All computers require software to work. Software is what makes it possible for you to use productivity applications and programmes. When you buy a computer or laptop, the manufacturer will have predetermined the operating system such as Microsoft Windows for that specific device.
As you are likely to keep your computer for a long period, it is necessary to carry out regular software updates and upgrades. Both are essential in the overall performance of your computer, and while they may sound like the same thing, they have different functions.
With that in mind, we have put together this guide on what exactly constitutes an update and an upgrade, as well as scenarios where each one is needed.
Software is rarely perfect. Every so often a bug creeps up in the programme that causes it not to work as intended. For example, you might see your computer performs slower than usual, freezing, or restarting by itself. In the worst case scenario, it can result in malware attacks from hackers who’ve found vulnerabilities in the operating systems or browser.
The manufacturer only becomes aware of these issues once users report and request for help. In response, they will make tweaks to the programme on their side, and notify you of the modifications. In this case, you’ll need a software update.
When you update, you’re applying these fixes to the existing file on your computer to keep the software secure and running smoothly. However, even if issues do not arise, software developers are always looking to improve functionality. So, an update might be required to get rid of outdated features.
How do you know when a software update is needed? If your computer is set to ‘Automatic Updates,’ these will run by themselves when you are connected to your wireless internet. You may also see a pop-up message on your screen prompting you to start the update, which can be in the form of a free download.
The new features and applications you are installing are often large files, the system update can take a long time to complete — you may find yourself waiting up to four hours. You can speed up the process by making sure your computer has a fast internet connection and by freeing some space on the hard drive.
Once the updates are complete, you will need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
As developers continue to add new features to a software, there are often several versions of the product released to improve the end user experience. Whereas a software update means fine tuning existing software, an upgrade results in drastic changes in the programme.
For example, there are currently nine major versions of Microsoft Windows. If you were a Windows 8 user upgrading to Windows 10, you’d get a host of more convenient features. For example, in Windows 10, Internet Explorer was replaced by the much faster Microsoft Edge, the traditional desktop took over the cluttered Start screen, and you can now experience a smoother interface between desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. Microsoft Teams, the collaboration application, is a product that came with the release of Windows 10.
To do an upgrade, you need to buy a new software license and activate it via a product key. Doing this will erase your hard drive and install a new file. After the upgrade, the software interface should look significantly different than before.
Make sure that you perform both an update and upgrade when needed. One will ensure your device runs well and that your privacy is protected, while the other provides powerful new features for you to enjoy. These are a couple of the most essential steps you can take to improve your productivity in the workplace.