Updates form a crucial part of today’s hardware/software infrastructure. Both Office and Windows are best utilised when updated regularly. It’s not updates for the sake of updates, you will be getting performance improvements, security fixes and of course new features. You may find regular requests for updates a real pain, but they are there for a reason. The frequency at which they are deployed is only because of the ease that it provides to both consumer and provider. In this day and age, many updates are aimed at being done automatically in the background, or when you are not at your computer. Obviously, this is to minimise disruption, but being able to deploy patches at frequency without interrupting users is highly important. Updates that are critical will require user intervention, but these are the most important.
Both firmware and software will require regular updates. Think about how many individual programs you use – essentially all of these will need updating. Now, most of these will update automatically, but it is important to acknowledge that whether or not the updates are triggered automatically or manually, they need to be completed at least every couple of months to ensure you are covered on all bases.
By deploying updates, you are making sure you are getting the best performance from whichever device you are using. Bear in mind that a lot of time and effort has gone in to providing a seamless experience for the end user, hardware and software engineers will discover techniques over time that will help get the best out of their products. These discoveries are passed down to you in the form of updates which will usually increase speed and reliability.
Arguably one of the more important reasons to install updates – security. As previously mentioned, a lot of time and effort goes into shipping a product, regardless of hardware or software. However, there will inevitably be bugs that slip through the net. These are a risk to you. But again, engineers will keep an eye out for items like these and send out patches to remedy the bugs. By not updating, you are essentially leaving yourself vulnerable to a range of small and large exploits that could see your device compromised. The more security issues that are identified and the longer you put off updating, the greater your risk. When Microsoft announces new updates, they are inadvertently advertising exploits to those unaware.
This is one of the nicer reasons that you may want to update. These are often a little sparser in their frequency, but every now then you will get what is called a feature update, whereby a new additional tool or feature will be added to your software. These could be anything from a highly requested feature, or simply a new addition. An example would be the addition of a “Dark Mode” to windows, something that can be found on many devices nowadays.
Although updates are of course critical, there are drawbacks that affect the user. Understandably, some annoyance can be caused to users when these updates roll out as they can sometimes remove or replace features. An example would be Microsoft’s deployment of the Windows 10 version of OneNote (the version also included with Office 365). For some time, this ran alongside a similar product, OneNote 2016, that was essentially the same product with some different features. Microsoft then depreciated OneNote 2016 in favour of the Windows 10 version and are yet to move the lost features across. This is a unique case but granted, still a valid one. Sometimes, as part of these updates, features are lost. Updates are designed to be permanent, so rolling back to a prior update is often a very lengthy process. This could mean a feature you use regularly is lost forever. The choice is ultimately up to the provider of whatever software you are using, but users are normally consulted prior to a major change. Whilst it can be a negative experience if you lose a feature you love, the intentions behind the updates are nearly always in the user’s best interest.
From the points above, it is imperative that you update your computer and its software regularly. The positives far outweigh the negatives. If you neglect updates, you are riding a wave of uncertainty that could unceremoniously come crashing down and cause you some serious misery. Picking the easy way out and not updating means the risk of catastrophe is much higher. Plus, being secure on a machine that performs better and brings you extra tools surely isn’t a bad thing!?
If you require any assistance with deploying updates or have any questions around a product that may require updating, feel free to contact us on 01843 572 600 and we will be happy to help.