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Sony offers to sell you a new computer without trial software, adds to price [UPDATED]

sony_vaio_fresh_start

Whenever you buy a new computer from Sony, HP, Dell, etc, you end up getting a lot of extra software you don’t want pre-installed, ready to bog down your PC experience.

Sometimes called “crapware”, these trial versions are the bane of many new PC buyers existence.

Sony is trying something different and allowing you to choose what they call a “Fresh Start” configuration where all the extra garbage is NOT pre-installed and your computer “will undergo a system optimization service where specific VAIO application, trial software and games are removed from your unit prior to shipment.”

Nice idea, but there’s a catch–its currently only available on the TZ2000 and it will cost you $49.99.

Laptop Mag said in a review of the Sony VAIO TZ that it ran “as if it were broken” before they wiped the hard drive and started over, and Engadget’s Sony UX UMPC crashed with a bluescreen the very first time they turned it on.

Crapware related? Good chance.

Software publishers pay PC makers to pre-install their apps so to not include them would cost PC makers a tiny amount of money, but should this cost be passed on to consumers? Should you have to pay an extra $49.99 to get a brand new computer that is fast and stable? Ummm….my vote is no.

UPDATE: Wow, that was fast…Engadget is reporting that Sony Japan was surprised by the fee as well and have asked for it to be removed, so beginning tomorrow the Fresh Start option will be free.  No word yet on whether or not there will be refunds for those who have already paid the fee.

[Via Engadget]

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