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Bloatware

Definition

Bloatware refers to software that comes pre-installed on a new computer or a device, most often by the manufacturer, that is usually unnecessary or unwanted by the user. These programs consume excess system resources, slowing down devices and taking up storage space. This undesired software can be difficult to remove in certain cases.

Phonetic

The phonetics of the word “Bloatware” is: /ˈbloʊt.wɛər/

Key Takeaways

  1. Bloatware Can Impact Performance: Bloatware refers to software that comes pre-installed on a new computer or device, often by the manufacturer. It can be unnecessary and often uses a significant amount of system resources, including disk space and memory. This can slow down your computer or device, negatively affecting its performance and efficiency.

  2. Not all Bloatware is Useless: While many people perceive bloatware as undesirable, not all pre-installed software can be categorized as such. Some applications may actually be useful to the user. It depends on individual user needs and preferences. However, most users prefer to have the option of choosing what software is installed on their device.

  3. Removing Bloatware Can Be Challenging: Uninstalling bloatware is not always straightforward, particularly for average users. This is because manufacturers often embed these software deep into the system, making them difficult to remove. In some cases, attempting to remove bloatware can even void the warranty of the device. Therefore, users should be cautious and take the necessary steps when attempting to delete this software.

Importance

Bloatware is an important term in technology because it refers to pre-installed software or apps on a device that are non-essential but consume a significant amount of system resources such as storage space, processing power and memory. The importance of this term comes from the fact that these unwanted or rarely-used applications can slowed down system performance and negatively impact user experience. It highlights the need for more efficient use of resources and consumer demand for control over their devices. Understanding the term ‘bloatware’ can give users insight into some of the factors that may be reducing their device’s overall performance.

Explanation

Bloatware refers to software that comes pre-installed on a new computer or a device by the manufacturer. The purpose of bloatware is multifaceted. Manufacturers often add these extra applications to showcase certain features, functionalities, or to provide what they perceive to be useful add-ons for the user. Also, many a time, these applications are added as a result of promotional agreements with software developers. These third-party applications often bring in additional revenue for the manufacturers, offsetting costs and subsequently lowering the price point of the device for the end consumer.On the user side, bloatware can sometimes serve a useful purpose. Some pre-installed programs might provide basic functionalities such as photo editing, web browsing, or antivirus protection that new users find beneficial. However, bloatware can provide more of a hindrance than a help often consuming system resources, decreasing storage space, and causing the device to run slowly. This is particularly detrimental for devices with limited storage or processing capabilities. In these cases, the removal of bloatware can significantly improve the device’s performance.

Examples

1. Microsoft Windows: Some versions of Windows include several preloaded software programs and tools, many of which the average user may never use and can consume a significant amount of system memory. Examples include apps like Skype, OneDrive, or games like Candy Crush Saga that come pre-installed on many Windows systems.2. Samsung Smartphones: Samsung mobile devices are known for pre-installing numerous apps that many users find unnecessary. These include Samsung’s own versions of calendar, email, internet browsing apps, etc, in addition to the standard Google apps. Again, these consume storage space and are often seen as bloatware.3. HP Computers: HP often ships their computers with an abundance of pre-installed software. These range from antivirus trials, to HP’s own tools and software suites. Many users find these unnecessary and they can slow the device down, marking them as bloatware.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Sure, here’s a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section about Bloatware:Q1: What is Bloatware?A: Bloatware refers to software that consumes excessive system resources such as disk space and memory, often due to unnecessary features. It can slow down system performance and generally isn’t useful to the user.Q2: Is Bloatware dangerous? A: Bloatware itself is not typically dangerous, but it can significantly decrease system performance. However, some bloatware can act similarly to spyware or adware, collecting user data without consent, which can potentially create security risks. Q3: Where does Bloatware come from?A: Bloatware is often pre-installed on a new computer or smartphone by the manufacturer. It may also be packaged with downloadable software from the internet.Q4: How do I identify Bloatware on my device?A: The easiest way to identify bloatware is by going through all the pre-installed apps or programs on your device. If you come across an app you’ve never used or doesn’t seem to serve a useful purpose, it’s likely bloatware.Q5: How can I remove Bloatware from my device?A: Bloatware can typically be removed similar to any other software, by uninstalling it from the control panel on a PC, or app settings on a smartphone. However, some bloatware may require more specialized software removal tools or steps. Always ensure to backup your data before uninstalling any programs.Q6: Can Bloatware be beneficial?A: It’s not typical, but possible. Some pre-installed applications may be worth keeping if they offer valuable functions that enhance your usage of the device. However, most bloatware is considered unnecessary and a drain on system resources. Q7: Why do manufacturers include Bloatware?A: Manufacturers often include bloatware as a way to subsidize the cost of devices. Software companies pay them to install these applications in hopes that users will upgrade to a premium version or make in-app purchases.

Related Technology Terms

  • Pre-installed Software
  • Software Uninstaller
  • System Performance
  • Unnecessary Application
  • Disk Space Usage

Sources for More Information

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