Beware the Craplets

Thanks to CBC News, in association with an unamed Microsoft representative, for giving me a new favorite term. From the story:

A senior Microsoft Corp. executive says the company is concerned that uncertified third-party software loaded onto new computers by manufacturers could hurt the launch of consumer versions of its Windows Vista operating system later this month.

The concern arises from third-party software that hardware makers commonly install on new computers in exchange for a fee, many of which have not been tested and certified by Microsoft to work with Vista, the executive said. They include things such as links to online services, and demo versions of programs.

“We call them craplets,” the official said. The term is a contraction of the words “crap” and “applet.” An applet is a small computer program or application.

It’s so true — I’ve sat down at many a friend or family member’s computer to help sort out ad/malware issues, only to find myself puzzling over which pieces of garbage were OEM-blessed, and which crept in from some evil offshore botnet…