Lately, I’ve been thinking about the software on my computer. While some of it is always updated and upgraded whenever possible, I still run a number of older programs. My reasoning has always been if they are not a security risk, there’s no real point in updating unless I really need the upgrade. Two big sticking points for me are Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office. This may shock you, but I’m still running Microsoft Office 2003 and Photoshop CS3 (which was released in 2007). My reasoning was that both programs work well and Microsoft supported Office for years after its release. Photoshop is just expensive– I probably wouldn’t have it if not for a hefty college student discount. While I would love to run Photoshop CS6, I don’t have $2000 to spend on a program that isn’t vital to my productivity.

Another reason I never felt the pressure to upgrade is that my productivity software is so well supported. In 2009, I used to have problems with newer versions of Microsoft Word files. After several updates, which included patches, Office 2003 was made compatible with Office 2007 and Office 2010. (Google Docs was also a neat workaround for converting files until Office 2003 was updated.) Sharing documents for work is not a problem. Additionally, all of my software has worked across Windows XP, Windows 7 and now on Windows 10. I probably won’t feel the pain of needing to upgrade unless the software I use is suddenly rendered obsolete.

Nevertheless, there is a huge part of me that yearns for change. I like technology. I like tinkering with new software and trying to figure out what works for me. The reliance on older software makes me feel stagnant. For now, one option to consider is trying Microsoft Office online to get a taste of the newer version of the software without a financial investment. As for Photoshop, I may consider Photoshop Elements since I don’t need all of the hefty features of Photoshop CS6 (or the price). I realize Photoshop Creative Cloud is an option, but I don’t like the idea of paying a monthly subscription fee and needing an internet connection just to run the program. Either way, I have a few good options for overcoming my software stagnation.

Do you upgrade your computer programs often, or do you hold on to older programs until you absolutely have to upgrade?

Power buttons and others by Long Zheng of Flickr

Power buttons and others by Long Zheng of Flickr