Look out, Launchy

For those looking for an easy, breezy launcher app, Launchy has been the name of the game. Two new products aim to take on the champ with unique features and impressive performance.

Launchy (Credit: CNET Networks)

If you're familiar with Windows application launchers (aside from the "Run" button), you probably already know about Launchy, a simple utility that finds and runs/opens programs, file, music, Web searches, and bookmarks. Launchy has earned a big fan base because of its simplicity and efficiency. However, two new free launchers have their sights set on Launchy's user base.

Executor is slick and endlessly keywordable. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Yesterday, the tech site Lifehacker featured Executor, a free release from Martin Bressman that expands upon Launchy's run functionality. Executor has a slick interface and is a no-brainer for keyboard maniacs. All of your favorite software, movies, and music can be started with easily customizable keywords.

Find and Run Robot
FARR looks simple, but works quickly. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Another popular program on the rise is the Find and Run Robot (or FARR) from DonationCoder.com. Although FARR is styled more like a search tool than a launcher, once you find what you're looking for, FARR lets you start applications, send e-mail, and perform quick Web searches. It uses adaptive caching to learn which programs and files you use most, and it's also been extended with free add-ons for services like Google Maps and compatibility with alternative browsers like Opera.

Do you use a launching application, or is the good old Windows Start button and Run functionality good enough? Tell me about it in the comments.

About Peter Butler

Peter has been working at Download.com since 2003, when trialware was shareware and toolbars were those large metal rods for smashing car windows. Currently, he wrangles the reviews, videos, newsletter, blog, and special collections for Download.com, as well as managing the program data throughout the software directory.