I don't know what IM installs - but I see Norton on their webpage. I can easily see "most end-users" installing something, seeing the opportunity to install Norton Anti-Virus, and thinking to themselves "oh yea, that sounds like that'd be useful".
Just about everybody on HN is extremely technically savvy - we can't assume that our computing preferences are shared by "most end-users". Note that I am just responding to the assertion that "it['s] hard to believe that [PG] truly think[s] it is anything but a nuisance to end-users".
> we can't assume that our computing preferences are shared by "most end-users".
Those are still anecdotes, but I think most of us actually can say this or that about end-users preferences, after countless of hours spent on cleaning their computers. I for one think that calling it "nuisance" is a massive understatement.
While i dislike the idea of crapware, if it funds useful pieces of software, perhaps its a nuisance that could be tolerated.
Quoting Rafael: "You'll find they only have 42 current advertisers... and not Norton/others listed on the site."