From the good news/bad news desk Sony has joined Packard-Bell (they still buy them in Europe) to bundle Spare Backup's agent and online backup service with every PC they sell. On the good news front this means more of the fashonistas that buy Sony PCs at retail will backup their data online.The downside is that we've come a long way from the days when the software bundle on the Osborne 1 (Wordstar, SuperCalc, and dBase II the leading applications of the cretaceous era of computing) cost as much as the computer they came bundled with. Today's retail computers are loaded with trials/demos and other software of questionable value, especially to experienced users and Spare Backup is just in with the rest.
Overall I think it's a good thing. Users get 30 or 90 days of service, depending on whether they give a credit card number when they set up their Spare Backup accounts, for 50GB of data. After the free period is over it will set them back $6/mo and additional storage is also $6/mo for 50GB.
The Sony deal also includes a data transfer utility that copies data and settings for common applications from one PC to another. It's not Alohabob or PCMover, as it doesn't move applications, just data and settings but still useful.
Just goes to show one man's Crapware is another man's valuable introduction to online backup.