When purchasing a PC from one of the main manufacturers, the “unboxing” experience is swiftly marred by the barrage of unnecessary programs pre-loaded onto the computer. Known as “bloatware”, it can be anything from free trials of various internet security suites, to vendor-specific programs – none of which the consumer has asked for.

I speak only for myself, but when I purchase a PC with Windows, I expect a PC with nothing more than the operating system. Unfortunately, the barrage of extra programs means a fresh install from the get-go, and when all I want to do is get started with my brand new computer, it’s not too much fun.

Those purchasing directly from a Microsoft Store will be pleased to know that the Redmond-based software maker’s “signature” offer, which has been running for some time already, will reportedly be present upon the launch of Windows 8. The signature offer basically entails that all PCs purchased from the big manufacturers (Dell, HP et al) via a Microsoft retail outlet will come with minimal bloatware. Recognizing just how irritating it can be to be inundated with worthless, unwanted programs, Windows 8 PCs sold directly through Microsoft will not be packed with as many nasty surprises, reports Computerworld.

Every single one of Microsoft’s Stores retail Windows PCs from the big companies, but has been stripping down much of the trial programs prevalent in said computers. Rarely are they used by the end-user, and can end up slowing down the PC and hindering its performance in general.

The signature program is free for those deciding to purchase a Windows 7 PC from a Microsoft Store, and includes 90 days of phone support. For $99, support can be extended to 12 months, and offers theft protection for your PC among other benefits.

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The signature arrangement does include versions of Microsoft’s own programs – including Microsoft Security Essentials, but the default implementations can be removed at the discretion of the consumer. Even more interestingly, programs from competitors can also be installed if requested by the purchaser, so despite the big IE9 push, you could go into a Microsoft Store and ask them to install Chrome on your computer.

Not that you cannot do it yourself, but if Microsoft is offering, who are we to argue?

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