After their last snafu with secretly installing rootkits as a DRM measure, Sony is getting smart(er). The smart part is in listening to consumers, but they did start off again by doing something dumb. In this case, it was a $50 fee to eliminate excess non-essential applications (aka crapware) from their default Vaio laptop installations. The blogosphere went berserk, but Sony listened and promptly dropped the fee. Good for them (and us).
And in more dumb company moves, Apple has been shipping Safari for Windows along with iTunes updates. Now while you can deselect Safari from being downloaded and installed, let’s face it – users tend to click OK before reading anything! Downloading a new 22MB installer when you’re really just expecting to update your existing apps is a bit sneaky and probably unwanted. A better idea may have been a more in-your-face dialog box asking your permission. As someone who didn’t care much for iTunes and then lost his iPod Nano and replaced it with a Sandisk Sansa, I haven’t noticed this, but I can understand the backlash.