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Mac: No crapware, no charge [u]



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In the world according Jobs, user experience is king. From buying to setting up and ultimately using a Mac, people with big brains have put a lot of thought into the whole process and crapware isn't on the menu.

Call it a better way to sell computers or just simple respect, consumers are responding by buying a lot more Macs and giving Apple very high customer satisfaction (News.com) scores.

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The PC way...

Sony is perhaps emblematic of PC makers response to this rising tide—realizing that the crapware is negatively influencing user experience, they've begun offering computers without the hated software. The catch is, however, they expect an additional $150 (PCWorld) for the privilege.

The "Fresh Start" option, billed as a software optimization, costs US$50, and is only available to customers choosing to pay an additional $100 to upgrade the operating system to Windows Vista Business from the Windows Vista Home Premium edition offered as standard.

So, consumers wanting a Sony computer that isn't hobbled with performance draining, frustration inducing crapware can expect to pay through the nose to get it.

[u] Wired reports that Sony has dropped the $50 fee, but still requires buyers to upgrade to Vista biz to get the option to go crapless:

Fresh Start will now be a no-cost option on Sony's slick subnotebooks, but only for those who opt for Windows Vista Business Edition, a $100 upgrade. Most sites covering the $50 Fresh Start charge were incensed at the idea of being charged to leave malfunctioning and unwanted software off—and Sony has responded with a speed unusual for the international giant.

Yes, it can be argued that the no crapware cost is built into the price of every Mac—Apple's margins are among the highest in the business. Yet the superiority of the Mac experience isn't defined by a lack of crapware alone...

What's your take?

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