I was reading another great Todd Bishop article about Microsoft's attempts to sell crapware-less Windows 7-based PCs and came across an interesting bit. Sure, selling crapware-less PCs is great. But Microsoft is formally defining what it calls Microsoft Signature software, preinstalled Microsoft software and technologies that turn a stock Windows 7 PC into a "Signature PC."

This is interesting to me because, in the writing of Windows 7 Secrets this year, I decided it was important to not just cover what comes in the (increasingly irrelevant) box, so to speak, but to also include chapters and information about the "sticky" Microsoft products and technologies that I think are as key to the Windows experience as some of the stuff that does come in Windows itself. So I'm fascinated to see that the list of Microsoft Signature software is very close to the additional software I cover in Windows 7 Secrets. This includes:

Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Silverlight
Bing 3D Maps
Zune 4.0
Windows Live Essentials - Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery and more
Some third party technologies like Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader

I would love to see Zune simply become part of Windows in the future and wouldn't be surprised to see that happen. But then, why not Security Essentials and Windows Live Essentials as well?