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Microsoft finally gets into the keyboard app launcher biz with Speed Launch

Speed Launch
If you've ever used a keyboard app launcher like Launchy, Executor, Quicksilver, or Gnome Do you've probably asked yourself, why doesn't Microsoft build something like this into Windows? Now Microsoft Office Labs has released a free keyboard launcher called Speed Launch.

Speed Launch adds a little bull's eyee to your desktop. To add a frequently used program, file, or document, to Speed Launch, just drag it to the target. You can then activate Speed Launch by hitting Win+C to bring up the program window. You can either hit the buttons to perform specified actions or type into the box. In other words, it does pretty much what you'd expect any keyboard launcher to do.

But Speed Launch has a few quirks. First, the program doesn't lose focus or go away unless you hit the X button in the upper right. Second, there doesn't seem to be a way to change the hotkeys that bring up the Speed Launch window. So if, like me, you happen to have a computer with an awkwardly-placed Windows key, there's no way to change the hotkeys.

The program is also a bit of a memory hog, using as much as 30MB of RAM, which is far more than similar programs like Launchy or Executor use. That seems strange, especially considering the fact that Speed Launch doesn't index your program files or start menu items automatically, something which both of those other programs do.

Overall, Speed Launch doesn't stack up particularly well against the competition. But it's worth keeping in mind that this is an experimental project that's still under development.

Tags: executor, freeware, launchy, microsoft, program-launcher, speed-launch