Paul Thurrott makes a very good point in the latest Windows Weekly podcast (Episode 74 at time index 50:10). It hadn’t occurred to me until he mentioned it, but there is no crapware installed on a Mac. He makes the very good point that part of XP’s and Vista’s negative reputation is due to the fact that Microsoft has no control over how the OS is tuned or what crapware hardware manufacturers like Dell, HP etc. install on Windows machines.
Every time I set up a new PC (whether for myself or for friends and family), I spend hours removing the inevitable crapware. This is such an endemic problem that there are third party crapware removal tools like The PC Decrapifier available to assist with the problem. Most new PCs come with the CPU-cycle-sucking McAffee or Norton anti-virus software which also needs to be removed but which can’t be fully removed without registry editing skills (I recommend the free version of AVG). To make things worse, with most every peripheral my family and friends purchase, they inevitably install the crapware that comes with it, which almost never needs to be installed for the peripheral to function. Most of these ridiculously unnecessary programs sit in the system tray, always turned on, never needed, constantly sucking more and more life out of their poor XP or Vista OSs.
When I look back on my recent Mac Mini and iMac setup experiences, it was a delight turning them on and not having to deal with crapware – not having to deal with system performance degradation from the unnecessary use of system cycles – not having to uninstall anything. That’s how a users first experience with a computer should be.