windows xp speed and hotfix

Microsoft Windows XP

I have noticed my computer is running slowly, I was told
that I could possible have too many programs taking up
space on my computer. When I go to add/remove programs
there are several windows hotfix items there and I want
to know if it is ok to remove these items in order to
free up room on my computer to make it run faster. Also
when on start up the computer takes a long time to load
programs is there any way to see what programs are
starting and how to stop them on startup if they are not
necessary.
You were advised incorrectly. Having "too many programs taking up space" on
your hard drive has nothing to do with how quickly your computer performs.
On the other hand, having too many programs running at the same time will
definitely cause your performance to suffer.

Don't even think of removing those hotfixes - those are the critical updates
you obtained from Windows Update, and they protect the security of your
computer.

To see what programs are running on your computer, press CTR ALT and Delete
at the same time to bring up the Task Manager. To see what programs start
when Windows starts, open the System Configuration Utility from Start > Run

The number 1 reason for slow performance is viruses and spyware. The number
2 reason is lack of maintenance. The number 3 reason is too many programs
running at the same time.

Rocky