Keep Them Out

Thomas Bandt writes about setting up Windows 11 on a laptop for his son. The experience was intensely frustrating.

I already knew from Windows 10 that some diagnostics settings could no longer be switched off permanently. But what I found here blew me off.

First, there was news about a mass shooting that had occurred only recently. In the middle of the search menu. The menu which was supposed to be one of the first touch points with that computer for the kid. Not okay. But after some time, I figured out how to switch that off.

Bandt quickly found that the machine contained software adverts for various social media platforms. He didn’t want his young son to be exposed to TikTok, Instagram, and the like. So, he went through a lot of trouble disabling the ads.

When I worked at the Geek Squad, we used to offer a service to remove bloatware that the PC manufacturers loaded on machines. Sony, HP, eMachines and others did this to have a source of revenue that would compensate for the PCs having such low margins. People sometimes balked at having to pay a fee to remove what was pre-installed on a brand-new machine. What they usually failed to realize was that their purchase price was subsidized by the free software trials and other garbage on the computer.

It was slimy enough when the manufacturers bogged the machines down with that stuff. Now Windows itself contains the bloatware.

via Pixel Envy