Soluto: Cashing in on Windows crashes

Soluto adds crash analysis, new business opportunity to its Windows streamlining utility.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

Soluto makes a nice Windows system optimizer, which the team over at Download.com has secured early access to. I've found it useful and encourage you to check it out. But Soluto also might have an interesting angle on the business of PC utility software.

The latest version of the app features a Windows crash logging and advice component. When Soluto is running, and your PC or an app on your PCcrashes, Soluto gathers system data surrounding the crash and tries to determine what caused the problem. This is what Windows should do itself but doesn't.

Microsoft does actually collects a trove of crash data and makes it available to developers, but according to Soluto CEO Tomer Dvir, the data is not parsed to make analyzing it cost-effective for developers.

Soluto does the analysis, and Dvir says the company can make determinations about app and hardware reliability that Microsoft wouldn't release even if it had the data. "We can tell which machines are best for hardcore Photoshop users," Dvir says. Or which laptops are the crashiest after sleep/wake cycles. Or which software combinations system vendors should never install. Also, if certain apps cause undesirable behavior that's short of a crash, Soluto can help track it down. Say your computer suffers from occasional five-second hangs. "We know why," says Dvir.

Soluto can tell if one app is causing another to crash. Soluto

The project to collect these crash signatures is called the PC Genome, and Soluto could probably make it into a revenue stream by selling it to hardware and software vendors, but Dvir tells me that the main business model will be selling professional, versions the free single-user Soluto app. (Pro versions will offer capabilities to manage multiple machines--possibly very useful for the "family CIO" as well as in business.)

That's a standard way to make money from a product like this. Soluto also plans to give the crash data away to vendors, so they can make more reliable products. I talked to folks from Soluto about this idea back in November, at which time the plan was to sell this information to the hardware and software companies. The Soluto execs of course know their business better than I do, but this still seems like a solid revenue stream. For the business' sake, I'd at least like to see a paid analysis service for manufacturers on top of a free version of the PC Genome data Soluto is going to make available.

As of the beginning of this year, Soluto had reportedly recorded data from twelve million blue-screen crashes. There should be more than one way to turn that frustration into revenue.