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why update?

My current hardware:
Dell Dimension 9200
Windows XP Home SP3 (was SP2; updated 12/20/2008)
Intel Core 2 Duo
6420 @ 2.13 GHZ
160GB hard drive (actual available: 149GB)
Date of order: 6/13/2007

I have updated from IE6 to IE8. All kinds of problems have become evident. Some I have been able to adjust to, others I have learned (unhappily) to accept. What would have happened if I did not update, and continued using IE6?

I am beginning to consider the possibility of (someday) buying a new computer with Win 7. Now I see from some of your forum members that I may have a few problems running a few of my Win XP programs.

Over the years I have wondered why update? Why put myself and my family through the headaches of the changes, problems, etc that occur. Can't we settle on a "workhorse" XP system and keep it "forever"?

I do not have a bottomless wallet, nor the technical knowledge to undertake all of the necessary changes.

I use my computer for Word, Open Office Spreadsheets, email, Photoshop Elements,and browsing 90% of the time. As long as my hardware lasts, can I please forget about updating in general?

Your kind and gentle advice would be greatly apprecisted.

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Your choice.

In reply to: why update?

Not to duplicate prior discussions but I will share that why I update is that the applications I write must run on today's offerings. So I have a reason to update. You might not have to do that.

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There are other web browsers you could use...

In reply to: why update?

IE 8 has to be one of the worst excuses for a finished product I've ever seen. When I installed the Beta version, last year, I expected there to be bugs, but I also expected them to disappear when I installed the final release. They didn't. So, now I'm using Apple's Safari 4 for windows. It's frickin awesome in comparison to IE. Start up time is half that of IE, page load time is at least half, it NEVER crashes, it got 100 percent on the Acid 3 web browser test (IE only scored 25 percent) and the general layout is natural to adapt to.

I tried firefox, but it takes to long to start up, and I tried Google Chrome, but it is way to unfamiliar looking. The only problem with Safari, is that you cannot go to an IP address on your network with it. It's the best, for normal browsing, though.

As for other general updates to the XP OS and to MS Office, no, you should not skip them. It is not at all a good idea to skip updates rated as "Important", because they ARE important. Most are security updates, and you definitely need them as long as your connected to the internet. Even if you have antivirus software, you still need the operating system to 'back up it's defenses', so to speak.

Anyway, I see no reason to get a new computer, as long as your happy with this one. Windows 7 is overrated, in my opinion. I tested the Beta version, and it didn't look like a huge upgrade on Vista. I am not planning on upgrading my Vista machines. If I had XP (and if I had an extra $150 laying around), I might upgrade, but only because I don't, personally, like XP. I know a lot of people do like it and dislike vista, though. But, like you said, there really isn't any reason, if you've got a reasonably good machine and it works good enough for what you use it for, to every upgrade to a new one, or even to a new OS.

Hope that helps!

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In reply to: why update?

Generally I'd say you should upgrade for security reasons.

IE is a really horrible example to base things off of. IE6 will quite probably go down in history as the world's most insecure program ever written. For about 3-4 years it seems, pretty much every week there was at least 1 critical security issue found with IE6. Sometimes it was more like every day. On top of that, as any web developer can tell you -- or the bald patches on their head can attest -- IE6 has one of the worst rendering engines around. It made all kinds of assumptions and took any number of shortcuts when rendering a page that you had no control over as a developer, and it's support for HTML and CSS was spotty at best. Often having huge gaping holes which left out some of the most useful stuff.

Anyway, XP is going on 10 years old now, and with Windows 7 it will be two releases back. So Microsoft is going to want to spend fewer and fewer resources fixing XP, and devote more of their efforts towards Win7 in the hopes of selling more copies to make money. XP is just a giant money pit for MS these days. They don't make any additional money off of supporting it. Per incident fee calls to support lines are probably lucky to break even.

So as time goes by, MS is going to be spending less and less time on XP. They might push out some updates for critical security bugs found, but that's probably about it. They will likely be taking longer and longer to push out those updates as well, much like they have with Windows2000.

If you're going to be on the Internet, and especially if you're going to be on the Internet using Internet Explorer, it really is very much behooving to be on an actively supported platform, and not just one that's something of an after thought. Only updated when the bug likely affects the bottom line of a bunch of Fortune 500 companies.

If you want to just stick with a set bit of hardware long term, you want to be running Linux not Windows. Something where people pride themselves on being able to still use that 386 they bought back in 1985. Windows is a business for Microsoft. They want to keep shuffling people onto new versions to stimulate sales, and they can't do that with a bunch of luddites like yourself clinging for dear life to some 10 year old version of a program.

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I elected to stay with IE6

In reply to: why update?

and have had no problems. As far as updates, after I arrive at the update site I click CUSTOM to get a list of updates offered. I then click the tiny plus sign to expand the offering. From there I click DETAILS and then the hyperlink to the article where the update is explained. If I consider the update is not for me or there are "Known Issues" that might make changes that could affect the way I and my computer computes I simply deny the update back at the update site and check the box to not offer that update again.

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