What it is: Bloatware defines additional programs that are pre-installed on most Windows PCs.
The debate between which is better, Windows or OS X (now called macOS) is pointless. However, if you stick to facts instead of opinion, personal preference, or sheer inertia in refusing to learn anything different, you can’t argue away one glaring problem of Windows which is that most Windows PCs (excepts those sold directly by Microsoft) include bloatware.
Bloatware consists of utilities and other programs that manufacturers pre-install on a PC. The sole purpose for pre-installing so many programs is that the manufacturer gets paid by the software company to pre-install their products on a PC.
One common form of bloatware are anti-virus programs that ask the user to pay an annual subscription. Yet you can find free anti-virus programs that are just as good from other companies. So bloatware exists solely for the financial benefit of the manufacturer and provides little benefit to the actual customer who purchases that PC.
While bloatware is mostly annoying, it has a more insidious side. One huge problem is that bloatware often clogs up a hard disk and slows down Windows, creating an unsatisfactory user experience. Even worse, many bloatware programs come riddled with bugs that create security flaws on the PC. This makes it easy for malware or a hacker to break into that computer, courtesy of a flaw in the bloatware program that users cannot easily uninstall.
When PC manufacturers install bloatware to make money for themselves while creating a poorer user experience for the customer and creating greater security risk for the customer, why would anyone (except the PC manufacturers) consider this an advantage? Bloatware hurts the customer while the manufacturer benefits. If you want to be loyal to a business model specifically designed to ignore you at best and cause problems for you at worse, then feel free to remain loyal to the world of bloatware that infects the Windows PC market.
Fortunately even Microsoft is getting sick of bloatware creating unsatisfactory user experiences for Windows users. While it’s fully within Microsoft’s power to refuse to license Windows to any PC manufacturer that installs bloatware, that’s not going to happen because bloatware provides manufacturers with extra money.
So instead of taking a stand and banning bloatware altogether, Microsoft has chosen a milder approach by creating a bloatware removal tool. This tool essentially lets you install a clean copy of Windows on your PC, minus any bloatware the manufacturer may have originally installed. This gives your PC an opportunity to run efficiently without the drag of extra programs taking up hard disk space or memory.
While this bloatware removal tool is a step in the right direction, it would still be far simpler for Microsoft to completely ban bloatware altogether. The fact that they aren’t doing this shows that Microsoft doesn’t care about the customer as much as they care about maintaining relationships with PC manufacturers who profit off bloatware.
That’s one reason why Apple strictly enforces a ban on bloatware. Whether you buy a Macintosh direct from Apple or from a third-party retailer, it will be identical with no hint of bloatware whatsoever. A Macintosh may be more expensive, but given a choice between buying a computer from a company that strives to give you a good customer experience vs. buying a computer from a company that deliberately and consciously chooses additional profit over a good customer experience, it’s easy to see why so many people prefer a Macintosh.
What’s not so easy is why so many people prefer the deliberately compromised user experience of Windows. If you insist on using Windows, at least buy a PC directly from Microsoft, or use Microsoft’s bloatware removal tool. One way or another, avoid giving your money to any company that profits off consciously giving you a compromised user experience.