The Windows 8 operating system is one of the most eagerly awaited software products from Microsoft in a long time now. A major part of this anticipation has to do with its revolutionary Metro UI that aims to provide a more seamless and user friendly operating experience.
Also making a fair bit of news is Microsoft’s announcement that an in-house developed bloatware removing program will also be offered with Windows 8 machines releasing later this year. This was conveyed by Microsoft’s company representative.
A New Direction for Microsoft
This revolutionary service will be offered by the small chain of exclusive Microsoft retail stores. At the moment around 21 of these retail stores are either in operation or in various stages of planning. This service will be branded the “Signature Package” and will cost $99.
When asked to offer more insights into the product, the Microsoft representative simply stated that the new program would eradicate all bloatware on a PC. The company’s website however, was more precise and detailed in its description of the service. It claimed that a Signature Upgrade will install all those programs and utilities that one chooses to have and remove all the unrequired ones. This will result in a faster, more secure and more efficient personal computing experience.
Not Entirely a New Idea
Although the approach of a Signature Upgrade might seem new to many, the move has its precedents. Microsoft also sells a range of desktops and notebooks through their online and retail stores that are highly optimized for better performance. These are sold under the branding ‘Signature Windows PCs’.
The Redmond, Washington based company sells such PCs completely free of all the typical sample software and trialware that tend to bog down new PCs. At the same time, these PCs also come loaded with many other programs from Microsoft’s now dead Windows Live brand. A good example is in the form of Security Essentials, which is Microsoft’s very own antivirus program.
The Problem with Bloatware
Bloatware, also known as trialware, refers to all the crippled software programs that are loaded onto PCs before they are shipped off to various stores. This habit of PC manufacturers is motivated by the belief that at least some of the buyers of those PCs will upgrade to a paid version of some of the software programs. Additionally, PC makers are also paid by creators of trialware and are also entitled to receive a part of the revenue generated from any user upgrading.
Limitation with This Approach
In spite of the Signature Package, Microsoft will still not be able to control what OEMs include in their machines. But there is hope that the Metro UI will bring this habit under check as it primarily depends upon the Windows Store for the distribution of all apps.
Microsoft has also announced the inclusion of two new features into Windows 8. This will be the tools of ‘Reset’ and ‘Refresh’, which will allow users to restore their PCs back to their original OEM state.
The practical effect of these features will be an interesting development to look forward to but that is not going to happen until the fourth quarter of this year at the very least.