When Is It the Right Time for an Operating System Upgrade?

The most important part of your PC is the operating system (OS).  With the constant development and improvement of software and the internet, an outdated OS can hold back your PC from reaching its true potential.

Ever get the feeling your PC is trying to tell you something? Maybe it’s not as responsive as it used to be, or it refuses to play nice with a new application. In those cases, what your PC wants to say is, “Upgrade my operating system, please.”

Performing an operating system upgrade refreshes a PC with better speed, security and reliability. If you’re not sure whether it's the right time for an upgrade, ask yourself these questions:

Do you keep reading materials next to the computer so you’ll have something to do as the system boots up?

While we’re enthusiastic readers ourselves, the process of booting up shouldn’t give you enough time to knock off a novel.

When you’re opening documents or applications, do you feel like time itself has slowed to a crawl, and yet you’re still going normal speed?

Sluggish system performance can make it seem like a PC is tired and lackluster, and that can be frustrating to a user who just wants to get things done.

Are you the only person on your block still using Windows XP?

Maybe you’re hoping that XP will come back into style. But unlike fashion and bad jokes, operating systems don’t cycle back around.

When shopping for new applications or games, do you feel left out because the requirements list “Windows 7 only?”

No doubt about it: Having an operating system that’s too old can be a real buzzkill. Sorry to break this to you, but if you don't upgrade, it's only going to get worse. As your operating system ages, fewer applications and games will work with Windows XP.

Are you careful to open only one application at a time, because more than that will cause additional slowdown?

It’s a tough choice: Do you spend your time waiting for one application to slowly start up or close? Or do you risk having several open at a time and brace for the computer to “hang” or freeze at some point? Neither option is very good, and your productivity suffers.

Do you have to use elaborate workarounds just to plug your external devices into the PC?

Yes, there are ways to make Windows XP recognize newer gadgets, but sometimes it takes cutting-edge IT skills to make that happen. But hey, if you happened to build a computer back in high school science, maybe you’ll enjoy the time spent navigating Web sites to look for complicated workarounds.

Have you ever shouted at or pleaded with your PC?

Most of us have done this at some point. But when a system operates the way it should, much less yelling is involved. We promise.

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then grant your PC what it desires most: a fresh operating system upgrade. You can count on faster performance, better security and greater compatibility — and there’s no question about the value of those.

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