People were up in arms when Sony announced its "Fresh Start" no bloatware option - because Sony wanted to charge $50 for it.
Starting on Saturday, Sony's Fresh Start software optimization feature will be free, the company announced.
Fresh Start is a Sony feature that lets customers buy certain laptops without so-called "bloatware," trial software that laptop makers often load onto new machines. Sony was asking buyers of the Vaio TZ2000 and Vaio TZ2500 notebooks with the Windows Vista Business OS to pay $49.99 for the removal of the extra software. Those customers already pay an additional $100 to upgrade to Windows Vista Business OS from Windows Vista Home Premium.
Ah, there's the rub, that no mainstream media outlet seems to highlight. But we at Hot Hardware have not missed it. You STILL have to upgrade to Vista Biz. That's a $100 charge. If you want no bloatware, and don't want to remove the garbage yourself, you still have to pay $100 for the privilege, whether you want Vista Biz or not. That's still a failing grade for Sony in our book.