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Applications & OS News

Microsoft Shows Off New Bloatware-Free PCs

Kevin McLaughlin
software

On Tuesday, TechFlash reported that the so-called "Microsoft Signature PCs" come from Sony, HP, Dell, Acer and Lenovo and are pre-loaded with Microsoft Security Essentials, Silverlight, Bing 3D Maps, Zune 4.0, and the Windows Live Essentials suite.

Bloatware, also known in less polite circles as crapware, has been linked to sluggish PC performance, and IT professionals often spend hours to eliminate it from machines. Bloatware is one of vendors' favorite sledgehammers for selling products, and OEMs have been shameless in allowing it to proliferate on the PCs they sell.

Microsoft, cognizant that it has zero margin for error with Windows 7, may have decided that Signature PCs are a way to show customers how PCs should look when customers open the box. Or, as others have speculated, Signature PCs could give Microsoft a way to get Windows Live onto PCs without attracting the attention of antitrust authorities.

Signature PCs could also be a sign of what Microsoft hopes to achieve with its oddly timed entry to the unforgiving world of retail. Microsoft's partner ecosystem has give it flexibility and diversity in terms of products and features, but in its retail environments Microsoft is looking to duplicate the experience of Apple stores, which are shrines to the total control Apple exerts over its products.

Microsoft is going to have to work to make the retail stores memorable, and offering PCs without common annoyances like bloatware looks like a good way to start.

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