As of late, my laptop has been slow to start applications. I did the usual disk cleaning, cache flushes, etc., all of which had little affect on performance. Then I came across this Stack Overflow Article. To quote one of the commenters:
"Holy $%@&, it WORKED!!!"
Here's the the hack.
CD C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319 NGEN update
It takes a few minutes to run and you'll see lots of errors, which you can safely ignore. I did the same on the 32-bit version of the framework. I plan to run this after every system update.
It's a bit of a disappointment to have to perform maintainence tasks on the framework.