It’s no surprise that Sony charging $50 to remove trialware from its PCs has gone over like a lead ultraportable. Sony is merely passing along the lost revenue from deals it would ordinarily strike with these providers of software and services. Still, making the tradeoff so explicit is tantamount to admitting that, not only is there no user benefit to these programs, but there is a price on the penalty of having them.
Also, one must question how receptive consumers will be to offers that they absolutely did not want on their PCs, but for which they didn’t want to pay the equivalent of five percent or more of the notebook value. Even at a lower price ($20), Sony would gather far more consumers opting in. It is a thorny time for trialware with Vista’s beefier requirements already making consumers more wary of performance slowdowns. And ultimately, it is in Sony’s interest to have more consumers who are delighted with their notebook experience. Competitive pressure may force its hand toward that.
Update: Reversed. Blogosphere outrage FTW!