$60 to keep crapware off of a Windows PC?

Earlier today Slashdot pointed me to a CBC article citing unnamed sources at Microsoft decrying the state of “craplets” on PCs. Just what are craplets? It’s a cute nickname for all of the software an OEM installs on your new Windows PC before it arrives on your doorstep. Think: 2 or 3 ISP sign-up applications, instant messengers out the wazoo, and software for updating all of this software. And a lot more. Check out the CBC article for more basic details on what craplets are and why they make people, including Microsoft, angry.

Why do we get craplets on our machines? The answer, as you probably could already guess, is that OEMs make money from crapware (a collective term for all craplets). Companies like RealNetworks or JASC Software will pay to have their applications (say, PaintShop Pro) pre-installed on a PC. It’s even more lucrative, sources tell us, when these applications can be established as default handlers for as many file types as possible. It’s advertising, OEM-style.

This is also partially how Microsoft got into trouble back in the days of Netscape vs. IE. Telling OEMs what to do turned out not to be as kosher as Microsoft thought, and they got a hand upside the head for it. Microsoft now complains that this puts them in the position of not being able to do anything about crapware.

View: Full Story Via: ArsTechnia