Summary: It’s easy for an OEM to screw up a new Windows PC. Just add enough trialware and throw in a few unnecessary programs, and the customer gets a miserable out-of-box experience. Microsoft is trying to fix that with its Signature PC initiative. Does it work? And can it scale?
Building a Windows PC is a cooperative process. PC makers design and build the hardware, Microsoft designs and builds the OS, and then third-party software developers join the party. If everything works together, the end result can be a joy to use. But if any part of the partnership breaks down, the poor PC buyer is the one who suffers.
Making PCs is a tough business, with low profit margins and cutthroat competition. To squeeze a few extra bucks out of every PC they sell, some OEMs cut deals to make extra money by preinstalling trial versions of software. If they can convince you to pay for an upgrade to the full version, they make a commission. But those upsell offers (also known as crapware) are annoying, and in the worst case they can slow a PC noticeably.
On top of that, some OEMs feel compelled to “add value” to their hardware by bundling software programs and utilities that duplicate functions already available in Windows. And they can get downright sloppy about the things that really do matter, like updates and drivers