Ed Bott has a post on how he fixed a Sony Vaio running Vista, when the user had dismissed it as an unusable brick. Bott reasoned that it was all to do with drivers, configuration, and unnecessary pre-installed applications. He proved his point, making the machine usable. The owner made a video about what he thought of the reconfigured machine. Key points:
1. He thought it was much improved
2. He’s sticking with the Mac as his primary machine
The problem wasn’t only that Sony originally stuffed the machine with unwanted trialware. Bott’s new install also benefited from Service Pack 1 and a bunch of updated drivers.
Still, it’s a good demonstration of how big manufacturers like Sony have neglected the user experience for the sake of a few pennies of royalty, or a quicker rush to market, and in doing so lost both sales and credibility. The public mood on this has changed, perhaps because both Apple and the Linux folk are offering better alternatives in this respect.
Incidentally, all my Vista installs have been clean installs, so I haven’t personally suffered from death by trialware, though I have seen it frequently on other machines. Consumer products are worse than those aimed at businesses, but both categories are affected.