Yes, there are a number of ways of controlling which applications get launched on Windows startup, ranging from editing the registry or deleting shortcuts from the windows startup folder, but in a nice stroke of genius, Microsoft allows you to quickly and efficiently control which startup applications get to run by adding a useful Startup tab to their System Configuration utility.
Simply type in “system configuration” into the Windows Start Menu search box and hit enter, allow the System Configuration utility to launch (if you have UAC enabled), and then browse to the Startup tab. Here you will see a unified list of all applications that either have a on Startup registry entry or wallow perhaps in the Startup folder itself, with a checkbox next to each application name indicating its current startup status.
So in order to speed up your machine, uncheck all those unnecessary resource hogs and click Apply – couldn’t be any simpler! :)
Note: This has been around since Windows XP by the way: Start -> Run: msconfig. Still nifty though.