I'm running XP SP2 and Office 2000 and use Kaspersky 7.0 and LavaSoft AdWare. Lately the MS Office products became slow when started from Windows Explorer (6.0) even when I'm off the net. The delay is perhaps 15 to 20 seconds for the tool (Word, Excell, Access) and another 10 to 20 seconds for the document. I have Desktop shortcuts to the tools and they load as expected, sub sec for the tool and perhaps a sec for the doc.
I've built my own hardware / software systems since the early 80's (started on a highly modified PCJr). Current system should rip: ASUS P5K-VM MB, WD Raptor drive, 2 Gigs, etc). I always run with MS updates off. It seems like Windows Explorer is looking for something or waiting for a delay timeout. That the direct shortcuts pop in a second supports this point of view. I just don't see where to look for a MS Explorer issue. A full rebuild takes me about a day. I usually do that only every other year to clean out the MS crap.
Still waiting for a good Linex OS to come along to say good by to Bill. I worked for IBM when just a little push would have had some other arrogant SOB become the richest individual. Boy did the Execs at IBM drop the ball on that one - "The PC will never amount to more the 1% of our bottom line so let some Geek do the work."