back to article Toblerone's Brexit trim should be applied to bloatware

Toblerone's decision to keep its post-Brexit price stable by just selling less chocolate for the same price is a tactic the software industry should copy. I offer this suggestion because so much software is "bloatware" packed with features hardly anyone uses, but the inclusion of those features is used to justify the price. …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not likely

    They're more likely to do something stupid like replace the programmers with inexperienced (cheaper) graduates, or outsource the development team.

    You're sort of hoping that only the bad goes with a financial imposition. Perhaps possible, but not likely. If a team is going to make software with poor elements WITH a budget, I don't see the missing ingredient that will make this happen.

    Nice philosophising but no.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Not likely

      BREXIT-misers: You'll have to pries the bar of Dairy Milk from my cold, dead, chocolate-smeared hands.

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: Not likely

        Given Cadbury's owners... they'll be jumping on that bandwagon soon enough...

        That said - they may already have done... wasn't there a kerfuffle about recipe changes a while back? Still, no reason not to go round the loop one more time to keep prices rises at bay (or profits up... take your pick)

        1. hoola

          Re: Not likely

          Mondelez ARE the parent company of Cadburys, offloaded by Kraft or maybe this is just another financial instrument used but Kraft.. Just like Nestle, have a look at the back label of well known brands and be surprised. The bulk of the food industry appears to be back to 3 or 4 mega-corporations.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not likely

            Kraft was split in two a few years back. Their snack food businesses (which mostly operated worldwide) became Mondelez, and the parts focused on the (mainly North American) groceries market became the "new" Kraft Foods. Or so Wikipedia says.

            They're now completely separate, and Cadbury's is a part of Mondelez.

            Technically, Kraft Foods (which later merged with Heinz) is the spin-off, whereas Mondelez is the original Kraft under a new name.

            Which is ironic, but who cares, they're always changing corporation names.

      2. IanRS

        Re: Not likely

        You consider Dairy Milk to be chocolate?

        Poor you!

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Not likely

        "You'll have to pries the bar of Dairy Milk from my cold, dead, chocolate-smeared hands."

        No, you can keep it. I much prefer dark chocolate.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Not likely

          Given it was reported the other day that they'd registered "Dark Milk" as a trademark, you could get it both ways (ooer missus).

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not likely

        "BREXIT-misers: You'll have to pries the bar of Dairy Milk from my cold, dead, chocolate-smeared hands."

        Cadbury did it ages ago, around the time of the London Olympics.

        And make sure it is not one of the Dairy milk with <insert brand item here> bars. They are made in Poland, not the UK.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          For mash get new Dairy Milk Smash!

          I was going to make a joke about how Kraft- well, Mondelez now- seem determined to shove every brand somewhere under their corporate umbrella together with Dairy Milk.

          Racking my brains, I remembered that Kraft made Philadelphia cheese... ho ho ho. Until I remembered that they *did* do that a few years back. (#)

          Then again, to be fair, even before the takeover, Cadbury went through a phase of combining and leveraging the Dairy Milk brand so that it appeared on lots of existing bars (e.g. Cadbury's Caramel) and several were modified to be more "Dairy Milk"-like.

          I remembered thinking at that time that if they'd still owned the Smash instant potato brand (##) they'd have tried combining the two in some ungodly way.

          (#) Albeit it wasn't a Philadelphia-filled Dairy Milk bar, but Philadelphia with chocolate. And actually, I notice it's not "Dairy Milk", just "Philadelphia with Cadbury", like "Cadbury" itself is some ******* ingredient. Anyway, I tried it and it was... meh. Pretty much what you'd expect Philadelphia mixed with chocolate to taste like. Not great, not awful, didn't buy it again.

          (##) Which oddly, *was* originally made by Cadbury's and sold under their name.

    2. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Not likely

      Cadbury's is owned by Mondelez and if you scan recent news, they have already said they will be doing the same v soon.

      Sorry about that.

  2. Mage Silver badge

    Windows

    Yes, lets have a XP/Win7 style Windows, ditch the crippled "Home" version and all the "Cloud" stuff and all the Telemetry / spying and all the eye candy (but proper shadow effect icons like Win 3.1 to Windows 2003). Even MS admitted that Aero was a mistake. Bring back a proper native Forms API, but move/keep GDI out of Kernel.

    However don't drop important but little used features. Unlike never wanted (ribbon) or never used features, little used features might be important.

    Instead of gold plating and adding features, reduce bugs, inconstancies and vulnerabilities. Write NEW kinds of software instead of version 15 of Word or 12 of Windows.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Windows

      "Instead of gold plating and adding features, reduce bugs, inconstancies and vulnerabilities. Write NEW kinds of software instead of version 15 of Word or 12 of Windows."

      Like WHAT? Just what kinds of software do we need that people are willing to buy that doesn't exist yet? Ever thought that people buy Word and Office and the like because they actually USE it? As in everyday?

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Windows

        Problem is understanding what people want to use.

        Latest release of Outlook has a new feature that gives you recently used files in a drop-down when attaching files to email. Utterly trivial, but saves me a load of time.

        We may each only use a small percentage of features, but across all users, they probably all get used.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Windows

          And they already dropped all the eye candy with Office 2016, which is why it now looks like it was programmed by Fisher Price for a 2 year old and all but the drab grey theme gives you eyestrain after 10 minutes.

        2. Timmy B Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Windows

          Outlook attachment dropdown..... I never noticed that - how handy!. Have a virtual one on me.

      2. mics39
        Coat

        Re: Windows

        Update Word 5.1 for Mac with just unicode, no other feature, no macros. That was a great program, though I had to use another WP for Japanese. I bet this will run smoothly even on the most basic Pi, even in some kind of emulation. For me Excel 4 was also the best, again wishing it would now use unicode.

        Mine's the one with Daystar 68040 kit in the big pocket.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was once said that any individual only used a subset of an application's functions. However - different individuals used different subsets.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      That's what someone else mentioned. There may be a lot of features, and the average user may use only a few of them, but those specific features differ from user to user, to the point that cutting ANY feature results in complaints from those users who actually use it.

      Many apps try to be the jack of all trades in order to get the widest audience. Who cares if it's master of none, as long as they get the customers' money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, there may be obvious things to eliminate, but not for everyone (Microsoft are quite good at confounding me with removing useful features).

        Also as I said above, less money probably doesn't mean squat for actual quality control.

        It comes down to, as ever, talent, and more importantly, the freedom that talent is given. Even the best coders can and do mess up with stupid requests for feature creep, late in life cycle big changes, and other stuff that non technical people only half dream about with any accuracy.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Most eloquently (as far as I know) explained by the sainted Joel Spolsky, here.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Upvote for Spolsky. But, reading that, I wonder if he re-wrote that whether he'd have to attach an extra cost to megabytes. Nowadays they don't so much represent cost of disk to store or memory to operate. They represent attack surface.

  4. Stern Fenster

    Brexit did not "cause" the pound to drop; this was caused by a bunch of brain-dead currency speculators panicking afterwards.

    I'll say it again: I quite see why, for practical reasons, we must pay attention to the level of the pound; what I don't see is why this is supposed to tell us something about the state of the world, as opposed to just the state of fear in a group of individuals with the intellectual reach of a stoned slug.

    1. Gio Ciampa

      I'll wager Soros make a packet from the panic... he has previous after all

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Stern Fenster What do you propose we use instead of currency then? Like it or not, it's what we have.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe because the fall in the pound over 2016, if it holds at the current level, will have an effect on the economy equivalent to a cut in the Bank Rate of ~ 4 % ( using Bank of England's own "rule of thumb" on this equivalence ) - which puts Carney's 0.25% cuts into perspective.

    4. Mark 110 Silver badge

      The mid to long term value of the pound is primarily derived from two things:

      1. People with other currencies wanting to buy things priced in pounds

      2. People with pounds wanting to buy things priced in other currencies

      This is the vast majority of the market for exchange in currencies. Yes people play that market, but usually just for short term day/week gains/losses. Attributing a more structural fall in value to speculators is ludicrous.

      Based on the above analysis (and I am a crap economist so stand to be corrected) we can conclude that following the Brexit vote:

      1. Things priced in pound are less desirable to people (less demand for pounds with which to buy them)

      2. Things priced in other currencies are more desirable (greater supply of pounds with which to buy them)

      As an economic indicator this has lots of complex impacts depending on what the 'things' are that are causing the changes in demand/supply of the currency. For the average Joe like me what it means in the short term is nearly everything will be more expensive. Long term effects could be good but that remains to be seen.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Attributing a more structural fall in value to speculators is ludicrous."

        But Brexit is so wonderful for the UK economy that it can't possibly, under any imaginable circumstances, cause the pound to fall. So, as Mr Holmes says, when you've eliminated the impossible - it must be speculators.

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Brexit did not "cause" the pound to drop; this was caused by a bunch of brain-dead currency speculators panicking afterwards."

      That's partly true. The Pound, according many economists, has been over valued for along time and was going to drop anyway at some stage. Maybe not quite so suddenly, and not by quite so much, but it had to happen at some point.

    6. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      "what I don't see is why this is supposed to tell us something about the state of the world".

      As a scout (sea) from long ago, I will try to help you out. Take poor Cameron, when he went to Brussels to beg for special advantages (he would never allowed anybody else) he had the psychological disadvantage of knowing he represented the second richest kid on the block.

      But now when Mrs May goes to Brussels next year she will find it slightly less embarrassing as she can point to France as being the second richest kid on the block.

      There are an amazing amount of things, good and not so good, I have learned as a scout (on land). When I started my carrier as a helper, helping old women across the street, I eventually, as a teen, got a bit fed up, as we do. But then getting older my heart expanded and I stated to help ever younger women across the street, any street. To my great surprise I also found out that it takes women a surprising amount of years for them to learn how to say "Thank You" properly.

      I hope this was of help, and read my icon.

    7. veti Silver badge

      Five months after the vote, the pound is down by 15-20% (depending on what particular basket of currencies you measure against) from before it.

      Five months. That's some "panic".

    8. soulrideruk Bronze badge

      "as opposed to just the state of fear in a group of individuals with the intellectual reach of a stoned slug."

      Now I'm confused, are you talking about currency speculators or Brexiteers?

    9. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "what I don't see is why this is supposed to tell us something about the state of the world"

      Well, it tells us that the future prospect for the economi has been downgraded, and hence the pound devalued.

      Not difficult to understand.

      Do you think you know more about economy than the world collective of economists and investors?

  5. LDS Silver badge

    Just bring me back setups where I can choose what to install...

    .... they turned into "foolproof" ones that install everything especially useless features you'll never use, and/or lot of samples you're going to ignore.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Just bring me back setups where I can choose what to install...

      You've been outvoted. Joe Stupid can't understand your type of setup, he pays as much as you, and they outvote you. You lose.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just bring me back setups where I can choose what to install...

        You can choose what you install in the latest MS Office, as I discovered when I had to install it on my work laptop. It's a difficult, convoluted process though, about what is expected of MS nowadays. So much for making things simple.

        1. Don Dumb

          Re: Just bring me back setups where I can choose what to install...

          @AC - "You can choose what you install in the latest MS Office, as I discovered when I had to install it on my work laptop."

          Please tell me how, had to do a similar thing on my home machine. I've got Skype for Business (which I keep confusing with Skype) and a whole load of stuff I don't need/want.

          Would be very grateful for a pointer in the right direction.

          1. Dave 15 Silver badge

            Re: Just bring me back setups where I can choose what to install...

            Skype... horrid, bloody thing keeps telling me there is an upgrade and wanting me to update. I DO NOT WANT TO DOWNLOAD AN EVEN CRAPPER VERSION, the last 4 times I gave in and the experience was WORSE afterwards. I will NOT repeat it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    genius idea but

    you know that the purpose of bloatware is altogether different. You know it, we know it, they (the bloatware-developers know it). Yet, it bloats, because... marketing department don't know it?! Wrong! They know it too, they just don't f... care!

    Generate additional revenue streams, that's the mantra. What business owner would refuse additional revenue streams, as demonstrated so skillfully by the head of our marketing & strategic planning group in the aboveseen 3D (so cool like!) presentation?

    1. JimC Silver badge

      Re: additional revenue streams...

      Another factor is to deny potential competitors revenue streams. If there are no niche markets for potential competitors to gain revenue streams, the chances of there being potential competitors are spectacularly reduced.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not a good analogy

    Removing unnecessary features from software would be more akin to removing the nougat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not a good analogy

      Hey! Some of us LIKE nougat. I don't mind a 3 Musketeers bar now and then.

  8. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    Major Bloat

    Problem: To move contacts from old Nokia 3310 to a Nokia 6210

    Install Nokia Smart Suite on XP, installation size ~5GB.

    The utility fails to work.

    Solution: Install gammu on Ubuntu, installation size 569kB.

    It's a one line command to backup and restore contacts.

    Bonus Solution: I've stopped using Windows for anything!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Major Bloat

      Problem: Do the same thing only with someone uncomfortable with a command line or anything but Windows AND he only has 4GB of space to spare and nothing he can delete.

      NOW solve.

      1. Vic

        Re: Major Bloat

        Problem: Do the same thing only with someone uncomfortable with a command line

        Use Wammu.

        Vic.

        1. mics39
          Pint

          Re: Major Bloat

          Problem: Do the same thing only with someone uncomfortable with a command line

          Easy, copy one contact at a time. Need not to waste on Windows.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Major Bloat

        "Windows AND he only has 4GB of space to spare"

        Now he has two problems. As soon as he turns his back Windows will have eaten that 4GB and he has none left and still can't delete anything. What was the original problem again?

      3. veti Silver badge

        Re: Major Bloat

        Dropbox. HTH, HAND.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Major Bloat

          "Dropbox. HTH, HAND."

          Offline. Cloud not an option.

    2. jason 7

      Re: Major Bloat

      "Problem: To move contacts from old Nokia 3310 to a Nokia 6210"

      We just used to use the "Move Contacts to SIM" option in the phone.

      Again...no need to use Linux.

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