Interesting article over there at the Download Squad where they list the 5 most annoying programs. They call it Elephantwear, a very fitting description for programs that make your feel like your computer is not that fast anymore even if it is state of the art. Their top 5 consists of Adobe Reader, Apple's iTunes, Real Player, Internet Explorer and Outlook.
I'm a bit surprised that they did not mention any Norton / Symantec product in the list because those top all of the mentioned ones in my opinion. It is also interesting to note that all five mentioned programs have lightweight alternatives that provide most of their functionality.
Adobe Reader can be optimized to load blazingly fast, or users can use Foxit or a similar faster software. Apple's iTunes can also be replaced with lightweight software except for the iTunes store as far as I know. Real Player has the Real Alternative software, Opera and Firefox are great browsers that are in many aspects better than Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook can be replaced by Thunderbird although it is missing some features (exchange server, calendar).
I would probably remove Internet Explorer and Outlook from that list and add Norton / Symantec programs instead. Which programs would you add to the list?
Update: With the Download Squad being closed down, we have removed the link from this article. When it comes to the programs, things have not changed a lot in recent years. Microsoft is on a good way with Internet Explorer 9, and the upcoming Internet Explorer 10, improving the browser both functionality-wise, but also speed-wise. But those versions of the browser are not available under Windows XP, and as far as IE10 is concerned, under Windows Vista.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.