Is Dell is ahead of the game this time?

The New York Times is running a story (you need to sell your soul to read – better use bugmenot) on the increasing trend for users to simply dispose of their spyware infested computers, instead of fixing them. Interesting stuff. Apparently we arrived at the point in time when it is less hassle to buy a new low end machine, than to invest time and money in fixing the old one :/

One of the commenters at slashdot proposed a solution:

maybe it’s time for manufacturers to install a HardReset button (like in a PDA) with a 1 GB ReadOnly Flash drive, which resets everything back to factory.

I think Dell came up with a peaty decent solution here. I mentioned it before when I was freaking out that they no longer ship windows CD’s. For those unfamiliar with this: ships all the new computers with a image of the C:\ partition and bootable re-imaging software. When your system becomes to corrupted you press CTRL+F11 at post screen, and the machine boots into Symantec’s re-imaging software. The whole procedure takes maybe 10 minutes, after which your machine is back to factory default settings.

This sure beats the 4+ hour windows install/update/reboot/reboot/reboot routine. In effect people might be less likely to junk that Dell computer. I wonder if other manufacturers will start doing the same?

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