Welcome to our October 2016 Newsletter:
You can tell it is fall. The colors on the license plates are changing.
NEWS FROM THE SHOP
Microsoft has released the “Anniversary Edition” of Windows 10. This update automatically downloads and installs on most Windows 10 machines. By all accounts, Windows 10 continues to be “a keeper” as an operating system. We have some corporate clients that are staying on Windows 7 Professional for software compatibility reasons, but there is absolutely NO reason to fear Windows 10 if you are buying a new computer for home use.
HOW OLD IS TOO OLD
For business use, a new computer should be good for 3-5 years. There is a point of diminishing returns in trying to keep an older machine running. Moore’s Law holds that processing power doubles every 18 months. A four and a half year old machine is vastly slower than a new machine at the same price point.
For personal use, you can stretch things out a bit, particularly if your computer needs are modest. Someone who uses their computer primarily for facebook and email can get away with an older, slower machine. Even here though, there are limits. A good rule of thumb is that you should NOT run a machine that is no longer receiving updates from Microsoft. What does this mean?
If you are running Windows XP or anything older, you need to retire that machine ASAP. Windows XP SP3 lost all Microsoft support in April of 2014. Additionally, it is becoming much more difficult to find anti-malware software that will run on Windowx XP. An XP machine is simply NOT safe to put on the Internet.
If you are running Windows Vista, your Microsoft support will end in April of next year (2017). We STRONGLY recommend that you replace a Vista machine before next spring.
Windows 7 is good until January of 2020. Windows 8 is good until January of 2023. Windows 10 is good until October of 2025.
In the cases of Windows 7 – Windows 10, you will likely need a new computer well before the expiration of Microsoft support.
We are often asked about upgrading the operating system. In the case of the free upgrade from Windows 7/8 to Windows 10 that was offered up until a month or so ago, it was generally okay. Upgrading an XP or Vista system to Windows 10 is not recommended for several reasons: The lack of drivers, the likelihood that old hardware will fail sooner rather than later, and the cost of buying a copy of Windows 10 are the major reasons NOT to consider upgrading an old machine. You are simply better off to buy new.
A good example is a machine that one of our business clients had upgraded from XP to Windows 7. The processor benchmark for this old machine is 727. A new basic machine today likely comes with a processor that benchmarks in excess of 5000! The old machine will be painful to use and the new one will fly. If you are spending a bit extra for one of today’s performance machines, the difference is even more striking.
Older machines typically had a 32 bit OS and maximum memory of 2 or 4gb. Back in the early XP days fifteen years ago, that was fine. It is NOT fine today. To put this into perspective, we recently delivered several computers with 16gb of memory installed and room to double that to 32gb. That works out to about ten times as much memory as the maximum usable memory just a few years back. Add to that the fact that you can literally hold one of the new machines in the palm of your hand instead of lugging a 50 lb tower around and the contrast is even more striking.
We’ve been seeing a number of email messages from “Scanner@” or with a subject of “Invoice” or “Receipt”. Virtually all of these messages contain malware.
Please do NOT open any messages of this type unless you can absolutely positively confirm that you are both expecting such an email AND that they are coming from a reputable source.
The Chamber’s annual Bike Fest is this coming weekend. Even if you don’t own a motorcycle, it’s worth coming downtown to check out the cool rides. You can get more info at: http://www.coteeriverbikefest.org/
We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It’s our way of keeping you posted on the happenings at our shop.
Thanks for your business!
Gulfcoast Networking, Inc.
6335 Grand Blvd
New Port Richey, FL 34652
(We have used our best efforts in collecting and preparing the information published herein. However, we do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any and all liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions resulted from negligence, accident, or other causes.)
©2016 Gulfcoast Networking, Inc