I know it’s hard to believe after my spit take on the new Google internets and my resounding yawn in the face of Gmail chatting, but in general I really like Google. Or at least I did until it started spending billions on stupid ideas.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me tell you the other reason why I think this new Dell/Google deal to get Google software pre-installed on new Dell computers is bad news. Henry Blodget has already covered the financial side of things.
It’s bad news because the very last thing in the world- and I mean the very last thing- Dell needs to do is pre-install more bloatware on its computers. There are far too many trial versions and thinly disguised ads on new Dells now. Dell has been criticized for this before. In fact, excessive bloatware is one of the reasons I stopped buying Dells (and other brands) and started building my own computers.
Here are a couple of rules that should be mandatory for every computer manufacturer:
1) Except for a very few major things like anti-virus and anti-spyware programs, don’t pre-install any trial versions or other disguised ads on new computers. Either give us a the full, non-crippled, non-expiring version of something or don’t give us anything. No one believes this is anything other than a disguised ad.
2) Other than an internet browser, don’t pre-install anything that we can download for free off the internet. I probably don’t want that stuff and it’s easier to add what I want than to remove a ton of bloatware. This applies to the Google software that will be stuffed down our throats under this new arrangement.
I use and love the Google Toolbar. But I prefer X-1 (even though I have to pay for it) over Google’s desktop search. And just because Google will pay Dell to pre-install a bunch of junk that third party vendors pay Google to include in the bloatware package doesn’t mean it should be stuffed onto my new computer.
Everybody gets paid in this caper except for the person who pays for the computer. He or she has to either spend hours removing or pay some computer geek to remove all the stuff he or she doesn’t want. It’s an entire industry designed to screw over computer buyers in the name of a few dollars. Anyone who thinks this is about helping the consumer is living in Google fantasy land.
And don’t even get me started about the Google Pack. If I want that stuff (most of which I most definitely don’t), I’ll go get it. Do not pre-install any of that stuff on my computer. None of it.
The Dell/Google deal is a bad idea for Google (too expensive) and for consumers (even more bloatware). Dell, of course, makes out like a bandit, but at the expense of its customers.