It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Lenovo. The company found itself embroiled in a nasty scandal involving Superfish adware that it installed on consumer notebook and desktop systems. Not only did Superfish hijack encrypted web sessions, but it also left its customers susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks.
Lenovo offered an apology, issued step-by-step instructions on how to remove Superfish manually, and even released an automated tool to rid systems of the sneaky adware/malware. But the damage was already done; not only did Lenovo’s reputation for making excellent computer systems (especially its ThinkPad range) take a hit, but it now faces a possible class-action lawsuit. And to add insult to injury, Lizard Squad hacked the Lenovo’s homepage earlier this week by exploiting its domain registrar.
But for all the negativity swirling around Lenovo right now, there is some real good coming out of this incident. Lenovo has announced that it is taking to steps to remove all adware and bloatware from its future computers, mirroring a stance that Microsoft has taken with its “Signature Edition” PCs that are sold at Microsoft Stores (online, and brick and mortar).
Future Lenovo computers will only include the operating system plus whatever software is necessary to ensure the proper operation of all included hardware. The company states:
By the time we launch our Windows 10 products, our standard image will only include the operating system and related software, software required to make hardware work well (for example, when we include unique hardware in our devices, like a 3D camera), security software and Lenovo applications. This should eliminate what our industry calls “adware” and “bloatware.” For some countries, certain applications customarily expected by users will also be included.
As Lenovo indicates, its customers won’t be able to enjoy this adware/bloatware-free until later this year when Windows 10 launches, but it’s a BIG step that we wish all PC OEMs would take.