Older PCs can still be very functional, but if you want to keep up with the latest software that's out there, then you should expect to upgrade your PC next year. Why? Major applications will demand more RAM and processing power to run effectively. Let's take Microsoft Office as one example. If you ran Office XP or 2003, then you probably noticed a huge difference in performance if you upgraded to Office 2007. Unless you have at least 1 GB or RAM, you can expect Outlook 2007 to be significantly slower compared to Outlook 2003.
Microsoft is getting ready to release Office 2010 and you'll need a modern PC if you want to run these applications efficiently. So, instead of paying for a Windows 7 upgrade if you currently use XP, consider replacing your older PC with a new system that comes with Windows 7.
I'm going to go ahead and give a contrarian viewpoint here. I love computers and technology; so do the members of my family. Right now, we have 8 computers in our house. Part of the reason is that I tend not to throw away old computers. What we have done is to maintain 1-2 "flagship" computers and then keep the others as backups. I find that even for older PCs it is very useful to install a free Linux operating system and give them a boost in longevity. Our Linux computers have proven very helpful for our younger children who like to play simple games or watch video clips. The one down-side is that setting up a Linux computer can sometimes take time. But I would rather spend an afternoon cruising previous forum posts for solutions than spending large chunks of cash for an out of the box solution. (perhaps that's just me).ReplyDelete
I have been so impressed with the recycled Linux machines (in terms of cost and capabilities) that I actually intend to make our next "flagship" computer a full-time Linux box.
It's something that I think everyone should at least try...