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Sony charges $50 to remove laptop bloatware; Retracts Later

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Sony is offering to remove some of the trial software it crams onto the hard disks of new laptops, for a fee. Buyers of the configure-to-order versions of its Vaio TZ2000 and Vaio TZ2500 laptops can opt to have Sony remove the some of its own applications, in addition to trial software and games.

The “Fresh Start” option, billed as a software optimization, costs $49.99, and is only available to customers choosing to pay an additional $100 to upgrade the operating system to Windows Vista Business from the Windows Vista Home Premium edition offered as standard.

Blogs erupted with outrage at the planned charge, with Engadget opening a headline with “Sony Hates You.”

Responding to a tidal wave of outrage, Sony has reversed a plan to charge $50 to remove all the pre-installed applications — often derided as “bloatware” or “craplets” — from its high-end TZ-series notebooks. “There will be no charge for Fresh Start” said the company spokesman.

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