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Skipping versions of software and equipment

By Jean-Claude Elias - Oct 26,2017 - Last updated at Oct 26,2017

Is your Microsoft Windows or Apple OS version the absolute newest, the most up to date? Do you always own and show the world the latest smartphone model?

You may be following up closely on technology trends. You may be trying to keep up with the change, upgrading and replacing software or equipment as soon as new versions or models are available. Whatever your approach to that may be, it is virtually impossible always to have the very latest. It is exhausting, time-consuming, mind-stressing and nerve-breaking; not to mention the expense it entails.

To avoid having to endure the above pains, users often choose a compromise solution. They skip one or two releases. They postpone moving up to the next thing immediately. It reduces the expense while it still spares them the shame of being kept in the Middle Ages of technology. Surely by now no one is still running their computer on Windows XP, for example!

The problem is that such solution is not workable on all software or equipment. With some, there is little choice but to upgrade or move up without any delay. Failure to do so may seriously affect operating the programme or the device. In extreme cases, it could even prevent working at all with them or it could create network security issues.

Smartphones for instance are more tolerant to postponing the change than say Microsoft Windows system. Many of us do not systematically buy the next Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy that these two manufacturers release, replacing their model N by model N+1. In the typical case, consumers would skip one, two or even three releases.

It is common at present to see owners of Samsung Galaxy trading their S5 model for an S8, ignoring the company’s S6 and S7 models on the way. Such buying habits do not really affect the usage of the smartphone, for the changes and improvements from S5 to S8, while being certainly interesting and worthwhile, are not life changing. Incidentally, Samsung has just announced their Galaxy S9 smartphone for next spring. Yes, no respite is allowed. 

On the other hand, you cannot seriously skip Windows upgrades without being negatively affected one way or another. From the date of this writing and until mid-2020, there are no fewer than eight major upgrades to Windows 10 that are planned by Microsoft. The most widely used computer operating system in the world will still be named Windows 10, but the upgrades will be significant — and unavoidable. Interestingly, and at the same time, the company has confirmed that if you are still holding on strong to good old Windows 7, it will keep supporting it officially and will back it up until 2020, technically only, not commercially.

Somewhere between smartphones and MS-Windows, it remains a matter of personal decision to skip releases or not, depending on how you might be affected by not moving up your device or your software.


Take Bluetooth speakers for instance. Old models run under version 3 whereas the newer ones feature version 4. The two versions provide the same transmission speed and quality of sound, but the first over a range of 10 metres maximum, whereas the second can cover up to 60 metres, theoretically at least. If you are happy with your Bluetooth version 3 speakers, have paid a lot to own them and do not need to transmit music over distances longer than 10 metres, then you do not need to buy ones featuring version 4 of the technology. Otherwise version 4 becomes a must.

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