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Microsoft Signature “Optimized” Experience Really Means No Crapware

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Microsoft sells their own PCs in the Microsoft Store, and they are all certified with the Microsoft “Signature” experience, but what does that mean?

If you look closely, you’ll see that what it really means is that there’s zero crapware installed on these machines. In fact, if you live near a Microsoft store you can bring in any modern PC and their techs will do a clean install of Windows 7 (you’ll have to pay), migrate your data, and install MS “Signature” freeware applications.

Inside the Microsoft Signature Lab [Windows Blog via HN]

Microsoft Signature: The best PC experience ever [Microsoft]

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/4/10

Comments (12)

  1. Ivan Kolevski

    Good on them, finally.

    The amount of crapware that I have seen over the past years working as a Tech is simply ridiculous.
    Every manufacturer is just preloading every PC/Laptop with so much crapware that the whole experience out of the box leaves every single customer to wonder is is really necessary.

    As soon as I got my Windows 7 copy I upgraded my old Compaq and have never ever looked back. Clean install, no additional drivers required, everything worked perfect. Performance, at least two times faster and more responsive than Vista(that was the preloaded OS). I wish that we get a copy of Win 7 + drivers install CD/DVD like in the good old days. Instead, these days you get recovery partition and recovery disks that contain the whole OS+Drivers+apps+crapware. This sucks big time.

    Ivan Kolevski – GeekTech Solutions

  2. honestyisthebestpolicy

    Maybe you should disclose on your website your relationship with Micro$oft. After all, you folks spend quite a bit of time touting Micro$oft products, eg, MSE, the Micro$oft Store, etc


  3. johnny

    @honestyisthebestpolicy, well lets see, most articles on here are about hacks for windows machines and not much else. So if you are looking for other type of hacks you prolly should go somewhere else and stop commenting here.

  4. John3347

    honestyisthebestpolicy, is it fair (or proper) for you to be suspect of the publisher’s intent even if 90% of their articles are concerning a product that has a 90% market share? Would not a member of the masses who use Microsoft OSs, security applications, email clients, office software, etc. be shunned (and feel shunned and soon look to another source of information) if more time and attention were not devoted to the vast majority of users than to the niche program users?

    Howtogeek, keep up the good work.

  5. Bob

    So how come we cant have just windows then with out all the other stuff put on to a computer I have a Sony laptop with Vista and don’t need all the Sony duplicated programs and it was full up when I got it so I have had to remove such a lot of software.

    There must be a way with some software that you could backup with the programs you want and windows onto a boot disk then format the hard drive and do a re-install from the disk that way you just get the software you want?

  6. Iszi

    No crapware? Really?

    I’m not sure of anyone else, but my definition of “crapware” pretty much encompasses anything that comes pre-loaded on a PC or pre-packaged with other software, which I have no intent on using. While Microsoft’s standard load seems to exclude a lot of the third-party crapware normally found on PCs shipped by major OEMs, it seems to include a lot of its own.

    No matter to me. The few PCs that I buy from OEMs get the clean-install treatment immediately after coming out of the box.

  7. The Geek


    Stop being a worthless troll.

    This is a site which was originally meant to provide HELP on Microsoft products, since the Microsoft help is so terrible. We’ve branched out since then to cover lots of other topics, but that’s still at the focus of the site.

  8. honestyisthebestpolicy

    “Stop being a worthless troll.”

    Only if you stop being a liar.

  9. Jim

    How come I can buy a Dell from Microsoft without all the crapware, but I can’t buy a Dell from Dell without crapware?

  10. Roi

    @The Geek
    Don’t feed the troll :P

  11. Roi

    Because Dell (and the other PC manufacturers) want to shove the crapware down your throat :)

  12. Yukin

    I want to confirm… Microsoft Signature basically means a clean install of Win7 with some MS software?
    SO having a cleanly installed win7 isn’t any worse than having Microsoft Signature, but in fact better?

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