Excellent point, Trilinea. Anvir has a free product with a nice-looking startup manager in their very competent free task manager, mentioned upthread, with a Startup Guard and Manager (they way they do their pages they can almost look like separate products, but they are in the free Task Manager). So the Startup stuff is also in their more comprehensive products with additional features (the Pro used by Trilinea is $60, where DonationCoder discounts I think applies, very helpful). In the higher products the biggest emphasis is on additional security and HIPS aspects as well as more process management and a database of 70K items for the startup manager, a significant aspect. So like with a lot of these products, the free is good, a paid is better. So whether to go to the free or the paid will depend a lot on whether they fit your security mix and the database aspect and if you like the integration of their process management.
On the security items, it would be interesting to see how they fare at Wilders.
Their four products comparison are at:
Compare Editions >> Task Manager Programs, Windows Startup Manager
Worthwhile, good company, product under development, some support, forum, freeware version that is very usable, start manager an integral part of the software.
For now I am going to consider them as one addition that goes right with the three mentioned in the thread header. Here are what I see as the most important active startup softwares.
WinPatrol (free or Pro)
Chameleon Startup Manager (Free Standard-$25 Pro-$30) Trialpay ** UPDATED
Avira Task Manager (free or paid, 3 versions,)
Startup Manager - Metaproducts (paid)
StartEd - (free-Lite or Pro)
WhatInStartup (free) - below, known tech-savvy
Startup Optimizer - in RegRun security suite from Greatis - starts at Std. $20 ** ADDED
It would be a good project to first take these programs and see any differences in their analysis of a diverse system. As to exactly what is starting up and where (including specialties like the Windows Scheduler and windows.ini). Also describe how each one deals with the prompt-security situation, which most have as a feature in a variety of ways. (Add a few programs in various areas and see how the program works in realtime. And similarly if the program is startuped up after being off awhile.) And then move on a bit from those two features -- finding and displaying everything sensibly and warning and optional rollback of changes. (A program can still be excellent without a warning feature, but there should be at least one security program on your system that does that).
The new Nirsoft, added to the list.
This retires the 5-year old StartupRun, with similar or the same basic interface.http://www.nirsoft.net/blog/
This utility replaces the old StartupRun utility, which haven't been updated for more than 4 years. .. 2 new important features ... work with external instance of Windows ... Permanent Disabling
The permanent disabling is a monitoring re-boot-out routine, which would have to be tested against programs that have their own re-startup timer or try to immediately reboot -- if it is relied on as primary protection. However it is a very nice feature.