"Sony (along with other vendors) has offered the option of not getting bloatware for an additional $50. In some ways, Sony is at least being (partially) honest in that they explicitly price the removal. Other vendors hide the cost by wrapping bloatware free versions into specific models (for example, Dell's Vostos and Optiplex) don't have much bloatware, but are not exactly identical to an equivalent model.
They're not be completely honest by implying that they "remove" the bloatware. I'm sure they have a bloatware-free image that they apply before shipping.
Does anyone know how much the vendors actually get for installing various trial versions? Also, there is some danger of one man's bloatware being another's convenience. For example is pre-installing Adobe Acrobat and Flash bloatware or value? How about Google toolbar? And on down the line... IE? iTunes?
And, Macs aren't exactly bloatware free. Quicktime is a trial version with a nag screen to upgrade. Macs come with trial versions of Office (how much does Microsoft pay for that) and Omni outliner.
For more details see: Sony charges $50 to remove laptop bloatware"