No doubt about it, the Fresh Start program Sony rolled out this week (which proposes that customers pay Sony money to remove the crapware Sony installs on new PCs) absolutely exemplifies everything wrong with the computer industry today. Now, to be fair, it’s easy to imagine the pudgy corporate bureaucracy that probably gave birth to Fresh Start: under pressure by customers to remove crapware completely — but simultaneously under contract to continue distributing it — some suit probably figured Sony could pay off their bundled software partners and cover the nominal costs of re-imaging drives with non-crapware infused Windows installs if they just pass along those costs to their customers.

Brilliant. It almost makes a little sense — until you stop thinking about it from the perspective of some pencil-pushing marketer. It’s this very short-sighted, senseless anti-consumer behavior that undermines consumer confidence at a time when people are already wary enough about buying new machines (at least PCs — Apple managing to sign up new users in droves). Thankfully Sony quickly saw the folly of their ways and killed the fee — but what’s it say about their US operations that it took an angry call from the Japanese overlords to bring them to their senses?