Is a crapware-free PC worth an extra $50?

  • Opinion – A “Fresh Start” is something many users give their PCs anyway once in a while. But why exactly would you need a Fresh Start with a new PC. Sony is offering that option for a $50 premium – and promises that you won’t get hit with loads of crapware in return.  

    A reader directed us to this post over at Engadget, which apparently was covering this new configuration option for Sony’s TZ200 Vaio notebook first. Of course, paying extra for having bloatware, sometimes also referred to as crapware, removed from your new PC is sure to cause a fair amount of outrage, but there is a positive side to this offer as well.

    Think about the fact that notebooks today sell for less than $1000 and sometimes close to the $500 range. Of course someone has to pay for the design and development of the device, for its production, shipping and marketing. There isn’t much margin left in $500 and pretty much all vendors are using a model of software advertising on your new PC. In exchange for that cheap PC you will have to agree to deal with loads of crapware, which will cost you a few hours to get rid of. Paying 50 bucks for having it removed sounds reasonable to me.

    Of course, the inclusion of this software is a different kind of story when it is installed oin a rather expensive notebook above the $1000 mark or, in this case, a notebook that starts at $1900. We are not sure, if it is convincing to buyers that a “clean” notebook in this class should cost extra.

    The option is explained on Sony’s site as follows:

    “Opt for a Fresh Start and your VAIO PC will undergo a system optimization service where specific VAIO applications, trial software and games are removed from your unit prior to shipment. Fresh Start safely scrubs your PC to free up valuable hard drive space and conserve memory and processing power while maximizing overall system performance right from the start.”

    Update 7:52 PM EDT: A reader notified us that Sony will be making the “upgrade” available free of charge starting February 22.

    What is your take? Would you pay extra for this “Fresh Start”?