Are you running the latest version of your OS?

SnowLeopard Ubuntu plain logo windows 7 logo

With the latest version of any operating system, there’s often a lot of hype around its release with many eager to upgrade straightaway. Whether you’re running Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 or Windows 7, you’ll know all about this. But do we really need the latest OS?

I was reading the Lifehacker Editors’ Favorite Software and Hardware the other day and what really caught my attention was not so much the apps they used, but their operating systems. You would think these guys at the cutting edge of tech would demand the latest OS on their systems, but no. Here’s what they’re running:

Gina Trapani: Mac OS X and Windows XP and thinking about Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Adam Pash: Mac OS X

Kevin Purdy: Windows Vista and Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Jason Fitzpatrick: Windows XP, Mac OS X and Linux

Tamar Weinberg: Windows XP and Fedora 9

So no Windows 7, 6 months after its release. Not even Ubuntu 9.10.

Which just goes to show that maybe we just don’t need the latest version. I upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 recently, because I got a good pre-release price on the upgrade and my XP install was badly in need of a refresh. But I have to confess I did succumb to all the hype – the general consensus was that Windows 7 was awesome. But in all honesty, Windows XP was just fine. What can I do now in Windows 7 that I couldn’t do in Windows XP….let me think…nothing! I’m running just the same desktop software and web apps and services.

And I seem to recall a bit of disquiet over the Mac Snow Leopard release – some felt the upgrade from Leopard just wasn’t worthwhile. And I guess the interest in Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron rather than the latest release is because it was a Long Term Support version (LTS) with 3 years support on the Ubuntu Desktop.

So you might say there really is no need to upgrade your OS. They are becoming more mature and more stable with each release and software vendors are going to find it increasingly hard to get us to upgrade in future. If you’re system is performing well and doing what you want, that’s the main thing. But it’s probably worth reinstalling your OS every couple of years to blow away your old bloated registry (Windows users) and the apps you never use, and you’ll likely see an improvement in performance. Eventually however, you’ll find that new hardware and software won’t be supported on the very old OS versions and technical support will be withdrawn so you may have to upgrade then.

Do you run the latest OS? If you have upgraded, was it worth it? Drop a comment below.

4 Responses

  1. Asgaro Says:

    I had the exact same thoughts while I read that article! 😉
    These authors come up with tons of OS features articles …and the majority still runs XP lol. xD

    I use Windows 7 myself. I didn’t really upgrade because of certain features, but rather because of the better overall performance in comparison to Vista.
    I also need to say that I’m a slick-UI-whore so if the UI would now still be like on XP I would feel so sad.^^

  2. Andy Says:

    I have Win7 on my computers at home and XP on my computer at work and here are my thoughts:

    1) Security in Win7 has been vastly improved over XP. Using XP always makes me nervous. It also fixed the annoyances of Vista which was very overbearing on security.

    2) I love the “pin to taskbar” feature in Win7. I am extremely anal retentive when it comes to the order of my programs in the taskbar. With XP, if my Outlook gets closed (crashes or otherwise), I have to close IE, Excel, and anything else and re-open them in order. With Win7, my pinned programs stay in the same place always.

    I’m going to be tossing Lucid Lynx on my laptop soon in VirtualBox, so I’m pretty excited about that.

  3. Trollface Says:

    Well, my dad’s computer came with Windows Vista, and he was having many problems, although most of them were related to the Graphics Card. (Fresh drivers ETC). We installed Windows 7 on Top of it, but were still able to hold all the information from the old installation so that worked well.

    I also upgraded to my mac to Snow Leopard, as my mac was of that make where i could get the upgrade disc for 8 euros. Although i had some problems in the start, i think that the small modifications and facelifts on certain things were ok.

    Plus, the upgrade was only 30 euros, which for an operating system isn’t THAT bad….

  4. Hal Says:

    I love new and shiny. I happily run alpha and beta OS’s just to see what makes them new. Running Lucid 10.04 and win 7 dual boot.

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