Wintasks 5 ProPublisher: LiUtilities / UniBlue
Written by: Nicholas 'nm+' Meyer
Test system specs:
Gateway 600XL notebook with a P4-M at 2.0Ghz
768 MB of PC-2100
64MB Radeon Mobility M-7 (7500)
4200RPM hard drive
Windows XP Professional SP2
Uniblue (formerly LiUtilities) claims that their software, WinTasks 5 Professional, is the ultimate Windows utility; one that will help you fight malware and keep your computer running faster. It really is an enhanced task manager, one with many potentially powerful tools for controlling your Windows computer. Any person reasonably familiar with the Windows Task Manager should feel right at home with much of the program. All your running processes are laid out for you, with much of the same information that can be found in the Windows XP/2000 Task Manager: process name, priority, and CPU and ram usage along with a couple that are new like the number of threads the process is using, the location of the process and when the process was started. It is worth noting that the first two can be found in many freeware utilities like Spybot S&D. However, this more advanced task manager might be useful to users who still run Windows 98 that has a much simpler task manager.
However WinTasks is far more than just a task manager and has a number of features that are worth a look. One of the best is a library of common processes. Want to know if smss.exe is a legitimate program? Wintasks has descriptions of a reasonably large number of programs. In this case we learn that smss.exe is part of the Windows operating system and should not be stopped. However, this library is lacking in some descriptions; for example it had nothing for reasonably popular software like Mozilla, VNC, and GAIM. However, Uniblue does allow you to submit your own descriptions of programs and is continually updating their process list and I would expect that with enough time this could become quite a comprehensive list. While this function could generally be carried out by a bit of Googling, this feature is useful because it provides a quick and reliable way to know just what that program is. Another potentially useful feature of Wintasks is the blocked process list. This is probably the most useful feature in terms of fighting spyware.