Fenton Residents Ask, Technology Expert Answers
Hometown Computer owner Michael Oliver tackles a question he is asked repeatedly in his Fenton shop.
I hear the same questions from Fenton residents repeatedly in my shop, Hometown Computers, 109 South Leroy St., Fenton.
One that comes up the most often is, "Should I upgrade to Windows 7?"
The simple answer I find myself giving to this question time and again is generally "No."
Not to say that Windows 7 is bad, or that you shouldn't be using it. It's actually quite good, and I do recommend it, but switching systems doesn't always make sense.
First of all, in general we typically discourage against operating system "upgrades" whatsoever.
Usually if you have problems before upgrading, then you are most likely going to have problems after.
It's a lot like a marriage in this regard.
Many people feel that rushing into a marriage in a broken relationship will often magically fix all their problems, only to find out after the marriage that not only are the problems still there, but now they seem much, much worse, because you can't go back to the way it used to be without some pretty serious consequences.
I paint a pretty grim picture, and it's not that upgrading your system from one to another never works. It's just that typically, we see challenges like these with upgrading operating systems as opposed to just performing a fresh install, more often then not. It really does depend heavily on your existing computer hardware and software.
Another factor to take into consideration throughout this whole process is that it is almost never actually worth upgrading your operating system financially anyway.
Let's say for example you purchased a Dell computer for $799 four years ago. This is typically going to be your average run-of–the-mill system that isn't likely to be incredibly fast, but then again it isn't going to be crawling out from the bottom of the barrel either.
After four years there have likely been some significant patches and service packs for your existing operating system and so maybe you've upgraded to compensate for the greater demand for resources.
Even so, after four years your $799 Dell is now likely only realistically going to be worth about $200 or maybe $250 if you were to try and sell it on eBay or Craigslist.
A retail copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade is going to run you about $120. A full copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium is going to set you back nearly $200. For another few hundred dollars you could just purchase a brand new, faster, more powerful computer with Windows 7 already on it.
Let's say you owned a four or five year old automobile. It is very unlikely that any mechanic at the end of four years would recommend you tossing out the old engine in the car and replacing it with a new one. If you really wanted a new car, just sell the old car, and use that money towards a new vehicle. The same general concept applies with your computer.
Microsoft Windows 7 is actually a very good operating system and if your heart is set on it, you likely won't be disappointed.
However, installing a new operating system doesn't make a lot of sense for the average computer user.