Laptops: Unboxed but not unabused

[WP_IMAGE] It's Springtime and that means new laptops. A fresh crop of performance beauties are in the lab and I've been having fun with the new hardware. I'm not having so much fun with the software that comes on these systems. Fortunately, nearly all enterprise users get a laptop that has been imaged

2011-04-28 blog01

[WP_IMAGE]

It's Springtime and that means new laptops. A fresh crop of performance beauties are in the lab and I've been having fun with the new hardware.

I'm not having so much fun with the software that comes on these systems.

Fortunately, nearly all enterprise users get a laptop that has been imaged with the just the basics: a corporate OS and a set of necessary applications.

I see these laptops as they are sent out from the vendors. From the moment you turn them on it's like being assaulted by a box full of wolf pups. (No offense to wolves.) The enthusiasm of the software add-ons is exceeded only by the aggressive hostility of programs when they are installed. If I selected all of the the default vendor options most of my test laptops would have a good case of bit rot (slowness caused by excessive and sloppy software installations) before I even started benchmarking.

Think of the worst, most sappy, excessively frustrating experience you've ever had when dealing with a call center. Now transfer that image to a laptop PC. "Would you like to help us improve the experience?" "Would you like to spend the next two hours configuring your browser or do you give in now and accept all of our Microsoft accelerators?" "Like an extended warranty with that?" "Can I search your house for every music, video, picture file and copy them here?" "Are you sure you don't want Bing as your search provider?" And on and on and on...

Thank goodness most corporate users don't experience the ferocious marketing assault seen by most end users. And it's really no wonder most consumers have no idea what to say yes or no to when they buy a new PC.

If there was an option to "just buy a laptop with an operating system" I wonder how many consumers would actually pay a few extra bucks to buy their way out of the carnival-like experience of unwanted do-dads? After being subjected to the up sell, cross sell, after sell, add on, add in Juggernaut of the latest laptops, I know I'd take that option if it was offered.