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Security experts call for halt to PC 'crapware' after Lenovo debacle

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 23, 2015
Security professionals called on Lenovo and other PC makers to stop the practice of loading third-party software on new PCs.

"Yes, 'significant,'" countered Storms.

"The amount of pre-installed software on computers has been out of control for years," Storms added. "Every grandma who gets a new computer would never be able to remove all the so-called helpful apps installed, from browser toolbars to picture editing apps and even time-crippled AV [antivirus] software. When you get a new computer it should spanking brand new and clean."

Some PC sellers have used crapware-free machines as a tool. Microsoft, for instance, has long sold a line it's dubbed "Signature Edition," third-party personal computers that come with "no junkware or trialware."

That should be the default, not the exception, said Westin, who saw a ray of hope from Lenovo's blunder.

"The silver lining here is that people are paying attention to the security and privacy concerns about bloatware," Westin said. "Maybe a few years ago this would have all gone unnoticed."

 

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