easily offer naked Vista. Like you have buttons to choose an upgraded Vista Dell could similarly offer an upgrade to Naked Vista. The good thing is that Dell could keep the money for this upgrade. Dell could price Naked Vista so that they make marginally higher profit than installing third party software. The long term benefit of having happier customer is a bonus.

    Now why Dell does not do it. I have no idea but if I am allowed to guess then may be that’s how their contract is signed with the third party software providers, such as Google.

    Manufacturers who do not sell computers through their websites could provide a executable file on a computer’s desktop. Running this executable file installs all kinds of third party software and at completion, creates a proof of successfully executing this file. The end user could mail/email this proof to get some discount on the machine.

    I am sure there could be several easy methods/innovations which are possible in this space. Why computer manufacturers do not do it is beyond my understanding. I would appreciate if you or your other readers could offer their thoughts.

    Disclaimer: The commentator is a senior researcher in Microsoft. These comments are solely his personal opinion.

  29. “but it’s not that big a deal, at least to me.”

    It’s part of the issue that Mossberg raises, and you’re blaming on the DOJ. I could care less if you don’t agree. What I disagree with is your response to Mossberg’s critique which is predicated on his critique.

  30. “but it’s not that big a deal, at least to me.”

    It’s part of the issue that Mossberg raises, and you’re blaming on the DOJ. I could care less if you don’t agree. What I disagree with is your response to Mossberg’s critique which is predicated on his critique.

  31. i.e Your saying: the DOJ is responsible for something that I don’t think is a problem.

  32. i.e Your saying: the DOJ is responsible for something that I don’t think is a problem.

  33. Goebbels: no, I’m saying a “naked” Vista machine boots up just fine. But once you load it up with all the crap then the boot times slow down. Now, you can blame that on Microsoft for having a bad architecture or you can blame it on the OEMs for loading a bunch of crap up before you even get the machine home.

    Either way, it’s a bad experience. If you said both deserve the blame, I’d agree with that.

  34. Goebbels: no, I’m saying a “naked” Vista machine boots up just fine. But once you load it up with all the crap then the boot times slow down. Now, you can blame that on Microsoft for having a bad architecture or you can blame it on the OEMs for loading a bunch of crap up before you even get the machine home.

    Either way, it’s a bad experience. If you said both deserve the blame, I’d agree with that.

  35. I want Vista… Oh no, my laptop is too “old” (well, 2 years old). I will buy a new laptop, Vista ready. Oh no, too expensive. I will keep my laptop. I will upgrade from Window$ XP to… Linux. No cost (only a learning curve). I will spare money and use it to go on holiday. I am a happy guy ;-))

  36. I want Vista… Oh no, my laptop is too “old” (well, 2 years old). I will buy a new laptop, Vista ready. Oh no, too expensive. I will keep my laptop. I will upgrade from Window$ XP to… Linux. No cost (only a learning curve). I will spare money and use it to go on holiday. I am a happy guy ;-))

  37. It’s not the DOJ’s fault. People keep buying machines, and not demanding that the OEM’s NOT load a bunch of crap on them. If you just bend over and take it, you can hardly blame someone for giving it to you.

    Note that Microsoft had NO problem with loading a bunch of crapware, as long as it was *microsoft* crapware. It was only when people wanted to load up OTHER people’s crapware that Microsoft got all whiny.

  38. It’s not the DOJ’s fault. People keep buying machines, and not demanding that the OEM’s NOT load a bunch of crap on them. If you just bend over and take it, you can hardly blame someone for giving it to you.

    Note that Microsoft had NO problem with loading a bunch of crapware, as long as it was *microsoft* crapware. It was only when people wanted to load up OTHER people’s crapware that Microsoft got all whiny.

  39. One of my friends at Microsoft says that Vista’s average boot time across all machines is 30 seconds. He said that Sony is having driver issues, which is making things worse.

    Interesting. One thing I’ve learned is never to buy machines that I don’t see when I visit Microsoft. There’s very few Sony’s there. I see lots of Dells. Lots of Macs (they are popular in Redmond). Lots of Toshibas. Lots of Lenovos. Lots of HPs. But rarely any Sony’s. Now I know why.

  40. One of my friends at Microsoft says that Vista’s average boot time across all machines is 30 seconds. He said that Sony is having driver issues, which is making things worse.

    Interesting. One thing I’ve learned is never to buy machines that I don’t see when I visit Microsoft. There’s very few Sony’s there. I see lots of Dells. Lots of Macs (they are popular in Redmond). Lots of Toshibas. Lots of Lenovos. Lots of HPs. But rarely any Sony’s. Now I know why.

  41. @18:
    And how much is your time worth?
    If you do $/hr. * hrs for the learning curve, are you sure that you’re saving money?

  42. @18:
    And how much is your time worth?
    If you do $/hr. * hrs for the learning curve, are you sure that you’re saving money?

  43. “no, I’m saying a “naked” Vista machine boots up just fine.”

    Which is not what Mossberg’s post was about and has nothing to do with the ability of OEM’s to legally pre-install apps.

    “Now, you can blame that on Microsoft for having a bad architecture or you can blame it on the OEMs for loading a bunch of crap up before you even get the machine home.”

    And neither would be the BLAME of the DOJ!

    “If you said both deserve the blame, I’d agree with that.”

    Which you didn’t say. You said something else, and I disagreed with that.

  44. “no, I’m saying a “naked” Vista machine boots up just fine.”

    Which is not what Mossberg’s post was about and has nothing to do with the ability of OEM’s to legally pre-install apps.

    “Now, you can blame that on Microsoft for having a bad architecture or you can blame it on the OEMs for loading a bunch of crap up before you even get the machine home.”

    And neither would be the BLAME of the DOJ!

    “If you said both deserve the blame, I’d agree with that.”

    Which you didn’t say. You said something else, and I disagreed with that.

  45. Robert…..

    sorry, it’s warmed over…. nothing new, nothing exciting, and nothing worth 5+ years and the $$ they spent on it….

    and, nobody is rushing to the store to purchase it… it is bloatware to the extreme, nothing new, and it’s “security” is being picked apart rapidly….

    Glad you have your Mac though – running a real and secure OS – and Parallels so when you have to, you can run windows…

  46. Robert…..

    sorry, it’s warmed over…. nothing new, nothing exciting, and nothing worth 5+ years and the $$ they spent on it….

    and, nobody is rushing to the store to purchase it… it is bloatware to the extreme, nothing new, and it’s “security” is being picked apart rapidly….

    Glad you have your Mac though – running a real and secure OS – and Parallels so when you have to, you can run windows…

  47. Crapware has always been a problem on PCs because they are open systems unlike Macs. In the old days prior to the DOJ settlement MS put the screws on vendors that tried to mess with what MS thought was the “Windows Experience”. But I have noticed that over the years on consumer PCs it has gotten worse. Couple that with programmers inexperienced with writing drivers and applications for Vista and things are going to be painfull in Vista land this year.

    Sadily the past couple of times I have had someone come crawling to me with a problem on their personal Windows machine the problem was… the third party antivirus software. One of them even told me I could not uninstall it as the administrator on an XP box. (Both times it was the same top tier vendor who shall remain nameless.)

    Another pet peeve of mine are apps that try to bring friends (like a searche engine toolbar) along or load little launcher apps that “improve performance” or “check for updates”. Those things are such a waste of memory, CPU cycles, and to make matters worse they build up like plaque on a inexperienced user’s system. Sometimes it gets so bad I just refuse to use the prodct anymore even if I need it. (The first RealOne player comes to mind, or when Apple tried to shove iTunes down my throat when all I really wanted was Quicktime)

    And that’s the problem with a PC design driven by costs and marketing hype. Face it most folks want the cheapest turkey stuffed with as many marketing checkboxs they can get. The people who know better make their own of buy from speciality vendors. Apple on the other hand is a little technology dictatorship on a pretty little island. Cute, clean, and friendly so long as you obey the laws and the dictatorship isn’t allowed to get much larger.

  48. Crapware has always been a problem on PCs because they are open systems unlike Macs. In the old days prior to the DOJ settlement MS put the screws on vendors that tried to mess with what MS thought was the “Windows Experience”. But I have noticed that over the years on consumer PCs it has gotten worse. Couple that with programmers inexperienced with writing drivers and applications for Vista and things are going to be painfull in Vista land this year.

    Sadily the past couple of times I have had someone come crawling to me with a problem on their personal Windows machine the problem was… the third party antivirus software. One of them even told me I could not uninstall it as the administrator on an XP box. (Both times it was the same top tier vendor who shall remain nameless.)

    Another pet peeve of mine are apps that try to bring friends (like a searche engine toolbar) along or load little launcher apps that “improve performance” or “check for updates”. Those things are such a waste of memory, CPU cycles, and to make matters worse they build up like plaque on a inexperienced user’s system. Sometimes it gets so bad I just refuse to use the prodct anymore even if I need it. (The first RealOne player comes to mind, or when Apple tried to shove iTunes down my throat when all I really wanted was Quicktime)

    And that’s the problem with a PC design driven by costs and marketing hype. Face it most folks want the cheapest turkey stuffed with as many marketing checkboxs they can get. The people who know better make their own of buy from speciality vendors. Apple on the other hand is a little technology dictatorship on a pretty little island. Cute, clean, and friendly so long as you obey the laws and the dictatorship isn’t allowed to get much larger.

  49. I don’t blame the DOJ, that’s silly. I don’t blame Microsoft, either. Heck, I don’t even “blame” the hardware vendors. Bottom line is all this extra crap is the price paid for a market that demands low-end $499 PCs and $699 laptops. Not a lot of margin there so the vendors make extra by striking these kinds of deals.

    Robert, The MBP hardware price is right in line (actually a little less) than the Sony hardware, and is arguably a better machine. In _your_ case you also needed Vista, but many, many (probably most) people would not, so your proposed solution would simply end at “buy a Macintosh”.

  50. I don’t blame the DOJ, that’s silly. I don’t blame Microsoft, either. Heck, I don’t even “blame” the hardware vendors. Bottom line is all this extra crap is the price paid for a market that demands low-end $499 PCs and $699 laptops. Not a lot of margin there so the vendors make extra by striking these kinds of deals.

    Robert, The MBP hardware price is right in line (actually a little less) than the Sony hardware, and is arguably a better machine. In _your_ case you also needed Vista, but many, many (probably most) people would not, so your proposed solution would simply end at “buy a Macintosh”.

  51. Blame de DOJ? Really? I blame Microsoft for getting the DOJ interested in the first place.

    If Microsoft hadn’t interfered so much with the OEMs, I think the DOJ would not have had a case to stand on.

    And if we’re talking about boot times, I also blame Microsoft for not getting hibernation/standby to work right all the time (although I have to admit most of my bad experience in that area comes from XP).

    It’s actually one of the things that makes me use my Mac much more often than my Windows PC: If my Mac comes back from sleep in 3 seconds every single time without a hiccup, why would I want to wait for the PC to boot?

    I agree with the rest though: there are many ways you can get your computer to boot faster (for instance, by removing all the crap the OEMs put there in the first place).

  52. Blame de DOJ? Really? I blame Microsoft for getting the DOJ interested in the first place.

    If Microsoft hadn’t interfered so much with the OEMs, I think the DOJ would not have had a case to stand on.

    And if we’re talking about boot times, I also blame Microsoft for not getting hibernation/standby to work right all the time (although I have to admit most of my bad experience in that area comes from XP).

    It’s actually one of the things that makes me use my Mac much more often than my Windows PC: If my Mac comes back from sleep in 3 seconds every single time without a hiccup, why would I want to wait for the PC to boot?

    I agree with the rest though: there are many ways you can get your computer to boot faster (for instance, by removing all the crap the OEMs put there in the first place).

  53. I made a mistake in my previous comment (#23). It is directed at Gus (#19).

    Sorry about that, Robert.

  54. I made a mistake in my previous comment (#23). It is directed at Gus (#19).

    Sorry about that, Robert.

  55. it’s actually one of the things that makes me use my Mac much more often than my Windows PC: If my Mac comes back from sleep in 3 seconds every single time without a hiccup, why would I want to wait for the PC to boot?

    Um, cuz you might be a 37 yr old gamer?

    *weeps

  56. it’s actually one of the things that makes me use my Mac much more often than my Windows PC: If my Mac comes back from sleep in 3 seconds every single time without a hiccup, why would I want to wait for the PC to boot?

    Um, cuz you might be a 37 yr old gamer?

    *weeps

  57. “I find it interesting that Macs retain 80% of their value years after they are useless.”

    I am running Mac OS X 10.4.9 (the latest), along with all of the latest iLife apps, Photoshop CS2, and Final Cut Pro 5. Tons of extra utilities installed as well.

    This is all on a 400MHz G4 tower purchased in the year 2000, with only 512MB of RAM. My system starts up from a cold boot in less than 30 seconds, and all of the above programs work perfectly acceptably, and except when doing things like rendering, I am rarely waiting for the computer.

    Explain to me again where you think is the point where Macs become ‘useless’?

    Wondering why Macs retain their value so much better than PCs? There is your answer. Try running Windows Vista on a 400MHz machine.

  58. “I find it interesting that Macs retain 80% of their value years after they are useless.”

    I am running Mac OS X 10.4.9 (the latest), along with all of the latest iLife apps, Photoshop CS2, and Final Cut Pro 5. Tons of extra utilities installed as well.

    This is all on a 400MHz G4 tower purchased in the year 2000, with only 512MB of RAM. My system starts up from a cold boot in less than 30 seconds, and all of the above programs work perfectly acceptably, and except when doing things like rendering, I am rarely waiting for the computer.

    Explain to me again where you think is the point where Macs become ‘useless’?

    Wondering why Macs retain their value so much better than PCs? There is your answer. Try running Windows Vista on a 400MHz machine.

  59. The main reason the PC makers do this is that they’re running on such dismal margins that they really can’t afford to pass up any additional revenue stream, no matter how much it irritates their customers. MS and Dell are primarily to blame for this; Dell for starting the race to the bottom, and MS for sucking off nearly all of the profit in the PC/Windows business.

    Give it another year, and they’ll be pre-loading porn spam for a dollar per machine, and taking money under the table to preinstall zombie-net worms.

    Face it people, you waited six years for more of the same, and windows will only get worse. The MS brain-drain began in earnest when Ballmer got the big chair, and has been accelerating each year as the stock price stayed flat. It’s going to take a decade or more for MS to collapse, but the days of their dominance are numbered.

    Their one possible hope is for someone like Larry Ellison or Lew Platt to replace Ballmer, but who would even want that gig?

  60. The main reason the PC makers do this is that they’re running on such dismal margins that they really can’t afford to pass up any additional revenue stream, no matter how much it irritates their customers. MS and Dell are primarily to blame for this; Dell for starting the race to the bottom, and MS for sucking off nearly all of the profit in the PC/Windows business.

    Give it another year, and they’ll be pre-loading porn spam for a dollar per machine, and taking money under the table to preinstall zombie-net worms.

    Face it people, you waited six years for more of the same, and windows will only get worse. The MS brain-drain began in earnest when Ballmer got the big chair, and has been accelerating each year as the stock price stayed flat. It’s going to take a decade or more for MS to collapse, but the days of their dominance are numbered.

    Their one possible hope is for someone like Larry Ellison or Lew Platt to replace Ballmer, but who would even want that gig?

  61. Like Mr. Mossberg, I recently purchased a Sony Vaio laptop in the SZ series (sz430n/b). It came preloaded with Vista Business, which one would expect to come with less consumer-oriented crud. But indeed there was a whole host of material including the four complete movies that Walt spoke of. The laptop did NOT come with a Vista DVD. Instead, there was a “recover partition” which could be burned to two DVD-Rs.

    I burned the recover discs with the idea of doing a clean install. There was no clean install in sight. The Sony recover discs wanted to install all the junkware that came pre-installed. To make matters worse, things did not re-install cleanly — there were errors, which affected the system’s stability.

    What a horrible out-of-the-box experience from Sony. I had an available clean copy of Vista Business, which I then installed, but a non-IT user wouldn’t have the same access and would have a computer crippled with loads of garbage.

    My new laptop is sleek, small, and fast, but it took an extra effort to set it up adequately. Congrats to Walt for calling out Sony, Dell, and others for this negative practice.

  62. Like Mr. Mossberg, I recently purchased a Sony Vaio laptop in the SZ series (sz430n/b). It came preloaded with Vista Business, which one would expect to come with less consumer-oriented crud. But indeed there was a whole host of material including the four complete movies that Walt spoke of. The laptop did NOT come with a Vista DVD. Instead, there was a “recover partition” which could be burned to two DVD-Rs.

    I burned the recover discs with the idea of doing a clean install. There was no clean install in sight. The Sony recover discs wanted to install all the junkware that came pre-installed. To make matters worse, things did not re-install cleanly — there were errors, which affected the system’s stability.

    What a horrible out-of-the-box experience from Sony. I had an available clean copy of Vista Business, which I then installed, but a non-IT user wouldn’t have the same access and would have a computer crippled with loads of garbage.

    My new laptop is sleek, small, and fast, but it took an extra effort to set it up adequately. Congrats to Walt for calling out Sony, Dell, and others for this negative practice.

  63. Who’s fault is it that OEMs don’t include a Windows cd anymore?

    Answer: They only include “restore cds” because Microsoft is worried about piracy. So thanks MICROSOFT.

    BTW the DoJ’s actions on Microsoft are laughable. Just as much an illegal, abusive monopoly as it ever was.

  64. Who’s fault is it that OEMs don’t include a Windows cd anymore?

    Answer: They only include “restore cds” because Microsoft is worried about piracy. So thanks MICROSOFT.

    BTW the DoJ’s actions on Microsoft are laughable. Just as much an illegal, abusive monopoly as it ever was.

  65. BTW, why don’t you qualify “windows genuine advantage”, “windows activation”, windows search sending results to microsoft, WMP drm, etc as crapware? MICROSOFT lovingly includes it all in a default Windows install.

  66. BTW, why don’t you qualify “windows genuine advantage”, “windows activation”, windows search sending results to microsoft, WMP drm, etc as crapware? MICROSOFT lovingly includes it all in a default Windows install.

  67. Robert…..

    sorry, it’s warmed over…. nothing new, nothing exciting, and nothing worth 5+ years and the $$ they spent on it….

    and, nobody is rushing to the store to purchase it… it is bloatware to the extreme, nothing new, and it’s “security” is being picked apart rapidly….

    Glad you have your Mac though – running a real and secure OS – and Parallels so when you have to, you can run windows…

    Comment by rory — April 6, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

    This is just why I will never own a MAC, these Fool MAC fans always spouting off with attitude and nobody usually listening.

  68. Robert…..

    sorry, it’s warmed over…. nothing new, nothing exciting, and nothing worth 5+ years and the $$ they spent on it….

    and, nobody is rushing to the store to purchase it… it is bloatware to the extreme, nothing new, and it’s “security” is being picked apart rapidly….

    Glad you have your Mac though – running a real and secure OS – and Parallels so when you have to, you can run windows…

    Comment by rory — April 6, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

    This is just why I will never own a MAC, these Fool MAC fans always spouting off with attitude and nobody usually listening.

  69. Robert says (commenting on *VISTA*)

    “Nothing exciting, huh? Well, Outlook 2007 is still better than Gmail. It’s the one thing that’s keeping me in Windows.”

    Robert, are you saying that Outlook 2007 comes with Vista….?

    *HELLOOOO MCFLY !!!!!! ****

  70. Robert says (commenting on *VISTA*)

    “Nothing exciting, huh? Well, Outlook 2007 is still better than Gmail. It’s the one thing that’s keeping me in Windows.”

    Robert, are you saying that Outlook 2007 comes with Vista….?

    *HELLOOOO MCFLY !!!!!! ****

  71. I recently purchased a refurbished macbook from Apple’s online store. Intel core 2 duo, DVD burner, $849 bucks with the same warrantee as a “new” machine.
    (www.apple.com/store – click on the SAVE tag on the middle right of the page)

    I loaded XP in parallels to run my Windows apps. Total cost with tax, under a grand. I now get access to 100% of the software available on the planet. All of windows apps, all of apple’s apps.

    Why more people don’t see this as a possible solution is beyond me. It’s a tool, simply a tool. Currently, Apple offers me a tool that enables me to do anything I want. Sony, Dell, and the rest don’t.

    We used to smack apple users down regarding them not being able to use 90% of the software available on the planet. Well, Steve Jobs heard us and now Windows only users are left out in the cold regarding being able to use apple apps. And believe me – they’re nice.

  72. I recently purchased a refurbished macbook from Apple’s online store. Intel core 2 duo, DVD burner, $849 bucks with the same warrantee as a “new” machine.
    (www.apple.com/store – click on the SAVE tag on the middle right of the page)

    I loaded XP in parallels to run my Windows apps. Total cost with tax, under a grand. I now get access to 100% of the software available on the planet. All of windows apps, all of apple’s apps.

    Why more people don’t see this as a possible solution is beyond me. It’s a tool, simply a tool. Currently, Apple offers me a tool that enables me to do anything I want. Sony, Dell, and the rest don’t.

    We used to smack apple users down regarding them not being able to use 90% of the software available on the planet. Well, Steve Jobs heard us and now Windows only users are left out in the cold regarding being able to use apple apps. And believe me – they’re nice.

  73. Scoble,

    Staying with a platform for just one program is nuts, IMO. I understand you like Outlook, but surely there is something that can manage you mail for you. Just settle for 90% and get off the MS plaform totally.

    I’m a hair away from getting a Mac, but I’m waiting to see what new hardware is going to be released with Leopard first.

    I would love to have the black MacBook with 2GB RAM. That should run Leopard no problem. But, I want to see what’s new hardware-wise first.

  74. Scoble,

    Staying with a platform for just one program is nuts, IMO. I understand you like Outlook, but surely there is something that can manage you mail for you. Just settle for 90% and get off the MS plaform totally.

    I’m a hair away from getting a Mac, but I’m waiting to see what new hardware is going to be released with Leopard first.

    I would love to have the black MacBook with 2GB RAM. That should run Leopard no problem. But, I want to see what’s new hardware-wise first.

  75. @26 “Nothing exciting, huh? Well, Outlook 2007 is still better than Gmail. It’s the one thing that’s keeping me in Windows.”

    Huh? First off, the topic is Vista, not Office 2007. Last I checked, Outlook 2007 didn’t come bundled with Vista. Also, I believe, Office 2007 can run on XP. So….what’s your point? Finally, I can bring my GMail into Outlook, so I don’t think GMail was ever intending to compete with Outlook 2007. Outlook doesn’t really care what email back end you use. So…….again, what’s your point?

  76. @26 “Nothing exciting, huh? Well, Outlook 2007 is still better than Gmail. It’s the one thing that’s keeping me in Windows.”

    Huh? First off, the topic is Vista, not Office 2007. Last I checked, Outlook 2007 didn’t come bundled with Vista. Also, I believe, Office 2007 can run on XP. So….what’s your point? Finally, I can bring my GMail into Outlook, so I don’t think GMail was ever intending to compete with Outlook 2007. Outlook doesn’t really care what email back end you use. So…….again, what’s your point?

  77. “Nothing exciting, huh? Well, Outlook 2007 is still better than Gmail. It’s the one thing that’s keeping me in Windows.”

    Are you kidding? I use Entourage at work where we use an Exchange server. I can set up the configuration in a minute, including the LDAP config. Now, I may not be a Windows geek, but it took me calling tech support to set up the Exchange connection in Outlook 2007 on a Windows XP laptop.

    I have to go to the Mail icon in the Control Panel first? It was ridiculous.

    And I am sure Outlook has a lot more “features” than Entourage (well, blame MS for that), but it is a confusing jungle trying to just get mail. I would rather use Entourage any day of the week. I can’t even pass my pointer over anything in Outlook w/o getting some stupid pop-up box. It is unbelievably frustrating. The very reason I use a Mac, because it leaves me alone.

    Outlook is what is keeping you on Windows? Good luck with that.

  78. “Nothing exciting, huh? Well, Outlook 2007 is still better than Gmail. It’s the one thing that’s keeping me in Windows.”

    Are you kidding? I use Entourage at work where we use an Exchange server. I can set up the configuration in a minute, including the LDAP config. Now, I may not be a Windows geek, but it took me calling tech support to set up the Exchange connection in Outlook 2007 on a Windows XP laptop.

    I have to go to the Mail icon in the Control Panel first? It was ridiculous.

    And I am sure Outlook has a lot more “features” than Entourage (well, blame MS for that), but it is a confusing jungle trying to just get mail. I would rather use Entourage any day of the week. I can’t even pass my pointer over anything in Outlook w/o getting some stupid pop-up box. It is unbelievably frustrating. The very reason I use a Mac, because it leaves me alone.

    Outlook is what is keeping you on Windows? Good luck with that.

  79. speaking of OEMs bundling crapware, Dell is the biggest offender, by bundling the bloated Google Desktop garbage on every desktop. *blech*

  80. speaking of OEMs bundling crapware, Dell is the biggest offender, by bundling the bloated Google Desktop garbage on every desktop. *blech*