Seven reasons why your software is so slow

Ever wonder why your PC keeps choking on that slick, new corporate app? Here are the chief culprits bogging down the latest software's performance

In terms of computing power, we've come a long way since 1981. Today's average desktop CPU is more than 600 times faster than that of the original IBM PC. Throw in blazing-fast graphics cards, mind-boggling amounts of RAM, multimegabit network connections, and hard drives that spin faster than a Ferrari engine, and you've got a machine that's powerful beyond the imaginings of the original PC pioneers.

So why doesn't it seem that way?

By all accounts, we live in a digital Golden Age, and yet for many of us, our day-to-day computing experience is more purgatory than paradise. Slow startup times, unresponsive applications, delays, crashes, and reboots bog us down at every turn. Upgrades seem to bring short-lived bliss at best, followed by a brand-new crop of frustrations. Our machines keep getting more powerful, but our experience using them hardly seems to have improved at all.

Why does computing have to be so painful? Where have we gone wrong? And more importantly, what can we do to get back on track? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers and no quick fixes. But because forewarned is forearmed, we present here a collection of top pain points experienced by enterprise PC users everywhere.

These seven computing pitfalls aren't going away any time soon. The solutions must come from hardware manufacturers, software vendors, and IT managers alike. Still, with luck, by recognizing the problems, we can avoid the most serious traps -- while doing what we can to steer the industry toward a more efficient, enjoyable computing experience for all.

Culprit No. 1: Chip advances leave developers in the dust
Culprit No. 2: Code bloat abounds
Culprit No. 3: Usability remains an afterthought
Culprit No. 4: Security saps system performance
Culprit No. 5: Lack of standards stifles agility
Culprit No. 6: Centralizing IT gives rise to bureaucracy
Culprit No. 7: Computing trends overburden the network

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Neil McAllister

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