Obviously, this does not forget the controversy that Lenovo got themselves into, but it is certainly the correct response (if they act how they imply). Adware and bloatware is common to find on consumer PCs, which makes the slowest of devices even more sluggish as demos and sometimes straight-up advertisements claim their share of your resources. This does not even begin to discuss the security issues that some of these hitchhikers drag in. Again, I refer you to the aforementioned controversy.
In response, albeit a delayed one, Lenovo has announced that, by the launch of Windows 10, they will only pre-install the OS and “related software”. Lenovo classifies this related software as drivers, security software, Lenovo applications, and applications for “unique hardware” (ex: software for an embedded 3D camera).
It looks to be a great step, but I need to call out “security software”. Windows 10 should ship with Microsoft's security applications in many regions, which really questions why a laptop provider would include an alternative. If the problem is that people expect McAfee or Symantec, then advertise pre-loaded Microsoft anti-malware and keep it clean. Otherwise, it feels like keeping a single finger in the adware take-a-penny dish.
At least it is not as bad as trying to install McAfee every time you update Flash Player. I consider Adobe's tactic the greater of two evils on that one. I mean, unless Adobe just thinks that Flash Player is so insecure that you would be crazy to install it without a metaphorical guard watching over your shoulder.
And then of course we reach the divide between “saying” and “doing”. We will need to see Lenovo's actual Windows 10 devices to find out if they kept their word, and followed its implications to a tee.
A small USB stick with maybe
A small USB stick with maybe 2, 4 to 8 GBs costs Lenovo peanuts. Putting whatever software on a small USB stick and giving the consumer the option to auto install everything with one click or choose what to install, would have been a much better move and truly differentiate them from the others. I am not talking of course about drivers and camera software, but having to uninstall security software or Lenovo applications doesn’t really differentiate Lenovo from others.
To someone who moves as many
To someone who moves as many units as Lenovo, it’d cost a heck of a lot more than peanuts to supply every unit with a USB stick.
Because they move around so
Because they move around so many, it will cost peanuts.
There is a much simpler alternative to the one I wrote. A shortcut on the desktop or at the start menu giving you the option to install all those programs or not. No USB needed.
No one who does assets
No one who does assets management is going to look at millions of dollars in unnecessary USB costs as peanuts. It gets worse when they lose on price premium because they no longer get kickbacks for bloatware.
No matter how you try to cut this up Lenovo is going to take a hit in the profits, and no business is going to do that unless there’s a long term gain. Which in this case isn’t going to happen.
A more cost effective
A more cost effective solution would be to just ship the laptop without bloatware and setup servers for download.
I do a clean install on every
I do a clean install on every laptop that I buy after I’ve powered it on, moaned about how slow it is & confirmed that everything works. Installation on a SSD with a custom 8.1 unattended install, WSUS offline updates & Ninite takes a couple of hours tops especially if you download the required drivers before the laptop arrives as I do. Given how quickly it can be done & that quite often uninstalling programs doesn’t always remove everything case in point Superfish, I really don’t see why anyone reading this would want to use the stock install. Doubt Lenovo’s statement will change much for me as “Lenovo applications” is potentially a very broad category.
The McAfee software that gets
The McAfee software that gets installed alongside FlashPlayer isn’t the active McAfee antivirus software you can buy off the shelf. It does a brief security scan (checks your firewall, that you have some sort of antivirus installed, etc). It also doesn’t run in the background in the same way an antivirus suite would.
That said — I think the act of bundling unrelated software along with another piece of software is stupid, and I wish companies would stop.
The damage is done and
The damage is done and they’ve shown what kind of business they want to conduct in my opinion, and I will never recommend or sell any Lenovo product.
I completely agree. Not more
I completely agree. Not more Lenovo products or Motorola phones and tablets since Lenovo purchased Motorola. Superfish might not affect their phones but I will Not supply Lenovo, a dirty Chinese company in this case, with any revenue whatsoever for the rest of my life.
So that means you will never
So that means you will never shop at walmart, CVS, Walgeeens, ETC. Those dirty American companies sure outsource a lot of their SKUs from those Dirty Chinese companies. For sure there are plenty of [insert favorite name of national based company here] to allow for all nations to have their share of dirty companies. In fact all companies are dirty, and only the proper laws(Properly enforced by the agencies that are supposed to enforce these laws) will keep the corporations from being even more dirty.
The entire PC/Laptop/mobile devices market, needs to have product labeling requirements, including complete hardware/software labeling/reporting requirements. Full specification sheets need to be on display, or available at all retail/internet stores, the listing of essential system software and added unessential software should be required, and the unessential software needs to be made an optional install, and/or be made to be completely uninstallable by the user, no locked in software.
Graphics driver software needs to be further labeled as updatable by the Laptop’s/PC’s/etc. OEM, or the maker of the GPU/whatever SOC/discrete GPU’s maker, those dirty OEM Laptop/etc. companies are not known for updating their OEM customized graphics drivers, lots of folks caught between a rock, and their graphics driver updates waiting for OEMs to update their Intel/etc. graphics drivers, that the OEM customized, and that the OEM is responsible for updating.
Ever tried to comparison shop for laptops and can not do so because the so called hardware specification of the device in incomplete. Those DDR RAM memory specs can be listed several ways, and some ads do not even list the full CPU/SOC make and model number, or specifications of the SOC’s integrated GPU. Shopping is a research nightmare for Laptops, and other devices. Lots of obfuscation in ads, and no complete specification sheets required.
Computing/Mobile computing devices need to have strict hardware/software specification/reporting requirements, no exceptions. The online Ad base industries, need to be watched and regulated for truth and accuracy, and that includes the benchmarking by device makers, and Independent/”Independent” reviews sites, to much ad revenue, review sample conflict of interests, or carrot or stick influence on the reviewers by device makers, these interests are complicating impartiality, these suppliers of ad revenue, and review samples, with their inherent conflict of interests/entanglements.
It may get to the point where a full approved suite of benchmarks will be required to be run/published for all testing of devices, to prevent the cheery picking of benchmark results. The tweaking of the benchmarking software, via compiler flags, and such, under compilers/SDKs will have to be watched, and maybe a standard compiler/software build will be required using a standardized compiler/SDK benchmarking software package, that does not play favorites to any makers’ hardware.
It may get to the point where manufactures will be required to use government approved and standardized hardware Testing apparatuses/Mules so that individual SOCs can be properly testing for individual power usage/performance standardized testing requirements, and manufactures will be required to use third party independent tasting facilities, and publish the results. Suppliers of review samples may be required to randomly choose a group of testers, who have applied in advance for a review sample, so the market could be assured of a fair and unbiased distribution of review samples.
Currently there are too many ways to game the system, and the consumer can not be assured of a fair and level playing field, without some form of standards for testing, specifications reporting, for hardware/software.
Edit: cheery picking
Edit: cheery picking
To: Cherry picking.
Although the cherry picker, may or may not be Cheery when doing the cherry picking, It depends of how much the cherry picker was paid!
I feel embarrassed.
I feel embarrassed.
I just got the name “Superfish”.
God I’m getting too old.
Autoruns is your friend. For
Autoruns is your friend. For controlling what starts up in windows. You can even configure it to scan all start up entries with VirusTotal.
It’s from Microsoft and it’s free. Get it.
So does this mean they will
So does this mean they will raise prices?
The reason companies install all this crapware in the first place is because they make little to no money on the hardware itself. Margins have fallen so much due to the PC price wars.
The companies get paid to include anti-virus and other pre-installed applications… it’s basically their only money-maker.
Lenovo claims that they
Lenovo claims that they didn't even receive much money from adware in the first place, so we'll see.
ANY software added beyond the
ANY software added beyond the OS and drivers is “crapware”.
Windows comes with security software that is good enough for most users and no one wants or needs manufacturers applications.
Lenovo’s loose wording can basically cover a vast array of un-required and potentially dangerous software.
I could perhaps settle for manufacturers providing a card with a link and serial number for users to choose whether to install additional vetted software or not as most users would not take the time and effort – but this would never happen as the software companies would never agree to it.
So the only way is to only buy from manufacturers who provide signature PC’s.
I really do think it is time for Microsoft to put their foot down and create a system that makes it financially beneficial for manufacturers to provide signature PC’s over crap infested computers.
If it costs the same (or less) for manufacturers to make a signature PC then it can only be good for Microsoft, the manufacturers and most importantly, for us the users.
The current system just hurts everyone and diminishes the whole Windows platform.