Last December, [H] Consumer evaluated a Dell XPS 400 and found that pre-installed software (i.e. “bloatware”) interfered with gaming and every day usage of the system. Response to our evaluation was huge as it ranked as the number one read story on HardOCP in 2005. While computer enthusiasts have been our mainstay for 8 years, the very mainstream Houston Chronicle wrote an article that featured Dell’s bloatware issues, based on our XPS 400 evaluation. That article was run on the front page of their Business section, in their January 17th, 2006 edition, and is still a good read if you missed it.
It seems that Dell has taken our criticism (and our readers as well) to heart and has made the much sought after move to offer select XPS systems with “limited” pre-installed software. We phoned a Dell sales representative late Monday, and he confirmed that the installation is completely clean, except for the included anti-virus program. As explained to us by Dell, There is no AOL installation, no “media jukebox”, and no ISP offers to weigh the supplied operating system down.
We at [H] are very impressed by this operating system option. It is truly a feature that many gamers and power users will welcome with open arms. If any [H]’ers purchase a Dell system with “limited pre-installed software”, please drop us an email and tell us your experience. Thanks!