It's these incessant commercials I always see on my TV. "Install our product, and we will make your PC up to 100% faster!" Then they usually go through a few customer use cases (typically involving elderly folk) about how they installed it and found they could read e-mails much quicker and that their startup time was cut in half, their programs loaded quicker, and many more wonderful and seemingly desirable things.
Being a software engineer I am skeptical of these commercials and these products. I understand there can be registry errors (one of the things they say they can fix) and that there could be other programs unnecessarily running on startup which could slow boot time, and a severely fragmented disk which could slow seeking and loading files, but really?
Do these products do anything useful, other than make their developers rich? And furthermore, if they claim to fix registry errors, how do they know what was supposed to be in the registry in the first place on third party software, as far as I know there is no central "this is what a registry should look like" database?
I guess I'm just skeptical about software which claims to be the end-all of software issues. But please, you thoughts?
Question: Do these products provide measurable speed increases or decrease the frequency of crashes/freezes on one's system as a result of using them?
Here are some specific examples:
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