doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Mixed Messages

As soon as I bought my first Windows computer, I set out to speed it up!

Right out of the box, a new computer runs pretty quickly.  Then, you start to install software and the degradation begins.  You add/remove software and the downward slide continues.  The worst was my time on the OSAPAC Committee where we were forever installing software for evaluation and then removing it when we were done.  Some software was worse than others.  As any sophisticated user will tell you, there is software that installs other software either as a dependency or because they get paid to.  And, at times, they’ll change your search engine or your home page in your browser.  It’s a hijack process to get you to see your computer “their way”.

The whole process spawned a lot of jokes.

Who can forget?

What’s the best way to accelerate Windows?

At -9.8 m/s2

Now, Macintosh users, don’t smile too much.  I’ve heard it in the Macintosh context as well.

However, to our rescue are utilities that purport to do what Windows can’t do for itself.  You can get third party virus checkers, tuneup utilities, and malware checkers.  I regularly use CCleaner and MalwareBytes to make me feel like I’m doing something good for my computer and speeding it up.

And, there are online experts.  Or at least people that write convincing articles like “10 Tips to Speed Up Windows 10“.  It all seems like good advice.

But, I’ve always wondered.  Microsoft owns the code and they’re a huge company with all kinds of resources.  Why can’t they do this as part of the operating system?  And, if they can’t or there’s a better way, we live in a day and age of software acquisition.  Just go out and buy the company that does it better.

It seems logical to me.

It also seems that the time is right with the release of Windows 10.  They’ve done a complete rewrite of things it seems and it is indeed quicker.  I’ve mentioned before that Windows 7 was such a pig on this computer but that Windows 10 is so much better.  Ubuntu is even faster upon dual boot.  Maybe if I just had a utility to tweak Windows, it would run better too.

This morning, I read this page on the Microsoft website.  “How Microsoft antimalware products identify malware: unwanted software and malicious software“.  It’s not a quick and easy read. It’s actually fairly technical and sure puts a lot of pressure on Microsoft malware researchers and Windows Defender.  It’s an interesting read and I can think in my mind of specific software titles or services that run against these descriptions.

So, what is a prudent and safe computer user supposed to do?  Do we leave everything in Microsoft’s hands?  Or, are there still some third party utilities that make the Windows 10 experience worth the time and effort to download and run?  Have you found a particular utility that is head and shoulders above the rest?

I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.


Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.

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