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Dell lightens the preinstalled software load

Buyers of XPS systems, Dimension desktops and Inspiron notebooks will be able to opt out of most preinstalled software.

Dell took notice earlier this year when customers and the media reiterated complaints over the glut of crapware, or preinstalled PC software, packaged with new computers. Many PC makers said they do offer ways for consumers to wipe a new computer's slate clean. But this week, Dell announced it would hand more control over to customers during the purchase process. customers buying an XPS system, Inspiron notebook or Dimension desktop can select a "no software preinstalled" option. This will eliminate productivity, ISP, photo and music software, but not everything.

Adobe Reader, trial versions of antivirus software, and Google tools still come packaged on the desktop. PC makers have sold more of the desktop space on new computers in recent years as yet another way to squeeze out profits from the generally low-margin hardware business.

Dell also has a video up on its site showing how to use a software uninstall utility it offers on both Dimension desktops and Inspiron notebooks. See it here.