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"Nero Lite" and "Nero Micro": smaller sometimes is better

Third party installers created to fight fatware
Tue Feb 27 2007, 09:30
SOMEONE upset with the growing size of the popular "Nero" cd and dvd-burning application decided to take matters into his or her own hands, and released unofficial "Nero Lite" and "Nero Micro" versions.

I remember the time when Nero -which seemed to come bundled with almost every decent CD-writer at some point- was a small and efficient application. It basically "got the job done", with a solid engine and decent interface. In the last few years, however, the size of the beast grew considerably, with the latest build -released last month- being a 190MB download that does not include help files and which in addition lists "1 GB hard disk space" for a full install among its requirements. What used to be a small CD and DVD burning application now is a huge suite composed of the original "Burning Rom" plus: "Nero Express", "Nero CoverDesigner", "Nero WaveEditor", "Nero Toolkit", "Nero Vision", "Nero Recode", "Nero PhotoSnap", "Nero BackItUp", "Nero ImageDrive" and a few others I'm probably leaving out.

The "Nero Micro" installer

While that 190MB download might not sound like a big deal, people like system administrators or geeks with small home LANs who like to download software just once and then carry installers on a thumb drive to do updates might not find it too amusing to use near 20% of a 1GB removable drive just for a CD burning application. When version was released last month, the comments on the popular CDfreaks site showed some dissatisfaction, with one user saying "Nowadays, Nero is bloated with cr*p that I dont want.. And even installing just the burning engine requires lots of disk space.. And it seems like other software developers are doing it too.. Its like they HAVE to bloat the software up to make it look good".

Installing "Nero Micro" v7.7.5.1 (dialogue shows "Lite" but this is from "Micro")

The "concerned user" ended his rant by saying "I think they should release a basic version that works just like the older versions did, simple, small and quick". It's good point that I share to some degree, specially on the Windows platform -Nero's Linux version is more reasonably sized by comparison-. A Google search revealed something unexpected: "Nero Lite" and "Nero Micro", but the surprises for me was who authored those versions... it wasn't the firm. So here you have the irony of unofficial, unauthorized builds of the Nero installer. Those releases are around a fifth and a tenth of the original installer's size, 35MB and 13MB for Lite and Micro, respectively; contrast that with the 190MB download for the whole shebang, as delivered by Nero. Of course, you will still need your legal serial number to enter it into the application.

The problem: Nero v7.x is a huge suite of applications

The "Nero 7 Micro" and "Nero 7 Micro" idea seems to have started some time ago, with the first reference about it showing up on this forum. The latest releases, in several languages, are dated February 24, 2007 and listed over here.

Nero 7 "lite" and "micro" installers

While some people -prestigious and influential pundits, indeed- claim that software bloat doesn't exist and some go as far as to say that feature bloat is a myth, I think that the only existence of "Nero Lite" and "Nero Micro" shows that there's a need in the marketplace for smaller installers. Instead of pursuing whoever hosts the slimmed down installers, I think Nero should do the right thing, and start offering "lite" and "micro" installers themselves. In the meantime, if you need a more reasonably sized Nero 7 installer, then follow my old ages-old motto and "GIWYC" -Grab It While You Can-.µ

See also:
Charlie reviews Nero Six Zero

Bloatware and the 80/20 myth
Feature Bloat 'mostly a myth'


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