Last week PC World had reported that Sony was going to charge a $50 fee for removing bloatware aka crapware from their systems if a consumer opted for the procedure. Called ‘Fresh Start’ by the folks at Sony, the $49.95 fee would help offset the cost of providing the consumer with a clean, lean, fighting machine without the junk and gunk. Sony has now reported via an article at Wired that they have changed their policy. The article states that:

Responding to a tidal wave of outrage, Sony has reversed a plan to charge $50 to remove all the pre-installed applications — often derided as “bloatware” or “craplets” — from its high-end TZ-series notebooks.

Earlier today, PC World reported that Sony would charge $50 for a configuration option called “Fresh Start,” which would not include the bloatware. When contacted by Gadget Lab, a spokesperson for Sony said that the company will now remove that charge.

“There will be no charge for Fresh Start,” said the spokesman.

Like many notebook manufacturers, Sony preloads its notebooks with anti-virus, anti-spyware and other useful software. Problems arise when such applications swiftly expire, offer limited functionality, or result in poor system performance–or when there is simply so much of it that it cannot be easily removed.

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.

“It’s clear that it’s an unpopular thing to have that much crapware on your system,” said Richard Shim, an IDC analyst, before the company’s reversal. “But Sony’s move makes people feel like a pawn between manufacture and software provider. The feeling is you’re being exploited, like someone’s making money off our your own personal pain in the butt.”

It is good to see that Sony has come to their senses and have bowed to consumer pressure.

Comments welcome.

Wired article is here.

PS As a reminder here you can get the latest download of the PC Decrapifier

[tags]pc world, wired, sony, fee, remove, bloatware, crapware, change, [/tags]