Adobe Reader 9 Lite
Adobe just released a new version of the Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. Mostly with features that end users like you and me will never use. Or does any of you really need Improved CAD and geospatial functionality, Native Adobe FlashÂ® support or PDF Portfolios. The new version does load faster than the previous one but the loading time pales in comparison to third party alternatives like Foxit Reader, Sumatra or even Adobe Reader 9 Lite.
The creator of the Windows Vista Codec package created a lite version of Adobe Reader that got rid of most of the stuff that bloated the PDF reader but was not used by most users anyway. The lite version does not load as fast as Foxit Reader for instance but makes up for it by still being the official Adobe product, something that a few users probably prefer.
Adobe Reader 9 Lite uses roughly 6 Megabytes of memory and 18 Megabytes of Swap space when running which is extremely well for that kind of applications. I can definitely recommend using Adobe Reader 9 Lite if you have no use for most Adobe Reader features. Foxit Reader and others are still excellent alternatives that come with an even lower memory footprint and faster load times.
Update: Adobe Reader Lite is no longer maintained by its author, and we have therefore decided to remove the link from this article. The problem here is that Adobe releases stability and security updates for Adobe Reader regularly, and that Adobe Reader Lite does not include them due to the lack of updates.
We suggest you use a program like the lightweight pdf reader Sumatra or Foxit Reader. The latter offers more functionality but is also larger in size both on the hard drive and when running on the system.