I had allocated a small slice of my attention span to keeping tabs on the TechCrunch Disrupt startup battlefield earlier this week. I was wowed by UJAM, and thought they would surely come away with first place.
The judges instead chose Soluto, a company that sells “anti-frustration” software for Windows owners.
Curiousity got the better of me, and I downloaded Soluto onto my aging Dell Dimension Tower to see what got the judges excited.
Disclosure: I recently purchased an Apple MacBook Pro because my long standing aggravation with Windows had reached a breaking point. I had made a vow to not spend another dollar on upgrading my Microsoft-Dell productivity killer.
Soluto is a slickly designed utility that analyzes your bootup sequence— I had initially 47 apps in mine—and visually explains what processes are needed and what can be removed.
Bottom line: After letting Soluto tame my unruly Windows bootup, I’m willing to spend more quality time with Windows XP.
Yes, I admit to be a little lax about my Windows housekeeping, and over the years I accumulated enough layers of debris to cause the bootup delay to pass the 1 minute 40 second mark (according to Soluto).
What makes Soluto different from the shareware freebies I’ve tried in the past to analyze my running processes is its truly friendly and graphically beautiful (for this genre of products) interface.
I was quickly able to see what apps could be removed from my startup list, and what were potentially removable. Soluto let you either delay the process launch until the PC is idle, or “pause” it and then manually launch . In either case, by taking it off the launch-at-start list, you’ve shaved time off the delay in getting Windows up and running.
In my mind, here are the key differentiators that make this product worthwhile. Soluto displays information on your apps as three graphical bands (removable, potentially removable, and not removable) that effortlessly expand and contact as you click away. (You won’t find this kind of artistry in shareware land.) One important data point is provided by the crowd: Soluto reports back what others have decided to do with a particular process—i.e., delay or pause.
Presumably the process specific information along with the crowdsourced data is queried from Soluto’s own internal databases. Warning: Soluto’s initial analysis phase of the registry can take awhile—roughly 30 minutes in my case.
So far it is offering a freemium model: basic is free, and an automatic, fee-based version of Soluto will run in the background, fixing things as needed.
Like many others, I’m not planning on getting rid of my own Wintel desktop anytime soon—I still have important apps that are stuck there.
Soluto helps with my dilemma by giving me and millions of other users some control over the Windows beast.