Not everyone needs a flat out uber PC and I have just got my mum to buy an atom powered desktop from Ace (aspire Revo)..
It’s just a big bigger than my router and it very quiet. More importantly it’s all mum needs for a bit of surfing type an occasional document and keep up to date with e-mail from her friends and family. Finally it cost about half of what the old one did without allowing for inflation.
It came with Vista, and I was surprised how long it took to start up, that is until I looked at what was installed on it…
There’s a lot of redundant stuff here and simply ripping all this stuff out cut the boot time to under half of what it was. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with any particular item of software in this list it’s simply that my mum won’t need the games, Adobe Reader, anti-Virus etc. So I spent about an hour tidying up the mess and now the machine comes to life in about 30 seconds, which still beats her old XP machine. However with sleep and hibernate she won’t need to do this so often.
In America CostCo will strip your new machine down to the bare operating system for an extra $50. However I am in the UK part of the EU, I mention this because when Windows 7 ships in the EU it won’t include Internet Explorer for compliance reasons. So this initial setup is going to be even more fun as the manufacturer’s (OEM’s) like Acer can choose which browser to install so you might see just one or a selection in this list and internet explorer might well not be there at all.
This choice is great if you know what you’re doing, and deals between software houses and these OEMs may mean that new PCs are a little cheaper if they come shipped with all this stuff, but it doesn’t look like a lot of fun for the casual users out there.
I don’t see an immediate answer to this problem of choice and complexity, except that it is a great opportunity for IT professionals to some community service or run a service like the CostCo one I mentioned earlier. A final thought might be to do what my friend James does by starting with a clean sheet and do a fast clean install from a USB stick and this post of his explains how to do this
It would be much better if OEMs put a welcome centre, similar to Windows Vista/7, containing ClickOnce links to downloadable software.
That way, it is easier for users to get an app if they want it and probably gives the publisher more visibility than a small desktop/start menu link.
Obviously, it would also mean less "crapware" actually being installed and world also reduce the security attack vectors
I read about one PC manufacturer considering implementing this a good few months ago but can't remember who it was
Compleltey agree and that's what we do here. But we would also fall foul of EU regulation if we try to mandate what OEMs can and can't do so we just try to encourage and suggest.