back to article Microsoft seeds HP PCs with Live Search

Ever determined to close the gap on Google, Microsoft has cut a deal with HP to dope all new PCs it flogs to North Americans with Live Search. From January next year HP machines will come with the Live Search search enging toolbar pre-installed in Internet Explorer, and the homepage set to Live.com. Microsoft isn't saying how …

COMMENTS

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  1. jim

    one more reason not to buy

    As if I needed another reason not to buy a cr@pware-loaded system from HP or Dell.

    And paying OEMs to force your products on their customers is now called "marketing"?

  2. KenBW2
    Linux

    Why?

    Ah, they're praying on the ignorant and unenlightened: just like with IE. Surely if MS makes Windows they can bundle what they like... Or maybe it's a way to avoid the wrath of the EU: "It was HP, not us"

    I'm glad I dont have to suffer from MS's excessive pushing.

  3. Jay
    Boffin

    One more reason

    not to buy HP

  4. Tom Simnett
    Alert

    Re: "aimed at making Microsoft products seem web-trendy"

    This appears to be the crux of it all. They're not.

  5. Jack Harrer
    Happy

    Sorry...

    ...we feel deeply sorry for all those people who will be forced to use MSFT Search. But for sure we'll have a lot of hilarious search results posted on blogs i-netwide as Live's accuracy is legendary.

    Try: "uninstall windows and install Linux" ;)

  6. John Imrie
    Happy

    "uninstall windows and install Linux"

    I tried that. It said "I'm sorry Dave I can't do that".

    Funny my names not Dave.

  7. John Imrie
    Happy

    uninstall windows and install Linux

    I just tried it for real now.

    There is some very heavy filtering going on with that result set :-)

  8. marc

    RE:Jim's Comment

    HP laptops are top quality, polar opposite to Dell. Apart from Norton 360, mine had lots of useful software preloaded.... DVD creation, LiteScribe design software etc.

    I do feel that a browser toolbar is just too much. Now that IE has a popup blocker, we don't need it.

    IE7 gave us a great minimal interface. Windows Live toolbar goes against this.

    Just as Vista has a nice elegant interface, Windows Live Messenger has an ugly crowded ad-infested interface. Is Windows Live where MS send their developers who turn out to be rubbish? I am thinking back to Ricky Gavias' training video where he said "ban them from the meetings" - maybe MS actually do, sending them to work on Windows Live!

    So I think this may ruin HP's reputation for good quality, premium machines.

  9. Ian Ferguson
    Dead Vulture

    I don't really understand why people find this such an issue

    All computers I've seen from HP and the like have all kind of branded crap on them (such as a HP logo on the desktop, which many users will never bother to change). It's like the logo on the front of the machine - you could tape over it if you really wanted to, but why bother?

    If anyone is really concerned - it only takes a few clicks to change the homepage and default search. At least the Microsoft live wotsit page is more useful to the end user than the HP homepage - I've seen users blissfully unaware for years that Internet Explorer doesn't necessarily have to open at the manufacturer's homepage.

    It's called marketing, and without it nobody would sell anything. Hell, even Linux comes with bundles of free applications - you could argue that the authors are getting wads of free advertising from Linux installations and Linux distros should be completely unbranded and not come with anything bundled - I know it's all optional, but without anything attached it's pretty useless ;-)

  10. Nexox Enigma

    Just more crap on new computers

    It isn't exactly like you can easily avoid getting a load of useless software on any new computer - this is just going to be part of that pile to remove before you start actually using the computer. (Or before you let your friend / family member / customer start using it, since I'm sure we all run a non-Windows OS and/or build our personal machines from the silicon up.)

    I believe that the crapware is just about the only way to differentiate performance between 'crappy' $400 computers and Alienware / XPS type machines. To the average user, any dual 2.0 GHz machine is going to be plenty fast, so they better make sure it runs 90+ processes at boot, just so there is a reason to buy anything faster. (I'm thinking about the new Thinkpad R61 ($618) and Thinkpad X300 ($3200+) that I just had side by side. The X300 had a decent amount of stuff running, but it was pretty much only drivers for touchpad, extra buttons, OSD, etc. The R61 had 20+ apps running at boot, many of which have absolutely no reason to be there at all.)

  11. Lou Gosselin

    How google advertises.

    I don't like underhanded moves by MS or others, however it is not surprising that computers come pre-loaded with sponser's services. It's not actually so bad as long as knowledgeable users user CAN change those defaults easily.

    Have any of you noticed how difficult it is to remove google.com from firefox? The average users would be baffled to find google.com still coming up for no apparent reason because google is guilty of coding several search backdoors into firefox. Try any of the following with firefox 2 and up to prove it to yourselves:

    Try changing the quick search to yahoo or hotbot or whatever, and you'll still notice that bad domains go to google, random text in the url box goes to google, set no home page and hit the home button goes to google. A power user can use the hidden about:config settings to remove at least some of the back doors on a per-user basis. To remove all the google backdoors requires recompiling the code or remapping google.com via hosts files to the search engine of choice, neither of which is reasonable.

    It's really a shame that firefox has become corrupted in this commercial way; did anyone really believe that google was donating money out of generosity? Nope, this is how *google* advertises.

  12. M
    Happy

    Don't be lazy....

    ....to download and load Firefox/Opera/Safari and use it instead!

  13. Fihart

    Crapware mostly self-inflicted.

    Deplorable that American approach of wringing the last cent out of every opportunity is permitted in Europe where many cultures abhor such a philosophy.

    It's really up to us to tell suppliers to give us what we have ordered, not what they have been bribed to force upon us. I'm thinking of the time-expire Microsoft applications that led my brother to cancel his order with Dell when he realised that they weren't actually usable without making further payments.

    Sadly though, most computers I fix for friends are also clogged up with nonsense they have added themselves that strangle performance, even after being uninstalled.

    Just because you can add programs to computers willy-nilly doesn't mean you have to.

  14. Mike Crawshaw
    Thumb Up

    Even my Mom*...

    Knows not to keep the default settings that come with a pc. Admittedly, she had to call me to talk her thru some of the more "advanced" options (for her, OK?), but, as an IT-illiterate, she had the sense to do what she could until I could get over and clean out the rest of the bloatware that came with her new set up.

    The general public are (slowly) getting to be more aware of the fact that just because a PC comes with lots of stuff that's crap, you don't have to keep it. They might not know how to get rid themselves, but they often know to call someone who can.

    So MS can pay HP £ludicrous to set this as their home page blah blah blah. Everyone's just gonna set their home page to Google / El Reg / SpankMyAss.com, and dump the toolbar anyway.

    (*Please. No "yo'mama" jokes.... they're just so 80's....)

  15. BlueR@nger
    Unhappy

    Pure waste of time

    It's the bain of my life that whenever we get a new laptop from Dell, one of the first things we have to do is remove google toolbar and google desktop which comes preinstalled. This adds an extra 5 minutes to each build we do.

    And now we have to do the same with any HP kit we get.

    Why can't vendors get the hint. We don't want anything else installed unless we provide you with an OEM image!!!! There's just more for us to remove before we can send the kit out!!!

  16. Sooty

    I'm reminded of when a friend got a HP laptop

    After a week of struggling, they were about to return it as unfit for puropose(ie 5mins to open a window) when they asked me to take a quick look at it.

    I was initially going to blame it on Vista but after removing all of the preinstalled crapware it ran like a dream.

  17. Geoff Mackenzie

    @Ian Ferguson

    "even Linux comes with bundles of free applications - you could argue that the authors are getting wads of free advertising from Linux installations and Linux distros should be completely unbranded and not come with anything bundled"

    That's a little different. Linux actually comes with nothing bundled - it's just a kernel. Red Hat, Canonical et al provide 'distributions' - these are innately 'bundles' so it's hard to object to the bundling. Even the default shell is not 'part of Linux' but a sort of bundled application (you can run Linux boxes entirely without bash if you want).

    Since the bundled applications are provided for free by their developer communities and often not advertised in any way other than this bundling (and in the majority of cases, not actually installed by default anyway, just made available), it's hard to see how the Linux situation parallels Microsoft's habitual strategic injection of second-rate content into Windows systems.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    @Ian Ferguson

    At least the bundles Linux software is useful!

    Also to everyone stealing my "search remove windows and install linux" regarding live search! Spread the word, it realy is a most useless search engine!

  19. Steven Raith

    WLST+HPs atrocious images = ...

    ...another good reason to avoid using HPs as the OEM intended - clean install, thanks.

    Mind you, outwith their medium-spec business workstations [XW8200 towers, etc] or bare business desktops [DC7700 etc] I wouldn't touch an HP with a barge pole - and certainly nothing of theirs that is 'consumer' oriented.

    Urgh.

    Steven R

  20. Tom Chiverton
    Stop

    huruphm

    <cough>

    antitrust

    <cough>

  21. herman Silver badge

    PC Decrapifier will have a solution

    Well I'm sure the famous decrapifier will have a solution soon after the release of the new junkware http://pcdecrapifier.com/

  22. Andy Enderby

    @ Ian

    It is a problem. Check out Sootys post. I've seen and dealt with the same a multiplicity of times. Installed crapware simply soaking up all system resources on start up.

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