I've recently been using a neat, free application called RunFast that lets me create aliases for launching frequently used programs by typing in the first few letters of their names. Tonight, I was at an interesting meeting on OS X and was impressed with a free application called QuickSilver which goes far beyond this by indexing the hard drive and allowing quick access to files and applications (similar to what Spotlight promises in Tiger, I assume.) In any case, I thought I'd search for an alternative for Windows and came up with QuickStart. It's not as snazzy but it does appear to work really well. I also found a commercial application called AppRocket but couldn't be bothered to install it as it required the latest .Net runtime to be installed first.