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VIDEO: Why Do We Upgrade Our Computer's OS?

This week, our experts debate the necessity of updating your OS.
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This week marks the official demise of Windows XP! After twelve and a half years, Microsoft has finally decided to stop supporting the ancient OS.

In this brief — yet lively — video, our experts discuss if it's even necessary to upgrade your OS, or if it's all just a huge scam to take your money.

What about you, readers? What are your thoughts on upgrading your OS? Tell us in the comments below!


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Dan Leadbetter is a Staff and Features Writer for DealNews. He enjoys comedy, playing drums, watching horror films, fine cigars, and Absinthe.
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7 comments
24KARAT
FIRST YOU SAY XP IS NOT PATCHED AGAINST NEW HACKS; THEN YOU SAY, ONE DOESN'T NEED TO UPGRADE ONE'S OS. CONFUSING TO SAY THE LEAST.

REGARDLESS, WITH AN ESTIMATED 20 SOMETHING PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S COMPUTERS STILL RUNNING XP, WHAT MICROSOFT IS DOING HERE IS UNCONSCIONABLE AND SHOULD BE ILLEGAL. AT A MINIMUM, THEY ARE AIDING AND ABETTING CRIMINALS IN IDENTITY THEFT. ADDITIONALLY, MANY PEOPLE CAN'T AFFORD TO UPGRADE THEIR OS, OR WORSE YET, BUY A NEW COMPUTER. IF NOTHING ELSE, GOVERNMENTS SHOULD STEP IN AND SUPPORT XP IN THE NAME OF CRIME PREVENTION. THIS ISSUE IS BIGGER THAN MICROSOFT.
illrigger
So, here's the deal: some updates require more work than others, and some are such big changes that they simply can't be done in place. For example, each new version of Windows has included changes to the underlying file system, allowing for larger drives to be used. Another is support for a 64-bit kernel, allowing open access to more than 3.5GB of RAM.

Updates of this scale simply can't be done in place without risking data loss, and preventing data loss is the #1 concern of OS updates. As a result, they push these major changes in the next OS version, where users will be running on a clean system and migrating data rather than updating. The pushes the issue of data loss off to the end users, and takes it off the developer's plate.

The point being made is not moot, however - a lot of changes could be made in existing OSes that get held for the new one. The big thing to remember is that development costs money, and you don't make money on patches, you make them on sales....
nagol68
People watch movies like Iron Man and say 'I want to have a computer like that!' then sit down at their PC from 10 years ago that is running XP and refuse to update to 8.1 or at least, 7. Yes, when 8 came out it had lots and lots of bug, glitches and annoyances, but like @carlosriosness said it would be giant and take forever if it were to not have anything wrong. Then there are people who say they don't want 8 because they don't want to learn a new OS then move to OSX or Linux. How is that any easier then just learning a few changes on 8? And now with 8.1 Update 1 it boots to Desktop and everything. When Windows 8 came out CNET had an article and the guy gave his Surface Pro to his grandma and she (Not knowing that it is just an update from the older Windows versions) was able to use it and love it after a couple of days. So people who have been using Windows since 3.1 need to just take a weekend and play around with it instead of have to spend longer working on their PC running XP.
aquabrium
Dropping support for XP can be part of development too. Yes, you can still be fine running old hardware on computer under control of XP. But outside world has other computer things changing continuously such as new devices and most importantly the internet. If you are interested in using these new things, you need new "middle-man" codes like drivers and patches. Despite how huge Microsoft is, it still has limited development resource to write different codes for both newer Windows and old XP. Software programming codes change and improve over time, easing development work. Old XP core system might not have codes to help out the writing of "middle-man" software. Web technologies change really quickly. Old XP browser IE is not updated to support making the new streaming video player.

In summary: if you want to touch new surrounding technologies like new hardware devices and new software, you need to upgrade the core system, Windows.
401Kaboom
The biggest problem with the CONCEPT of a 'clean start from scratch' HOSS (Hardware Operating System Sublime) is that people expect... no, people DEMAND that their new HOSS absolutely MUST work with ALL their old apps and ALL their ancient legacy hardware and still use ALL the 'secret-handshake' keystroke combinations they bothered to learn eons ago.

So when you still have to support all those old devices and old apps, your shiny new HOSS suffers Extreme Code Bloat!

It's too much effort and people REFUSE to invest another six months of life to (RE)LEARN a whole new app or suite of apps, just to do all those common tasks that, in the old HOSS and legacy apps, no longer required thought, but were stored in muscle memory.

A quick quiz to prove my point: How do you print in DOS WordPerfect?
"Shift F7"
If you're over 50, you probably didn't even have to look it up, did you?
carlosriosness
I think something can only be upgraded/patched so many times before the patches become counter intuitive. You have hundreds of employees that help create an OS, so even a fresh day 1 OS has overlapping code, and bugs, and things that might not fit right.

Add on top of that patches created by multiple people that are also probably not the best patches, multiply that patch times 1000 for a OS that you want to last 50 years. your OS is going to be 10000GB, and not be efficient.

The biggest reason for a new OS. they aren't designed to run on new processors with a new architectures. a new OS can do same thing older OS can do, but more easily.

i bet its a lot easier to make a new 64bit OS that runs smoothly then to patch a 32bit OS to run in 64bit (if thats even possible.

Though i do think M$ should put more money into compression tech. Why hasn't compression gotten drastically better. Lets find a way to shrink a 2 hour 1080p HD movie into a 100mb file!
zebdaddy
When i was young, when we got a hole in our pants, we patched them. We could keep patching them and continue wearing them but the pants integrity was still based on the old threads and the patches made them bulky ... imagine if you had to reinstall the OS, you have to add the patches back one at a time. At some point you need to buy a new pair of pants.
Y'all brought up the compatability with new hardware and you just touched on the peripherals, but it's more about the interfaces, USB3, HDMI, etc. Hardware on boxes with OEMXP did not likely have these interfaces, so to take advantage you would have to upgrade your hardware.
It's easier for microsoft to start fresh, write clean OS than patch on patch on patch, having to wonder if they make a change to make one thing work, will it affect changes made in the last patch.
Windows 7 was just that, it was basically the best of everything that XP had developed with all the crap residue that had become obsolete, removed.
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