Technologies change faster than people have time to adapt.
One day you have the latest computer software and the very newest hardware and, less than half a year later, your computer parts and programs have been replaced by newer ones. Some programs automatically update, but in most cases you’ll need to upgrade by purchasing new.
Now, more and more companies are using the cloud to distribute their software. You pay a monthly or annual subscription to use the software and you lose access when you stop paying. The benefit is that you’ll automatically receive all updates, but the downside is that you’ll never actually own the software – you’re hiring it for a fee.
If you’re not using the cloud to its full advantage then you’re certainly not alone. Very few people are, as people are only just starting to take advantage of cloud technologies. Yet, you could be years behind. How out of date is your PC, really?
Which version of Windows are you using?
Windows 1.0, the very first, came out in 1985. Hopefully, you’re not still using that one!
Still, if you’re laughing at the idea of using Windows 1.0 it could be possible that you’re reading this on a computer with Windows XP. Many people still use XP as their main operating software, but were you aware that XP was launched in 2001?
On April 8th 2014, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP (and Office 2003). You’ll still be able to use Windows XP, but if you rely on it for something important then you should definitely think about migrating to Windows 7 or Windows 8 (and, consequently, Windows 8.1) before something goes wrong and you’re unable to continue using the software that you need. Undoubtedly there’s a newer alternative out there.
How are you storing your files?
Most PCs now, thankfully, do not have floppy disk drives. CD drives, however, are still very common. Portable storage media solutions are becoming much less popular, and if you’re still transferring files to CDs then you’re taking an out of date approach.
Thankfully, there are easier ways to give files to other people. You can add small files to your emails as an attachment, but now might be a good time to embrace cloud storage. There’s not a lot to get to grips with, initially. You can download a program called Dropbox, and it will act just like any other folder on your PC. You can drag and drop files which will be stored within the cloud, and you can give other people links to your folders to allow them to access the same files to edit them in real time. That’s a lot easier than sending emails back and forth!
What can you do on your computer?
As pieces of software become more advanced, they place a higher demand on a computer’s hardware. You might be able to run the games that you played in 2002, but can your computer handle newer and more elaborate games?
You might not use your computer to play games, but it’s interesting to see what your PC is capable of. System Requirements Lab (Can You Run It?) is a useful website that allows you to select almost any modern PC game and to see if your computer is powerful enough to run it. The catalogue also includes much older games – how far back do you have to go before your computer passes the test?
Without an up-to-date PC you risk being unable to use certain programs, and you might have compatibility issues when you’re sending or receiving files. You don’t need a brand new PC every year but you should pay attention to whether or not you’re using programs and pieces of hardware that are no longer commonly used elsewhere. If you need IT support Manchester companies can help you to understand whether you need to upgrade, and how you can make the most of your existing computer system.
How did your computer fare when you ran the ‘Can You Run It?’ test? Are you still sending files by CD? We’d love to hear whether or not your PC is up to date.
About the Author:
Tom Wilson builds new computers as a hobby, and enjoys writing about the latest technology and changes to the ways computers are used by individuals and businesses.