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What's the problem with Bloatware?
Not all bloatware programs suffer from all ills described here. And there are off course some big plusses also: it's not for nothing so many people are using these programs.
- They're huge. They take hours to download, or aren't even available for download. So you can't just try a new version.
- They're complicated to install. The installation takes a lot of time, and if you want a customized install, you'd better know what you're doing. Uninstalling is risky business since these programs take control of your registry.
- They're too complex. If you want to use all functionality, you need a lot of time or expensive books or training. The most interesting features are deeply hidden in multi-layered menu's.
- There are a lot of bugs and security issues. Commercial pressures prevent a thorough debugging before the release of new versions. These programs are too tempting a target for hackers to resist. Known problems can only be solved by the manufacturer, who might have other priorities - or can charge you for solving or even reporting the problem.
- Compatibility (with previous versions, with programs from competitors and with open standards) is problematic. But the marketing buzz tells otherwise: 'complete HTML 4 support' and 'import your existing Word-documents in our new word processor'. People get angry and confused when Word97 can't even save documents in Word95 format (this had to be fixed with a patch), or their websites display weird in another browser.
- For all these reasons, it isn't likely you or your company will immediately buy or download the latest upgrade and install it. So you're using old technology most of the time.
- The functionality. Almost everything you can think off, these programs can do it. You just have to find out how. The strong competition, and the urge to sell upgrades, drives the bloatware makers to offer more and more functions.
- Your neighbor probably uses the same program. So you can ask him or her to help you out if things go wrong. In big companies, it's too expensive to support more than one program for a single task. So you need the Internet, if you want to find help for your PowerWare program.
- The marketing and design is great. Lots of effort go into making these programs look as good as possible.
- The ease of use. The documentation is extensive.