We take computers for granted, expecting them to perform well in our everyday activities, and do it at the same high performance level every time. Unfortunately, that’s not what happens. The more we use our systems, the more we slow them down by adding programs, cluttering the disk and other activities that are reasonable to do, but degrade performance in the long run. The common result: PCs that become slow or don’t act as we expect.
Microsoft and Apple have each done a pretty good job of creating tools or procedures that we can use to reduce the issues; but they’re not easy to find, are time consuming, and in many cases, need technical proficiency (or at least confidence on the part of the user).
Over the years, a class of software has emerged to take care of this problem for you. With names like MyCleanPC, PC Cleaner Plus, ReviverSoft, and MyFasterPC, these applications promise to examine your computer and undo the problems that have arisen over the years to make your computer perform poorly.
Although their business models differ somewhat, the standard model is that you can examine your computer for no charge by downloading a free application; then if you want to fix the problems found by that application, you must buy the more advanced version. It’s a lot like sampling the software before you buy, but not getting full satisfaction until you put up some dollars.
Since these guys are in business to make money, I don’t see a problem with them charging for the value; but I find it deceptive when they hide the fact that you’ll pay before you can fix. For instance, MyCleanPC, says you can purchase an activation code; but it’s hidden in blocks of text; and the price is obscure#- button. The company also allows you to narrow the products you see on its product list by price (either ‘Free to try’ or ‘Free’) making it clear whenever there#s a charge. Once you’re on the page to buy, the price is also clearly marked.
Each of these products is a bit different, although at the core, they do the same thing. MyFasterPC offers supplementary software (for an additional charge) that helps you find duplicate files. PC Cleaner Plus allows you to purchase live support via remote login. ReviverSoft offers a free battery optimizer tool and purchasable password & driver related tools as well as specialized tools for Mac, iPhone and Windows 8 users.
Clearly you can do much of what these products do with software that came with your computer; so most of what you’re buying is not additional capability. You’re buying convenience, automation and alerts that warn you if certain conditions exist on your PC that must be resolved.
You’re also buying confidence - that even if you’re a novice, you can maintain your PC so it runs reasonably as it gets older. This important benefit is overlooked by many people who are technically competent, because they are already confident in their own ability to address the issues that these applications address. I was actually impressed when one technologist posted unflattering statements on a geek’s blog, and his concerns were directly addressed by the founder of ReviverSoft. That’s a kind of transparency that is sorely lacking from software CEOs – and adds to user/buyer confidence as well.
So if you place value in having your computer running at optimal effectiveness without having to personally tinker under the hood as a PC mechanic, one of these applications may be just what you need.