It just hit me, why do I have to install programs?

I was in my start menu in XP, which I try to keep clean and compact, and noticed 10 program folders which I’ve hardly ever used - these are programs that I either installed to try or just needed to use once. I then noticed that in my sub-folders I probably have a dozen or so programs that I’ve moved from their default shortcut install - but again rarely used.

I probably have more programs installed that I tried/needed to use once or twice than I those I use on a regular basis.

Why can’t I just try the program out from a location without installing things and worrying about it applying changes to the registry, rebooting etc. (and don’t get me started on the “added value&quote; programs I have to stop it from installing). If I use it a lot then I’ll move it to the start menu where it will have a permanent home, otherwise it will stay in my software/downloads folder until I need it again or perform a cleanup.

Recently I’ve been getting more and more annoyed with Windows, no matter how hard I try to keep the system clean things like this happen. There will always be programs I want to try out or use a handful of times but they take time to install and put things all over the system and clutter everything up, this is one of the reasons I’ve performed a clean installed XP at least 3 times this year on my main system.

Every day a nice 15 inch Powerbook seems more and more appealing and guess what, the majority of programs come as one package with all the files packaged behind it, clicking on this will run the program and to install it you just the copy the pacakge to the desired location.

I understand that programs need somewhere to hold all their user settings etc. but why can’t that be part of the package in windows?