updated 08:45 pm EDT, Fri March 21, 2008
Sony Drops Fresh Start Fee
Sony tonight has already dropped the fee for its Fresh Start program less than a day after it was introduced. While the VAIO TZ offered with Fresh Start does not come with the option enabled by default, the company now allows the option to remove trial software to be enabled for free versus the $50 cost from before. Sony has not officially stated its reasons for the decision but is known to be reacting to criticisms for charging extra to remove unwanted software.
The Japanese PC builder has also refrained from saying whether it will extend the Fresh Start program to other VAIO models and whether the free removal will extend to all systems. Like many PC vendors, Sony has justified the inclusion of trial software by noting that it subsidizes the actual cost of the system, reducing the price while still allowing experienced users to remove the software themselves.
Most critics have requested the option for PCs as the inclusion of these programs frequently reduce the performance of the default installation in addition to consuming extra hard disk space.