Sony and the Joy of Craplets

Delightful to see Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer getting called on the carpet by Walt Mossberg for Sony’s status as the industry leader in craplets.  I bought one of the little Sony TZ-series laptops earlier this year and it came with 25 separate “offers”.  Many of these “offers” ran as startup processes and some were evidently such compelling “offers” they warranted more than one process.  The result was a machine so slow it was unusable, plus the annoyances of the actual “offers”.  And since Sony doesn’t provide the DVD for the operating system, it is a pain to flatten the machine and start over.  Needless to say no more Sony laptops for me.

Stringer’s response to Walt pushing for a craplet moratorium is priceless:

“I have to determine whether the joy of craplets is worth preserving.”

You’d assume that would be a pretty straight-forward determination given the repeated drubbing Sony has taken on this issue in recent months.  But you also have to wonder just how deep the Orwellian instinct runs at Sony when you see things like this from them (which was introduced after my purchase unfortunately):

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I’m not sure which is more remarkable:

  1. That Fresh Start is not the default, yet they make no effort whatsoever to sell the virtues of their default craplet load.
  2. That someone at Sony actually spent the time to brand and trademark the craplet-free option.  Perhaps they plan to take the Fresh Start brand to other Sony products (“we’ll restore channels 10-99 on your new Sony TV, which by default we set to loop some bad infomercials, but only if you opt for the non-default Fresh Start option”).  If you ever wondered what was beyond planned obsolescence, now you know.
  3. The irony of Sony out bemoaning low cost competitors like the ASUS EeePC for precipitating a “race to the bottom” based on price as if Sony’s business didn’t have other significant vulnerabilities due to their inability to understand and respect basic customer desires.  I can’t find anything on ASUS’ site suggesting an optimized system is not the default.

Ok, enough venting.

4 thoughts on “Sony and the Joy of Craplets

  1. Charles

    Larry – I will eagerly await my own copy of the ZD style guide to refer to on such matters…John – my new ThinkPad didn’t have a craplet problem either so it is possible if rare in PC land. I neglected to compare the Sony to the Thinkpad or my new MacBook Air — Sony loses to both. The MacBook Air hardware is awesome. It is so much more substantive and rugged than the Sony, which feels like it could crumble if you sneezed on it. But I’m having a tougher time with OSX. It has been a long time since I was a Mac user and my brain is pretty hardwired for PC keyboard commands, two mouse buttons, Home/End keys, etc. One of these days I will put Windows on it (lack of DVD drive makes this a hassle).

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