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Best Buy Abandoning "Optimization" Service? 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the lipstick-on-a-pig dept.
ddillman writes "According to The Consumerist, Best Buy is apparently dropping some of its 'optimization' services, and will instead provide the 'Best Buy Software Installer,' a new tool that the company says will 'radically simplify how you set up and customize your new PC or upgrade an existing one.' Translation: instead of you paying Best Buy to delete trialware from your new PC, Best Buy will get paid by software makers to try to get you to install it. A page on the Best Buy web site states that the new installation tool will be available January 17th, and 'gives you choices and options to configure your computer, and saves you time by making it easy to discover new software, then download and install with a single click.' According to an alleged internal Best Buy document obtained by a technology blog, Best Buy stands to make an extra $5 per PC just by including BBSI."
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Best Buy Abandoning "Optimization" Service?

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  • Re:Opportunity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rotide (1015173) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @10:29AM (#30714658)

    I hate to bring cars into this (obligatory car analogy?) but it's kind of like saying that it's an opportunity to become a mechanic if the new car you buy needs a lot of "under the hood" tweaking to get to run correctly. Obviously, you can always tweak anything you buy to make it better (aftermarket parts) but the thing should be street worthy straight out of the box.

    Some people don't want to be mechanics, they just want the damn thing to work after you pay lots of money for it. If they wanted to put in the effort they would have bought a kit car (newegg or other such a la carte setup) and built it themselves.

    I dare say that those who visit a store such as best buy to get a computer (laptops not included, can't do much about those proprietary pieces of *grumble*) generally need a lot of hand holding. You really can't expect the people who fall into that demographic to be the kinds who want to put in a ton of effort.

  • Re:Opportunity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily&gmail,com> on Sunday January 10, 2010 @10:31AM (#30714668)

    Great chance for noobs to try removing crap until something breaks

    Except the "noobs" don't want that. They want to play games, watch porn and get on with their lives.

  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davebarnes (158106) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @10:33AM (#30714676) Homepage

    "preinstalled on most PCs, except Dell and HP"
    Wonder if they are going to install it on Macs.

  • suckers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by p51d007 (656414) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @10:33AM (#30714684)
    Other than needing a router, cable or something else on an emergency basis, you get what you pay for at BB. I watch in amazement when I hear someone purchasing a computer and the blue shirt drone is trying to force them into buying all the extra crap.
  • Re:Opportunity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Adambomb (118938) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @10:35AM (#30714690) Journal

    Except the "noobs" don't want that. They want to play games, watch porn and get on with their lives.

    Then wonder why their computer is getting slow, and eventually think "i should just buy a new one".

  • Re:suckers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @11:02AM (#30714804)
    Actually, I've compared prices and for a lot of things and Best Buy generally has some of the cheapest computers. For example, I am typing this on a Best Buy bought Toshiba that I picked up for $300, for a 15 inch screen, Celeron 900 CPU (at 2.2 ghz), 2 gigs of DDR2, a 160 GB HDD and 100% Linux compatability, its hard to beat it for the price if you are like me and are a student with minimal income. Yeah, for $100+ more you could get a really great laptop, but really, this laptop does everything I want, I can type all day on it without feeling strained (unlike a laptop) and runs all my programs just fine. And I just told them I don't want anything else and they didn't force it on me (not that I use my Windows partition anyways....).
  • by eples (239989) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @11:32AM (#30714992)
    Yeah, no kidding they dropped the program. This type of fraud is called "bait and switch [wikipedia.org]", and it is ILLEGAL.
  • Re:Opportunity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adambomb (118938) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @12:40PM (#30715424) Journal

    Because thats a broken window fallacy, by investing in new computers they wouldn't need if their current system was properly maintained they're expending money on something that could otherwise be used for the purchase of something else they do not already have, or even invest it (even if its only to the tune of a small government bond or guaranteed interest certificate style investment).

    This holds double for items that have a tendancy to either be primarily imported or made primarily with imported parts.

  • Incorrect summary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rudeboy777 (214749) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @12:46PM (#30715472)
    instead of you paying Best Buy to delete trialware from your new PC, Best Buy will get paid by software makers to try to get you to install it

    The summary is incorrect. As we learned in the previous Slashdot story, Best Buy's "optimization" service DID NOT delete the trialware for you. They just hid the shortcuts so that the 30-day Norton would still nag you to buy it when the time was up.

    If these changes from BB mean trial trash is actually NOT installed, but rather a Best Buy app that links to the trial download, then this is absolutely a step in the right direction - especially if you can get your hands on your parents computer to uninstall the BB app before they try any of the "helpful" suggestions. Bestbuy still gets their software industry kickback to subsidize the system's low price and mom and dad's new PCs don't run like shit.
  • Re:Opportunity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RobertM1968 (951074) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @01:03PM (#30715592) Homepage Journal

    Your sentiment is correct on it's face... but fact is, nowadays, people (for the most part) do not pay "lots of money for" computers. They pay near nothing, and part of the costs are subsidized by the crapware that comes on the machines. After all, how much do you think it costs to make that $299 laptop at BestBuy (hardware and OS and such)?

  • Delete trialware? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pgn674 (995941) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @01:32PM (#30715820) Homepage

    .' Translation: instead of you paying Best Buy to delete trialware from your new PC,

    I thought the Best Buy optimization thing only removed the shortcut icons to the trialware, and didn't actually uninstall or delete any of it?

  • Re:Opportunity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by obarthelemy (160321) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @01:37PM (#30715844)

    I find it actually easier to build from scratch and install from scratch than to try and figure out what Dell components are standard or not, what leads the PSU has... and get rid of all the junkware. It's cheaper, too, strangely.

    I've taught a couple of friends to assemble their PCs too. The key is Adamesque: Don't panic ! If you don't try fancy coolers or other things, you won't have to touch a jumper, just be careful to lay out everything, find where it fits without having to force it, and spend half an hour calmly doing all the cables. A bit harder than Lego, but easier than Mecano or model building. And then the Windows install is fully automatic, and the Linux one should be, if you've carefully chosen your components.

  • Re:No kidding (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @01:54PM (#30715960)

    How many people buy just the box when they get a computer?

    People who are upgrading from an obsolete computer but already have a decent monitor and accessories? Good LCD monitors have been out long enough to outlive a PC's 18-month built-in obsolescence. My monitors turned 4 last month, no desire to replace them yet. And a 4-year-old printer will probably outlast a new disposable one...

  • Re:It's easy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quanticle (843097) on Sunday January 10, 2010 @10:49PM (#30719664) Homepage

    That's true. In fact, it brings up a point where computers and cars are very similar. That is, paying more does not necessarily shield you from bullshit. My parents' friends own a Mercedes, and they hate it. While their car gets great performance, the benefits of that are outweighed by the relative lack of reliability and the high costs of repair. The same applies to "performance" computers sold by major manufacturers. You're paying for a lot of shiny plastic, and the costs of repair are going to be higher with the proprietary cases used.

That does not compute.

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