Freedom ’90…to Upgrade

So Apple has these new ads, featuring news of the Windows 7 release and people saying they are switching to Mac because: “If we have to move all our stuff why not move to the computer that’s number one in customer satisfaction.” Which is a perfect demonstration of Apple’s new marketing strategy: Make shit up.

Now why do I say that? The ad itself makes a good point, if you have to upgrade, the effort is the same whether you go to Windows 7 or Mac OS X. Well kind of, except they fail to mention you also need to repurchase all your software for the Mac platform. But my problem is where they say: “have to”…you don’t have to do anything.

People sometimes forget: upgrading is an option. You don’t have to upgrade your system, and you need to realize if you do decide to upgrade, it’s not something you do during your lunch break, it’s something you devote a weekend to, and if your not good with computers, it’s not a bad idea to let a friend help, and generally, it’s not a good idea to upgrade at all.

This isn’t indicative of Windows, if you decide to upgrade your system you need to ask why. Why upgrade unless you need to? Especially considering these things cost money.

When people were complaining about Windows Vista bogging down older systems, or having problems with hardware incompatibility, I was wondering why they were trying to install Vista on older systems and not just buying a new computer that would be guaranteed to work with Vista. Anyone who says Windows XP runs better, faster and snappier on their computer needs to realize something: OF COURSE IT WOULD!!! You know what would run even faster than XP? Windows 95! Want something even faster? DOS! You might have a few hardware issues, but that shouldn’t matter as long as it’s fast right!?

With every new operating system they try to pack more in, this has always been the case, if they didn’t we would still be using the command line to do everything. The problem was Windows XP was around for five years and during those five years computer hardware made quite a bit of progress while Windows remained stagnant. So the hardware in 2006 was faster than in 2001, when Windows XP was released, and people compared Windows XP on 2006 hardware to Windows Vista on 2006 hardware. There is no contest. Now compare Windows XP on 2001 hardware to Windows Vista on 2006 hardware. I’m sure your results would be a whole lot different. The practical purpose of this is non existent, but complaining your newer operating system is restricted to working on newer machines seems to me to be very, very stupid.

I know people are complaining there is no upgrade path between XP and 7 so you need to back up your stuff before wiping your hard drive and installing the new operating system. Um…isn’t that something you should be doing anyway? I don’t, but I’m stupid and I don’t have the money to spend on a 1TB external drive, which is what I would need. Besides, if you have XP why upgrade to 7? Last I checked the only reason Windows 7 was released was because there were so many complaints about Vista, and XP was still the holy grail.

Also there is one more thing, you should be reinstalling Windows on a regular basis anyways. I know this sounds stupid but thanks to something called “bit rot”, your system can slow down over time unless you reformat your system every once in a while. Once every couple years should do the trick. Why does that happen you may ask? I have no idea, but I’m sure the Windows registry doesn’t help.

But I’m getting off track, the point here is you don’t need to upgrade anything, and to bring to light a prime example, I go to Apple. We all know their dirty little secret, that they want us to upgrade our iPods every goddamn year. The first five generations of the iPod came out in a five year period and the reasons to upgrade seem a little iffy. But I’m not the only ones to question this. The people at Last Year’s Model ask people to look at their gadgets and ask: Why upgrade? They also compete for bragging rights to who owns the oldest gadgets. On that note, I have a Palm V from 1999…too bad I don’t have a way to Sync it with my computer. Boo.

So why should one upgrade? I can only think of two reasons: Their current device no longer works properly or the new device has features that they can get great use out of and these new features alone are worth the price of the new device. I doubt a crappy, low-res video camera is worth $155 even if it’s in an MP3 Player, especially considering there is no reason for it to be in an MP3 Player.

In the current technological age we are pressured by our peers and the media to get the latest and the greatest. Let’s end this now! Be happy with what we have and only buy what we need.

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