Software Bloat: Is it Really a Problem? – Vista News asks the question

Thats the title of an article on Vista News and to have to even ask the question, to me, sums up everything that is wrong with Windows.  The article goes on to ask if bloat is a problem when gigs of storage is so cheap these days,  It also says “It’s easy to wax nostalgic about MS-DOS, an OS that required only a few megabytes of disk space”

Which to me is slightly insulting, and suggests, in my opinion that the site has a carefree attitude to how much space Microsoft products consume. (after all the site does say its cheap) Now, I may be unique here, but in the these days of world financial problems, I would like to save money where I can.  I dont care how cheap the latest “bits” are for my PC, Id rather not have to upgrade my PC if I can avoid it, and since Vista on alot of older machines will need major upgrades or just a complete new system, that is something I am not willing to do just so I can say I have the latest software.  If I did run XP, I presume I would be doing all the things Im doing now, and be very happy.  Why should I dig into my pockets just because I can get gigs of storage space cheaper now than I could a few years ago?

What isnt mentioned is the side effects of bloatware.  Just run any package that has both Linux and Windows distros, on a dual boot machine and see for yourself.  The website mentions Dell, but fails to mention that Dell offers PC’s with a Linux installation instead of a Windows one.  It makes me wonder, why ask the question when you already know the answer?

I dont believe in giving people half the story, and I think it would be a little unfair for me to expect Microsoft to sell the benifits of Linux, when they are trying to push Vista, however for a user who is not “in the know” the article and site, in my opinion brushes aside the issue of bloatware and justifys it with a blasae attitude.

Microsoft must see a benefit in Linux, otherwise why would it enter in to a deal with Novell?  If the issue of bloatware is as insignificant as the site appear to be suggesting, why mention it?

The article also fails to mention that with bloated software, also comes an increase in specs required to run the software in the first place, and Ive yet to see something Vista can do that XP cant, either natively or with 3rd party software.

Talking of which.  Lets look as MS Word for a moment.  I assume I am a typical PC user when it comes to wordprocessing.  I require a spell checker, I require the ability to bold, underline, italic.  I require the ability to make titles, justify, indent.  Now MS Word does all these things very well, along with a host of features I never use.  On the Linux side you have AbiWord, which again does everything I require and has many features I dont use.  The difference?  Abiword is free.  Abiword is smaller and on my machine Abiword functions at least 3 times faster.  Would any MS user like to make a comment on that?

Id say in answer to Vista News, Yes – Software bloat is a problem, maybe thats one of the many reasons there has been so much negativity about Vista.  Maybe a title for another article should be: Vista: Is shelling out for a new system, just to run an OS, really a problem?

I have an answer for that as well but I will wait for their article.

Although I intend this as a Linux Blogazine, I would love to hear from any Windows users who may have visited.  Unlike many Windows pages, I would like a balanced viewpoint so that users can make an informed decision, if they are deciding on what OS is best for them.

For some people Linux will not be for them, and Windows will be the better option, thats fine but lets hear why Windows is good and why Windows (or Linux) is better for you.

CREDIT: I do not know the creator of the above picture, if that is you and you would like credit, or indeed it removed please contact me here.


5 thoughts on “Software Bloat: Is it Really a Problem? – Vista News asks the question

Add yours

  1. ms doesnt care anyway. i havent used windows for over 2 years i have never regretted my move to linux and i reckon there will be many others like me in the coming months, who make the switch.

  2. Software bloat is responsible for the outrageous progress in bringing once-supercomputer-class hardware into the sub-$1000 range, but I’m in the middle of writing an extremely comprehensive piece on software bloat (aimed more specifically at why “every OS sucks” than simple bloat in specific) at right now, and I’ll be touching base here again once it’s done. Bottom line: bloat is catching up with us, and not just on Windows. Eventually we’ll be forced to confront the bloat beast. I’m planning out a new (admittedly currently vaporware) OS with one specific goal being avoiding bloat, and I feel that when we reach a certain critical mass, people will gladly turn away from Windows, Mac OS X, Linux/BSD, and all the rest of the existing bloated environments with archaic system architecture for something that is both technically and functionally superior.

  3. Thanks for visiting my little site. I hope you will link your article here as its exactly the thing people email me about and say they are interested in.

    I think the fact MS asked that question on their site was insulting. It either (IMO) was saying that MS has a flippant regard for bloat, MS is trying to cheapen the issue of bloat or infact MS is trying to justify it by making it appear a none issue.

    IMO unfortunately for them, people understand what bloat is and are fed up of a bogged down system because of it. Are MS so out of touch they have to ask the question?

    Great talking with you. I sometimes miss comments on older posts of mine, so Ill ask, when you finish the article please link to it in a more recent post of mine. Ill make sure you get a link here.


  4. Oh, I’ll definitely link to you. I’d love it if you’d return the favor, too, since bloat is an often discussed yet rarely attacked problem with software. There is no excuse for software bloat. Comparing Avast antivirus against Norton/Symantec security suites and even AVG Free 8.0 shows that non-bloated software CAN be done AND done well. Avast uses up to about 64MB of RAM and has almost no performance impact. Norton injures itself if it has less than about 1536MB. There’s simply no excuse for that…EVER! I’ll post once more when my giant dissertation is finally completed. Thanks! 😀

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