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Rogue bloatware

Bloatware with rogue malware in it.

Bloatware may refer to software that may use a large amount of memory but look like a little program, or software that is preinstalled with another program when downloaded. Sometimes software comes to be known as bloatware when it becomes so unwieldy that its functionality is drowned out by its useless features. This is also known as software bloat. Bloatware is also a slang term for numerous programs that are pre-installed on new PCs. Many of these programs are "lite" or limited trial versions designed to entice new users to buy or subscribe to the full-featured versions.

History

Bloatware usually occurs as a result of feature creep. Because software is traditionally redesigned on a yearly basis, many developers feel the need to add additional functionality in order to entice users into upgrading the existing software. Unfortunately, the added features increase the size of the program and the system requirements needed to run it smoothly, eventually forcing the user to upgrade in order to run the latest software. Cloud-based software, as a service subscription models are seen as alternatives to bloatware because they reduce the need to resell products in the form of an annual update.

Bloatware is pervasive as software companies made arrangements with manufacturers to get their products pre-installed on PCs while paying per install. Sometimes these pre-installed programs were even set to launch at start-up, slowing down machines. Pop-ups, purchase reminders, conflicting applications and increasingly hostile consumer reactions have made pre-installing less attractive to vendors. When bloatware practices were at their peak, some consumers were even paying retailers to uninstall all the unwanted bloatware. Trial versions of some common programs are still pre-installed, but consumers can generally opt-in or out before purchasing. However, business or enterprise oriented programs are generally free of bloatware, though you could also build your own computer to ensure you control what software gets installed. You can either uninstall the bloatware installed or clean install Windows to ensure there is no bloatware.

Websites promoting Bloatware

  • Download.com may promote bloatware depending on what users put up for download, it is sometimes just what the user downloads that is the issue, but it usually is the website's fault for not filtering out some of these.
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