My grandfather used to always say, "A weed is anything that is growing where you don't want it to."
A couple of interesting posts on other blogs this morning relating to, let's see... how can I be polite... things that show up on our computer that we find unnecessary or bothersome. Some are from the manufacturer in the initial install, some are from spyware/adware that tries to creep in. They form an annoyance to the user. They are often excused as legitimate marketing tools that help reduce the cost to the end consumer and necessary methods of advertising.
Oh, what the hell, let's call a spade a spade here, we'll use the term CRAPWARE.
According to Eric Mack's correction of Marc Orchant on yesterday's Tablet PC Show podcast, I'm the one responsible for coining the phrase. As I said to Marc, I'll take the crap and the credit, although for the life of me I thought Eric mentioned it on one of his unveiling podcasts. No matter.
The crap/spamware that comes preinstalled is problematic, and I will bet you contributes to many users' problems with a new computer. Can't prove that, but hey, look at the difference in Eric and his buddy Michael Sampson's initial out of the box experiences. He (or she) who makes these decisions about installing this stuff that does not pay attention to this is full of ....ok, moving on.
Ed Bott reported this morning about the Anti-Spyware Coalition's efforts to reach a definition of what spyware actually is. He's right. Such a definition so broadly coined will have little effect in the long run. Let me tell you what I think of this spade right now. Spyware and Adware are nothing more than malicous intrusions on another's property. Period, end of statement. If the stuff that comes preinstalled on computers is crapware, spyware/adware is toxic crapware.
With apologies to John Tierny of the New York Times, these are the folks who should have some sort of devilish punishment dervied for them. I've often wanted to just show up at their house and plaster advertising stickers all over their cars and the windows of their homes.
So, while there are differences it's all crapware to me. I think we should quit using the polite terms of spyware, adware, spamware and start calling it crapware. (Hey Scoble, are you listening.) I can't think of too many vendors who want to be responsible for saying they make and distribute crap.
Maybe I'll start a list....