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While many people rush out to buy the latest and greatest computer hardware and software packages, many savvy computer owners know that newer is not always better. Computers that are four and five years old or even older can still provide trouble free service, all without the cost or hassle of upgrading. The same goes for computer software – just because a software title is a couple years old does not mean it is ready for the trash heap.
This is true of all kinds of software packages, from operating systems and office productivity suites to accounting software and computer games. If you are thinking about buying or downloading a new software package just because there is a new version available you may want to take a step back and ask yourself a couple of questions.
Can My Computer Handle the New Version?
The newest version of software won’t always work for every computer. Most people don’t purchase new computers every year; except that new software is designed for the newest and fastest computers. Furthermore, because new software is designed for faster computers the developers load more features into it, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as Bloatware. This means that your computer may not be up to the task of running the new software and it may give you more headaches than you expected, which leads to the next question:
Does My Current Software Do What I Need it To?
If your current software package does what you need it to do there may be no reason to upgrade. If you enjoy playing that great computer game the mere fact that it is a couple of years old does not mean you need to plunk down money for a new version. If you still enjoy playing it save your money and keep on playing.
The same is true of expensive software products like office productivity suites. If your old word processor, spreadsheet package and database program are giving you what you want there is simply not a reason to upgrade to a newer – and more expensive – version of that same software package. Chances are your old version will continue to work just fine for many years to come.
What About the Learning Curve?
In addition to the obvious cost savings there are a number of other considerations when thinking about buying or downloading new software versus staying with the tried and true. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that a new version of a familiar software package will come with its own learning curve. If the software upgrade is not a significant one the learning curve may not be very steep, but if the program is mostly unchanged there may be no compelling reason to upgrade.
If the software changes are significant enough that you would want to upgrade it is important to keep in mind that it will take some time to learn the new features of the upgrade. If you do choose to upgrade your once familiar software package may be difficult to use, and that could cost you a lot of time and trouble.
Before you decide to upgrade be sure that an upgrade is really the best decision. Ask yourself these important questions and do some research. If you’ve already made the upgrade and regret it, or if you just miss the simplicity of that old interface, you may always ‘downgrade’ away your frustrations.
Craig writes for the blog at VersionDownload.com, a site for finding old versions of popular software. He can be reached at versiondownloadsupport[at]gmail[dot]com.
Category: guest post