Microsoft Windows Clean Sweep: paying to purge bloatware

Credit: flickr/imilyas

For $99, a Microsoft store will erase bloatware and install a "Signature" operating system version on your computer, with a special desktop look and better performance.

The hangup is there are only 17 Microsoft stores now open, but the number will bump up to 21 soon. Detailed in All Things D, the "Signature Upgrade" process takes a 24 to 48 hours, and replaces the hardware OEM's Windows installation, full of trial software, with an optimized set of drivers. Users can order name-brand computers configured with the Signature OS from the stores or online at the Microsoft Store.

However, Microsoft leaves some of their own bloatware on their Signature systems, including free email, photo and video programs, Zune music, and a starter version of Office. The stores will take those off if customers demand their removal. Included is 90 days of free phone support to augment the free in-store Answer Desks.

Works for me

The signature computers have optimized settings, faster load/shutdown time, faster operation, microsoft recommended software.. Sounds like a great deal for a new user.

weetigo on

It's actually a pretty decent price when compared to what you'd pay most computer service providers to do the same work.

gdinero on

it actually makes sense. Think about it. MS is not the one installing these things.

Antonin Januska on

Really? Really?

Signature Extortion. Pay us more or we'll leave crap on your machine.

Usher73 on

Let me see if I get this right. They are charging 90 bucks for you to get rid of bloatware, that you didn't want in the first place. Seems legit.

Mike Becker on

Why does this sound like the very definition of a scam? You save a few bucks on the price of a PC because of the money paid to the manufacturer to allow the junk to be installed, and then you pay several times that amount to Microsoft to remove the same junk and give you custom wallpaper.

Dennis Barr on

Apple does it for free in their retail stores.

spacerabbit on


The one exception to the "bloatware is crapware" rule is on Lenovo. They actually have amazing optimizing software and services.

Daniel Rubino on

I know a few people I'd rather point to this than have them calling me asking to do the same.

Max_Patlick on

When you do this for family and friends, what do you charge? Or do you work out a barter of some kind?

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