Lenovo Accepts My Clean PC Challenge

Posted on February 27, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware with 0 Comments


In a startling yet overdue announcement, Lenovo said today that it would no longer bundle crapware—for the most part—on any of its PCs. This is exactly what I asked Lenovo to do in the wake of the Superfish fiasco, and I am now calling on the other major PC makers to do the same.

Yes, yes. This isn’t about me, and certainly Lenovo didn’t come to this decision because of anything I wrote. That’s not my point.

Instead, I’ve been championing crap-free PCs like those sold through Microsoft’s Signature PC program for years. And when Satya Nadella said he wanted users to “love” Windows, I called him out on that, and explained that could never happen while Microsoft’s PC maker partners were shipping PCs with crapware. And then I started the Clean PC series of articles, so users could ignore the inaction of PC makers and make their PCs crapware-free.

And then Superfish happened. And as usual I did not mince words. It took them awhile, but Lenovo finally came around and did the right thing about Superfish.

Now, finally, they are doing the right thing about crapware in general. And it’s nice to see them on the right side of history for a change.

“The events of last week reinforce the principle that customer experience, security and privacy must be our top priorities,” a Lenovo statement reads. “With this in mind, we will significantly reduce preloaded applications. Our goal is clear:  To become the leader in providing cleaner, safer PCs.”

“We are starting immediately, and by the time we launch our Windows 10 products, our standard image will only include the operating system and related software, software required to make hardware work well (for example, when we include unique hardware in our devices, like a 3D camera), security software and Lenovo applications. This should eliminate what our industry calls ‘adware’ and ‘bloatware.’ For some countries, certain applications customarily expected by users will also be included.”

What I’m hoping is that this move inspires other PC makers—I’m looking at you, HP and Dell, in particular—to join the Clean PC movement and give all of your customers a better experience, sacrificing short-term profits (which are nearly negligible anyway) and triggering the kind of repeat business that these companies, frankly, just don’t enjoy right now. The PC doesn’t have to suck. And thanks to this Superfish fiasco, Lenovo’s consumer PCs won’t suck. (Its ThinkPad line was never bogged down with crapware thankfully.) Here’s to the rest of the industry jumping on the bandwagon.

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