The first thing I do with any new computer is uninstall most of the applications bundled by the computer manufacturer. Microsoft reps at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show said that PC makers are undermining the quality and reputation of Windows by including so many horrible programs with new computers, to the point that it might sour consumers on Vista. Microsoft has coined the wonderful term “craplets” for the bundled crud, but antitrust and regulatory concerns make it impossible for Microsoft to do anything about it. The computer manufacturers are not about to stop – they’re paid well to put that stuff on your new system.
I am still surprised when I install Windows XP from scratch and discover how fast and stable it is. Windows Vista may give us the same experience, which isn’t necessarily good news: the Vista OS is robust but my fear is that it will be just as susceptible to being slowed down or crashed by badly written software and poorly designed hardware. You can increase your happiness with your next computer by removing the craplets – almost anything you don’t recognize in Add/Remove Programs will likely not be missed.