It’s perhaps not too much of an issue for you if you live somewhere where your internet connection isn’t expensive or if it’s totally free, but otherwise running system updates on any of your systems which are connected to the internet in some way can really be heavy on your bandwidth and data. I mean you ask any Windows 10 user who perhaps recently gave in to the forced upgrades and they’ll tell you quite an interesting story of how this latest version of Microsoft’s operating system is so data-hungry.
With a lot more “things” coming online however, as part of the tech revolution we’re seeing around the Internet of Things (IOT), getting caught blind-sided just once with some data-heavy auto-updates can be enough to have you deciding not to allow them in future. There’s perhaps nothing wrong with taking a bit more control of how your systems run updates, but you do run the risk of procrastinating just a bit too much. Delaying updates for an initially set period of up to two weeks or so can very quickly turn into a full twelve months if you’re not careful and this happens more often than not.
But what exactly happens when you don’t run system updates?
There’s a reason why hardware vendors release periodic updates for the software that operates their hardware. It’s annoying, yes, but it is a necessity because ask any software developer and they’ll tell you that software is never really complete. There’s only the latest and best version, or the most complete version of a piece of software, but any self respecting software developer knows that there is a constant need to update certain features and thereby constantly improve the software.
If we zone in on Microsoft again and their famous Windows Operating System, there is an intersection point between regular consumers and developers who also use end-user solutions such as an Operating System. This intersection point is none other than Windows XP, what many people deem to be the best Operating System ever made by Microsoft and perhaps the best Operating System period.
Apart from the need to make more money out of newer releases of an Operating System, why on earth then would Microsoft release Windows Vista, which retrospectively seems to have been a step backwards, with all the bugs and somewhat compromised user-friendliness? Windows 7 perhaps became better, resembling something a little closer to XP, while Windows 8 and 8.1 really set the pigeon amongst the cats, resembling more of an Operating System that would be better suited to running on a mobile device than a desktop device.
So the answer lies in what software updates come with by way of security mainly. There is a huge illicit hacker community whose collective job is but only to crack end-user software like Operating Systems and if the latest version of a piece of software is not constantly updated, these hackers eventually gain the full measure of all the vulnerabilities to exploit. It’s as simple as that really.
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