Last Updated May 7, 2008 10:35 AM EDT
How to put this kindly... Windows' built-in uninstaller sucks. It's slow. It's buried in the Control Panel. It doesn't always remove all traces of the program. Oh, and let's not forget that sometimes it flat out refuses to remove entries at all. That's why I'm a huge fan of Revo Uninstaller, a faster, more effective, and more versatile tool.
The program analyzes each program before and after removing it, thus allowing you to remove leftover files, Registry keys, and the like. It also includes a startup manager and tools for cleaning out junk files, browser history, and more. An updated version, 1.60, was just released, promising faster scanning and an improved user interface.
Revo Uninstaller is free. It's compatible with Windows 2000 and later, including Vista. Because I use it only sporadically, it didn't make my recent list of five freeware gems I use every day. But it's definitely a freeware gem.