Watching BBC Click on TV yesterday, I was interested to find out more about soluto.com that was mentioned on the show. This is a program for Windows that claims to dramatically speed up the boot time of your computer so that it doesn’t load programs or services that aren’t necessary when the computer is preparing itself for your use, and so makes the PC ready for you to use much more quickly.
I installed it and made some choices on what programs to run during boot; as a result it has already shaved the boot time on a Windows 7 desktop computer by twenty seconds as this screenshot shows.
That may not sound a lot but a machine that used to take about two minutes to boot is now considerably quicker. Multiply that time saving every day – I usually turn my PCs off every night and start them up again every morning – and it adds up to some useful extra time available.
How does it work? Here’s how Soluto explains it:
Soluto employs innovative low-level Windows kernel technologies to identify what users are asking their PC to do, and what their PC does in return. Soluto is able to pinpoint and analyze what resource obstacles stood in the way of the user’s desired actions. These can be I/O issues, network issues, resource locking, and so on.
Soluto uses the same technologies to determine what actions users took that had a positive effect on their computing experience. For example, pausing certain processes and reconfiguring certain applications can dramatically improve the behavior of a particular piece of software.
This anonymous technical data is gathered and sent to Soluto’s PC Genome, a one of a kind knowledgebase containing statistical insights about PC software and hardware behavior, as well as remedies to alleviate PC usage frustrations. By putting this information into the light, the PC Genome will help consumers and vendors alike.
Soluto employs another set of innovative algorithms to determine which remedies will have a positive impact on each Soluto user’s unique PC system. These remedies are then shared with other relevant Soluto users.
In other words, Soluto analyses what’s running on your PC when it starts up. It makes suggestions based on what it finds and what other Soluto users have chosen to do. You then decide what to do.
It sounds simple enough and it certainly presents information to you in a way that makes it easy to understand that information and thus make an informed decision.
What would you prefer? The approach Windows offers you, buried in the operating system as the system configuration tool –
Or the approach Soluto offers that provides you with simpler information about each program that runs at boot time along with some nice visuals that show you what other users do –
I know which one I prefer!
I like the elegance of the application and how it gives you information like you see in this example of an HP printer service that used to run during boot but is now delayed until the boot is finished – because it’s not actually needed during boot – and that is presented for every program Soluto finds that runs at boot time.
In the case of my desktop PC, that was nearly 90 programs and services. In each case, I was able to quickly make some informed decisions that resulted in the 20-seconds saving I mentioned earlier.
What makes Soluto quite compelling is that the Soluto program you run on your computer isn’t working in complete isolation as Windows’ own configuration tool does. Instead, Soluto draws upon the collective experiences of other Soluto users so that you can make your choices in that context. It also anonymously shares your experiences with others.
That’s what Soluto describes as the PC Genome, a knowledgebase that the developer will launch soon.
Soluto’s tag line is "Anti frustration software." A neat focus on what many people actually experience when they use a PC, usually without having a clear clue why, instead of on the often-confusing technology itself (check the System Configuration screenshot again, above).
Soluto’s in beta – what isn’t these days? – and you can download the program for free. It will run on computers using Windows XP Service Pack 2 and later versions.
Give it a go. Nothing to lose except wasted time.
Six minutes to hear the co-founder tell you why you need Soluto. Nicely produced video, embedded below for your convenience.