Byte Me Article 91 – Got a need for speed? – Delete junk software

-Got a need for speed? – Delete junk software

15 September, 2012

Would you buy a V8 car but forever drive it around with 4 of the plug leads missing?  This is effectively what happens to the performance of nearly every new ‘off the shelf’ PC or laptop that I see nowadays.  The retail solutions for everything from base model laptops to premium workstations have oodles of junk software installed – right out of the box.  So what is this junk software and what does it do?

Manufacturers are bundling this software so that when a customer is looking at a display computer that is running on the shelf they see heaps of pre-installed software titles.  This is used to entice the customer to hand over hard earned cash thinking that they are getting a great deal.  In reality this is far from the case.  Essential software such as Microsoft’s Office Suite and an Anti-virus is always installed in trial mode, so you then have to pay more after the initial purchase if you wish to use these products.  Non-essential software is also installed and is ‘given’ away with the computer.

2012-09-15 Byte Me Article 91 - Unnecessary Software

If we are to pretend that the manufacturer in this case is called DUMB then there will be Dumb phone home software, a Dumb customer satisfaction survey, Dumb update manager, Dumb software installer, Dumb backup scheduler, Dumb online storage client, Dumb facial recognition software, Dumb music player, Dumb file encryptor, Dumb photo editor, Dumb games, Dumb product browser etc.   Anyway the result of having all of this ‘Dumb’ software installed is that the computer will take twice as long to start up and will always run much slower than a similar spec machine without it.

When we get in a new laptop for sale my technicians spend around 2 to 3 hours uninstalling around 20 to 40 (depending on brand) individual pieces of software and installing the latest essential software such as Adobe reader, Adobe Flash Player, Java, the latest Microsoft Critical Updates and Patches, our Trend Micro Anti-virus and our Internet Security Suite.  We see then see a huge difference in the speed/power of the computer and it is also, importantly easier for the customer to drive.  It won’t ask the customer dozens of questions about how they want the junk software configured or activated. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 07 49 222 400.

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