Breaking: Sony Won't Charge $50 To Remove Bloatware | Gadget Lab from Wired.com

Peter Sayer of infoWorld noted noted in an article yesterday that Sony initially offered to remove some of the trial software installed on new laptops for a fee...

"Buyers of the configure-to-order versions of its Vaio TZ2000 and Vaio TZ2500 laptops can opt to have Sony remove the some of its own applications, in addition to trial software and games.  The "Fresh Start" option, billed as a software optimization, costs $49.99, and is only available to customers choosing to pay an additional $100 to upgrade the operating system to Windows Vista Business from the Windows Vista Home Premium edition offered as standard."

Fast forward 24 hours and now Wired reports on the gadgets blog that Sony reversed the plan to charge to remove pre-installed applications from the TZ-series of Sony notebooks.  Sony now makes the opt-out option free when customers select the Windows Vista Business Edition.  Says Wired's Rob Beschizza...

"Earlier today, PC World reported that Sony would charge $50 for a configuration option called "Fresh Start," which would not include the bloatware. When contacted by Gadget Lab, a spokesperson for Sony said that the company will now remove that charge.

"There will be no charge for Fresh Start," said the spokesman."

IMHO, impressive that Sony listened to customer and press feedback and responded by revising the offer.  I see this is another example of PC companies responding to customer requests to provide a sleek and streamlined experience free of software that may impact customer satisfaction with their new purchase.  Dell's Michelle Pearcy, WW Client Software Manager noted that Dell would respond with options for customers requesting "No Bloatware, Please"... 

"Our goal is to provide useful pre-loaded software to our customers that want it, while giving intuitive options to customers that don’t.  We’ll stay focused on finding that balance."

Ultimately, as noted in Dell & Bloatware, 2007, Dell started to offer an opt-out configuration of Dimension desktops, Inspiron notebooks and XPS PCs in response to customer demand. Pearcy continued...

"This means when you configure a system on Dell.com, you have the option of choosing "No software pre-installed" for things like productivity software, ISP software and photo and music software. On most XPS systems, the no software options are the default choice."

Tags: computers, Sony, Dell, Michelle Pearcy, support, customer service.