Late last week, Sony started offering US shoppers looking to buy a Vaio laptop PC online the option to have it customised by removing the dozens of trial programs and little-used vanity applications that typically come with a new Windows computer.
Only problem is, it was charging $50 (£25) to do a little housecleaning – something that was akin to asking for extra cash just to provide a usable computer instead of one with the normal bloated Windows installation.
American shoppers at Sony Style now have the option to choose “a system optimization service where specific VAIO applications, trial software and games are removed from [the] unit prior to shipment” at absolutely no cost. Gasp – what generosity!
However, a closer look at the rest of the build-to-order options reveals that the free Fresh Start is available only to customers choosing Windows Vista Business, which costs $100 (£50) over the Home Premium edition anyway.
Moreover, going for the pared-down installation also bars customers from benefiting from plenty of software they might actually want at OEM prices, such as MS Works and QuickBooks Simple Start. Sigh – swings and roundabouts, anyone?