How long should a software program be used? When should it be upgraded or replaced with a completely different product?
The software programs that I use the most are all contained in the “Microsoft Office Professional 2003” suite. In the “good old days” of personal computing, I developed the habit of upgrading software as soon as a new version appeared on the market.
But there are some annoyances associated with upgrades. Obviously the major one is the expense, as some upgrade packages cost hundreds of dollars.
Another is the “learning curve” typically associated with new features. It is difficult to have an improved user experience if you don’t know that certain features exist, let alone how to use them.
But the worst part about upgrading, and the reason that I have NOT upgraded my Office suite is that some features that you actually use could be eliminated from and upgrade. It is possible to PAY to lose functionality, and that is maddening!
As a result, I stopped upgrading just for the sake of having the “latest and the greatest!” As long as my software achieved the purpose for which it is intended, I will keep it and use it.
And so the answer to the question “when is a software program obsolete” is a simple one:
When it no longer works for you!
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