Got word this morning that starting in the next few months, Sony’s going to be offering computers free of bloatware and trialware. Amen and thanks for listening. The amount of crud on a new Sony computer has gotten out of hand as of late and refreshingly, Sony’s listened and will begin offering the option to have your rig shipped out clean. Details are sparse at this point but I’ll be talking to the guy who made the initial announcement and will try to get some more information out of him.
[UPDATE] Talked to Mike Abary, senior vice president of Sony’s Information Technology Products Division and he told me that the default first-time boot process will be much more streamlined, starting with Sony’s spring lineup. It’ll basically be a five-step process consisting of your wireless setup, security options, other software options, registration, and then a final overview.
The “other software options” will be where you’ll be able to select what trialware will ultimately end up on your machine. You can deselect everything at this stage.
For custom-built machines purchased from SonyStyle.com, you have the option of removing any trialware offers from the disk image completely, so as to make that “other software options” section unneeded.
Finally, you’ll also have the option to have any computer you buy at a Sony retail store setup for you by a technician. The tech will ask you what you want and don’t want on your new machine and will then complete the initial boot stuff for you. The service will be called “image optimization.”
Abary said that Sony decided to keep certain trialware products as options because they’ve seen trialware to full-version purchases of up to 20% of Sony computer owners, depending on the software. I’d guess that it’d be Norton Antivirus or something similar. So Abary says that there are still some people who actually buy the stuff, and it’s enough people that Sony’s opted to keep the trial stuff around.