Windows XP, change priority on startup

Windows XP task manager gives an option of setting a priority of a program to Realtime, High, Abovenormal). Now can I (Imagine using commands in a shortcut to the application) launch an application with predefined priority. For example I want my users to always launch OUTLOOK.EXE with High Priority). Can i manage that somehow?
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Ravi AgrawalConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Generally I would leave the task to prioritize a process to the OS itelf. Windows does a good job of allocating process cycles and such should only be set if you are really facing problems in the computing world.

Say, a 16-bit DOS program is hogging to many CPU cycles, thus freezing the whole system. You can set it as low-proirity to avoid such hang-ups, However personally I have not been that successfully with it.

Another example would be a case of managing multiple virtual machines, where you may need to prioritize the VM server software.

Ideally, a window which is in focus is given more CPU cycles as far as I know.

Through a batch file, using the start command.....

@echo off
echo Starting Outlook with a HIGH Priority
start /high "C:\Path\To\YOUR\Version\Of\outlook.exe"

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Anti-MhzAuthor Commented:
less priority for background tasks such as piding (instant messanging) and anti virus software. My understanding is that a lower priority would make the machine think twice before assigning extra ram/cpu % to to such tasks, while higher priority would the opposite. or do I not understand what priority means?
uucknaaaConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Also, there are a number of process managers for sale and open source under development.  Here's a link to ProcessTamer:

There's a number under development at SourceForge here:

Here is one called process priority saver:

And here's one that is really free.  The software is Mediaware Task Manager and the company doesn't support it anymore but it is discussed a lot:

Hope that helps.

"Windows XP task manager gives an option of setting a priority of a program to Realtime, High, Abovenormal)."  WHERE ??

Windows itself prioritizes the processes that run depending on whether they are system or user processes and their importance to the system -- e.g. video drivers MUST load before other drivers -- as an example.

The only processes you can prioritize easily are the user login processes, and that is best done in the registry.  I don't know any way to do it in Task Manager itself.
Right click the process ...
Yeah, well see, that is entirely a user-based process feature,  it has nothing to do with boot priority load order, and that is best changed in the registry.  You can do some re-ordering of user priorities in the reg, but for the most part, those changes in Task mangler, and user-run process changes, make little difference to the speed and or efficiency of any process or application.  So revisit John -- what exactly are you trying to accomplish here?
In general Windows does a good job of setting process priorities and you will rarely gain anything by changing them. Manual settings were provided to solve specific problems that might occur but these are really quite rare.

You must be very careful when setting process priority to High or Realtime. Some critical system threads run at a lower priority than this and they could be starved of CPU time if the elevated process uses a large portion of CPU time.
"less priority for background tasks such as piding (instant messanging) and anti virus software. "\
Oh, I see.  Well as far as AV software is concerned, it will DEMAND MAX priority and stop all other tasks until it is finished loading -- the logic is that if the system is infected, you do NOT want to proceed.  Sure we all find the initial system scan of virus programs as an "annoying delay" -- but it is really not -- if the RAM is infected, or the key system files are infected, then you do NOT want to proceed with a boot, period.

So the makers of AV software have decided what is best for you -- so try to live with it.  It is SYSTEM level process, not a user process, and as such, you cannot relegate it to the background, it MUST run first.
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