It seems a common trend is for many software applications to be bloated. What is software bloat? It generally means software with an increasing number of features that uses more system resources than necessary. Another name for this kind of software is bloatware.
Software Bloat Example – Application Foo
Let me give an example. There are two applications, Foo and Bar, that open and view widgets. Application Foo requires 5 programs running in the background all the time that autostart (automatically start), uses a 500 MB of memory and 10 GB of disk space, and takes several seconds to start. Now on the other hand Application Bar has no background programs, pops open in less than a second and takes less than 5 MB of memory and disk space.
If all you need to do is view widgets, application Foo clearly uses more resources than is necessary. Sure it may offer several extra features but you may never use or even know about them. Application Foo also probably takes much longer to install/uninstall. Having a lot of features also tends to clutter the user interface. The screen may be filled with tons of buttons/menus/tabs. In general, Application Foo will basically slow down your computer for no perceived benefit. It may even increase your electric bill slightly if the background programs are inefficiently polling. These effects are amplified if you have multiple programs like Foo.
How To Deal with Software Bloat?
One way to deal with software bloat is too look for lightweight alternative programs. In the above case if you new about Bar you could use it instead of Foo. In some cases there may be no alternative or you might have to try a few applications to decide. It might not be so easy to see how many resources an application is using. If you want to uninstall something later, you run into some of the problems we discussed last time.